I’ve always given others advice. Got their back no matter what. Stuck with them until their better days. I think it’s time I do that for myself.Sometimes we end up giving too much—it happens, we love too much. Then we forget about us. Not until we’re down and broken do we realize how much we’ve neglected ourselves. I don’t want to pity, I want to be strong. I choose to be strong. I want to be there for myself, when no one else can. So here’s a letter to myself, an advice, if you will. Because we deserve the love we give.
I know girlfriend. I know. First, I just want to say that I’m proud of you. You’re so incredibly tough. This year wasn’t what you expected it, I know. You thought this was going to be your year— well you’re not wrong and this is only the beginning. I know it was going so good; you started your blog, did more of what you loved (photography), figured out what you wanted out of life…or at least have an idea, worked hard in school and in all that, you found happiness. Great, I want you to focus on that. You worked so damn hard, acknowledge your hard work! You’ve been called selfish—but frankly, you should be selfish. People will say what they want to say, and put a different meaning to your words and actions. They will believe the worst easier than they would the good. Your goodness will be overlooked and the mistakes will be magnified. Who cares at this point, or ever, actually. People are made to see the bad in others to cover up their own shortcomings and mistakes. No one knows you better than you do, so don’t listen. You damn well deserve to be selfish. It’s a ridicule to think that you’ve given everyone you love your all, in pure sincerity, but the minute you want something for yourself, you are called selfish. What a joke, hey? Don’t worry about them babe. Anyone who has ever had the guts to have a say on your life without knowing a thing about you are absolutely irrelevant; they don’t know what you went through, they don’t know what battles you fought. Now that you’re happier, don’t even think for once second that you don’t deserve that. Most especially, do not let them take your shine away. You not only deserve happiness, but you worked for it. You woke up each day and decided it was going to be a better day, better week, and a better year in general. Consciously, you put that work in and that got you where you are now. Don’t ever let anybody steal this happiness from you.
Most importantly? You’re young. You’re only 20. Just let that sink in. I know you’re a hopeless romantic, your heart is saturated in fairy tales and you love to love. But baby, I think you forgot that you’re too young to be worried of being alone. You’ve a lot of time, stop acting like you’re running out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for your lovingness and all that mushiness. But you’re too young to be crying over love—or letting it take over so much of you, a better way to put it. I know you just care a lot, and that’s amazing. But to be honest, you’ve got to learn when it’s too much and when it isn’t being reciprocated as much as it should be. If one day they decide to walk away, I want you to remember that you did nothing wrong. Nothing is wrong with you. You are lovable and anyone would be lucky to have you in their life. Again, you’re young. You’ve so much ahead of you, a lot of things you haven’t done yet. Just don’t let it get the best of you, okay? Your love is what makes you who you are, I don’t want you to get to the point where it damages you so much that you don’t want it anymore. That’s not you. You were made to love, and that’s what makes Joyce, Joyce.
This may sound super contradictory, but life was never NOT complex, hah. So that being said, I still want you to continue loving those who matter to you. Even if they may unintentionally hurt you out of emotions. I know you learned your lesson—that it hurts even more when you stop yourself from loving, so don’t. Just find a balance. Your love is so great, I believe it can heal anyone. Don’t give up on the people you love— understand them the best you can. Remember the Brad Pitt and Angelina story? He didn’t give up. Instead, he showed her effort and most especially, love, every day. She blossomed and she got better. Love heals. You already knew that. And you are capable of doing the same healing. No one wants to be given up on. Your bravery and strength will become the life-line of a lot of your relationships. Try your best to never lose that, because sometimes you’ll be the only strong one. You might need to be strong for two people. In the end, it will pay off. And if not, then God will send you someone or something better. When has He ever failed you? When has He ever put you in a situation that was never good for you? Remember, He always has bigger and better plans than you have for yourself. If there’s anyone to trust, it’s God. You were saved each time, never doubt that he won’t.
This is just another mountain to tackle. “She Climbs Mountains”, right? Bad days don’t mean a bad life. You always pick yourself up after every failure, every struggle—this time is no different. You’re never alone, okay? Always remind yourself that YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are loved. After each storm comes the calm, and you’ll get there. I promise. The world is round, you won’t always be down as much as you can’t always be up. This is a learning experience, not the end of the world!
So remove that heaviness inside you, for it will only weigh you down in this journey. Focus on your own success and happiness, but most especially love, and the rest will follow. You are allowed to fail and start over as many times as you want. What matters is you’re trying. There will always, always be better days. Why? Because better days are a choice, and you always choose it. It can only get better from here. And I quote Justin Bieber, “You can’t fly unless you let yourself fall.”