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Counting On God.

I don’t know you’re planning for me. I don’t know how the next few months will unfold but I’m counting on you to give me the strength and patience I need to get through it.

I don’t know if you will answer my prayers or if you will keep taking me on another ride I wasn’t prepared for.

I don’t know if you will give me a break or another difficult test.

I have been trying to handle everything in the best and wisest way possible. I’ve been trying to connect all the dots and understand the bigger picture and follow the signs you’ve been sending me but I admit that I’m tired.

My brain is tired. My heart is tired. My soul is tired.

I’m tired of the same patterns. I’m tired of the same lessons. I’m tired of the same rollercoaster.

I don’t know what the future holds but I’m ready for things to change. I’m ready for my life to finally start making sense. I’m ready for peace. I’m longing for stability.

I know that either way, I’ll be fine. That either way, I’ll count on you. I know that you will guide me through the hard times like you always do but I guess I’m asking for leeway this time. I’m ready for a miracle to lift all the heaviness and all the burdens.

I’m counting on you this time but in a different way. Counting on your generosity. Counting on your forgiveness. Counting on your magnificent surprises. Counting on your mercy.

I don’t know what the future holds but I want it to be brighter and better than what I had imagined.

I want all those wishes I asked you for. All those impossible dreams I once believed in. I want my life to be this marvelous story in the making.

I don’t know if that’s how you see it too or if that’s what you want for me but I’m counting on you to turn it all around. To bring my wishes closer. To push my pain away.

I don’t know what the future holds but I’m putting my trust in you and I know that you don’t disappoint those who put all their faith in you.

I will never know for sure how things will pan out but I can only hope that your timing is aligning with mine this time. That this is the time for my prayers to be answered and my angels to be released.

I don’t know what the future holds but all I know is that there’s nothing you can’t do. There’s nothing you can’t fix. That you are the only one who can turn everything around in the blink of an eye.

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I’ve spent years berating you, enumerating all the ways you would never be enough — strong enough, intelligent enough, ambitious enough, soft-hearted enough, beautiful enough. But despite my harsh words, I am grateful for all that you are and all that you will become.

I’m grateful for your strength. You worry that you are weak, inherently frail and delicate, but you’ve weathered the harshest storms with grace and poise. You’ve carried yourself through trauma and strife crying and wavering but persisting through each obstacle with an airy smile and a tenacious spirit. You have the impeccable talent of rising from the most heartbreaking defeats as if healing were easy, as if you are no longer in pain, and I’m grateful for your tenacity when you long to fall apart.

I’m grateful for your intelligence. You treat yourself as though you are an impostor, but your magnificent mind reflects your wellspring of potential. You know the world profoundly and deeply, satiating your inquisitive thirst for answers at every turn. You understand others’ deepest plights, forging connections that transcend the mundane and cross the realm of true emotion. You know yourself honestly and authentically, lending your heart to a rare wisdom that showcases your wealth of gifts, and I’m grateful for your ability to forge impenetrable bonds with all who know you.

I’m grateful for your ambition. You strive to reach the stars, letting your latent wellspring of self-belief shine through, even as you doubt your capabilities. You refuse to let the world smother your hopes, steadfastly wearing your dreams like a crown, a prized possession no one can rob from you. You fill your heart with wild dreams, fantasies that readily spill out of your soul as you follow them with your most powerful weapon: action.

I’m grateful for your soft heart. You embrace everyone you come to know, wrapping loved ones in your arms as they cry, accepting every word as friends and strangers alike recount the secrets that haunt them. You dedicate your world, your sparse time, your finite energy, your limited resources to those you love, passionately giving pieces of your soul away, smiling as you provide warmth, love, and support to those who need it most. You feel every emotion deep within your soul, providing a wellspring of empathy for the distraught and disenfranchised, the lost and lonely.

I’m grateful for your beauty. Your radiant smile beams warmth and love, inviting the world into your heart as your lips widen in exuberance. Your melodious laugh floats through the air, catapulting streams of joy everywhere you turn. Your heart is pure and precious, a river of deep love and care for all you meet, and I’m grateful for your tenderness and empathy, a true exemplar of your beautiful soul.

I’ve agonized over your shortcomings, fighting against you with every breath, recounting all the ways you would fail to measure up. But you are an unquellable force in this life, a miraculous beacon of resilience, wisdom, and empathy for all you encounter. You are, and always will be enough, and I’m eternally grateful for the lifetime of love we’ll share from this day on.

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The “Good Girl.”

The Good Girl. That oh-so elusive Good Girl.

The Good Girl is considerate, kind, understanding, a good listener, a go-to friend, a shoulder to cry on, never not has a smile on her face, always follows through with plans, completely selfless, and has no conflict EVER!

And most of all, the “Good Girl” convinces you that everyone is supposed to like you.

Here’s a secret though.

The Good Girl lies. She lies her ass off.

She lies because the hard truth is that you can’t please everybody, no matter how hard you try. If you continue to strive towards this unreachable goal, you will only exhaust and disappoint yourself.

It’s a lesson that didn’t sink in with me for a long time. I used to be so afraid that even having one person not like me, or showing a crack in my perfectly composed armor, made me a horrible person. It made believe I was a failure. For so long, I thought that the only solution to not feel this way would be if I worked towards being the Good Girl 24/7.

Ever since I was young, I’ve felt like I’ve had a Good Girl reputation to live up to. In kindergarten, I was the nice girl. The polite girl. I had full gold stars on the classroom chore wall, for goodness sake!

Here is the earliest memory of my battle with my inner Good Girl: One day in first grade, we had a supply teacher. I guess I was feeling particularly rambunctious that day because I decided to partake in a couple of no-no classroom activities, such as talking to my desk buddy during class, throwing a ball around during free hour, and passing notes in class. Luck was not on my side that day, as the supply teacher caught me doing these forbidden activities. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

As a result, at the end of the day, I was handed a note to be given to my parents about my bad behavior. This left my classmates surprised and shocked. “What did SHE do?” one of them asked, exasperated.

I was so embarrassed. I hated this teacher for ruining my Good Girl reputation.

I hung onto my inner Good Girl long into my high school life. It provided me with comfort and familiarity. I was kind and gentle and sweet. That’s just who I was and who I wanted to stay.

It also put me in a box, a box I felt like I had to lock myself into. I desperately wanted to be liked by everybody, so much so that I silenced my own drum and beat to my inner Good Girl, afraid to make a single social mistake. This intense desire comprised my character and deterred me from considering my own thoughts and emotions. This created pent-up emotions in friendships, frustrations in relationships, and discouragement in myself.

This equation didn’t work for long. The pressure to be perfect sent me spiraling daily. I was never happy with where I was with myself — I always thought I had to be more. I couldn’t celebrate how far I had come because it never felt like enough, unless people told me it was enough.

And then, one day, amid the frustrations and breakdowns, I had a clicking moment where I suddenly wondered what I was actually working towards by chasing after the Good Girl. I started to see how following this mindset was really hurting me and not helping me, despite what I had convinced myself for so long.

I realized that listening to myself and making mistakes had a bigger payoff than constantly reaching for fabricated goodness.

I no longer wanted to be angry at myself for not meeting unrealistic expectations. I decided that I wanted more depth to my character than just being the Good Girl.

When this change in my mindset began, I started to find a love and appreciation for everything I really brought to the table.

Don’t get me wrong! I see all of the wonderful qualities the Good Girl strives towards, and I admire and envy those who can be “on” more than they are not – but that is not me.

I strive to be a good person. I learn more about myself every day, and how I can work towards being a more positive and kind woman. I still slip up though, because I’m still figuring her out.

And that’s completely and utterly human.

But what I’ve learned is that if we stay in our Good Girl boxes, we will never change, and we will never discover who we could be or what we are capable of achieving.

Sometimes you need to be selfish and make choices that are good for you. Sometimes it’s okay to take a risk, and maybe even get a note sent home at the end of the day. Sometimes you need to have off days. Sometimes you need to make the choice that disappoints other people in order to make an investment in yourself.

I am kind and gentle and sweet. I am also strong, outspoken, curious, adventurous, clumsy, ridiculous, and human.

I am no longer going to chase the Good Girl. I’m ready to chase myself.

Open Topic

Can’t Fix What’s Broken.

I liked that he was broken—it feels good to admit that. It feels sad but honest. I liked what was wrong with him because it reflected some of the things I felt about myself. I analyzed him because I thought that I understood. With him, my perception shifted as unusual hopefulness hurled through. His burdens didn’t scare me because his burdens made me feel less alone—but this mirror I could bare. I felt that I could help him, fix him, and, ultimately, save him. If I couldn’t save myself—at least I could save him.

I understood his problems—or at least I thought I did. What felt wrong about him formed a clear and distinct picture, accompanied by a seemingly obvious solution. I dissected his problems while creating an action plan of how I was going to fix it all. I was going to help him in every way I couldn’t help myself.

That was then, but this is now.

It’s important to acknowledge that it will always be much easier to look at someone else rather than to look inward at yourself: naked and vulnerable. It’s even more important to grasp that loving someone does not head ownership—which means he’s not yours to fix. You’re yours to nurture because we belong only to ourselves.

Hope only good things for him, just hope from afar. Stay close only to your progress. No one needs fixing—but everyone needs love. Sometimes we need to love people from a distance—so that they can discover how to love themselves and progress forward. Maybe you couldn’t love him in the supplemental and specific way he needed to be loved—and maybe no one can—or maybe someone else will. What still stands true is that loving someone does not require you to try and fix or change someone. The only person, anyone, can fully help is themselves.

Change only what is within your control and hold your focus there.

He’s his to fix and you’re yours to love.