Some of us might not feel it at all, but this emotion can get the best of us in the worst of times. That feeling is often called “worthlessness.” It’s such an ugly word and seems to closely resemble a parasite. It invades your mind and lurks there almost undetected until a moment of weakness welcomes its appearance. You tell yourself that you can get over it, but it quietly remains in the deepest parts of your thoughts. Slowly, it creeps in closer until it consumes you and becomes a constant, everyday idea of how you perceive yourself and life. On the outside you’re smiling, but on the inside, that smile hides what you really feel. Worthless.
I’m being completely honest when I say that I’ve struggled with feeling worth something for quite some time. While growing up I wasn’t the coolest or most sociable person to be around, so I usually kept to myself. Sure, I had a circle of friends, but most of the time I delved deep into my own world. Due to the fact that I felt so comfortable in it, I decided to stay there. In not venturing out of my own world, though, my attitude towards the world grew angry and bitter as trials and tribulations rocked my world one blow after another.
In this I grew to hate the real world because I thought it hated me, too. Of course, friends and family offered a helping hand, but I just put on a smile and said that I was fine. I wasn’t. I felt alone because I pushed everyone else away to protect myself. In doing so, however, my feeling of worthlessness developed. It kept me awake at night and feeling lost. I let it eat away at me for the longest time after that, but it seemed to recede the more I came out of my shell in high school. For the first time in a while, I felt like my smile could finally mean something. I wanted others to feel the same, too, so I decided I wanted to be happy. And so I was.
This long journey has made me realize that it’s okay to feel worthless, sad, alone, lost etc. Don’t hide it. Recognize it. Wallow in it for a certain period of time. It’s okay to feel emotions because it’s what makes us human. In doing so, you’ll discover parts about yourself that you didn’t even know existed. Seeing that I felt worthless gave me a new perspective on life. Sometimes it can even get the best of me, but your demons create you into the person that you are right now. That’s why they shouldn’t be ignored.
Instead of letting whatever is bothering you consume you whole, notice what it is and make a difference. I found my light through the world and people in it. Find what makes you happy, what makes you smile, or makes you feel like dancing. You owe yourself that because you deserve it. You’re a beautiful person with an awesome life ahead of you. You should live it to your fullest potential because you only have one life to live. Follow your own path and see where it takes you. And if you get lost along the way, that’s okay, too. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
In the words of Captain Silver from Treasure Planet:
“You got the makings of greatness in ya. But you gotta take the helm and chart your own course. Stick to it, no matter the squalls. And when the time comes you get to really test the cut of your sails and show them what you’re made of… I hope I’m there, catching some of the light coming off of you that day.”