“Never be a prisoner of your past, it was just a lesson not a life sentence.”
This year has been one of the most memorable years of my life. It was full of new roles, new risks and a lot of self reflection. This year I chose to be bold, to be honest and to talk about the hard things. I chose to face my demons and to make the changes I had so long been afraid of. This year I chose to be vulnerable and through that vulnerability I have learned so many things and have grown both as a person and in the relationships I have with others. Writing, or publishing my writings has given me so much courage and a voice that I never imagined I would be able to share with anyone, let alone on the internet for the world to see.
I have learned so many lessons this year that I wish my 23 year-old self could tell the 15 year-old girl who was desperately searching for answers. The list, to which I know will be ever-growing, would have been as important at 15 as it is at 23, as it will always be.. so here it is, I give to you the 15 things I wish I could have told my 15 year-old self.
1. Your body does not define you and the number on the scale does NOT dictate your worth.
2. You are still growing into your body… and more importantly into a woman, who just so happens to have curves! (the right man will appreciate this one day)
3. The boys (yes, BOYS) you are chasing after do not, I repeat! do NOT deserve you. Not because of who they are but because of who you are… and whether you know it now or not, you deserve so much more.
4. Stop searching for worth in the boys who see you only for what is underneath the clothes they so desperately want to take off. I will remind you again, you deserve MORE.
5. Do not be ashamed to ask for help! Your support group is greater and can love harder than you’ve ever imagined. And in due time, they will prove this to you… over and over again. You are not alone and you do not have to fight this battle by yourself.
6. It’s okay to say “no”, to stand out, or to choose a different path despite what everyone else might be doing. And anyone that has something negative to say about this, does not deserve a place in your life.
7. Your body is a temple and should be treated as such. It will do amazing things and is capable of healing itself in incredible ways but you have to love it and above all, respect it!
8. Do not compare yourself to others. (this, I think 23 year-old Paige will hold on to) You will not, could not and should never want to be someone else. You are perfect just the way you are.
9. You are enough. You always have been enough. You do not have to be more, look differently or pretend to be something you are not.
10. There will be dark days, there will be more sadness and occasional tears. But the best days of your life are yet to come, there will be light, there will be love and you have so much life still yet to be lived. Carry on.