I went to see a counselor today. She knows that I live in an incredibly toxic household, with almost daily verbal fights and an emotionally immature and abusive alcoholic mother, and is trying to help me get out. So, she’s helping me apply to fafsa and look for housing and get the proper funding and even just listening to me. Today I told her that I was worried that I wasn’t doing enough. That I was lazy because I wasn’t one of those success stories like a person with a broken leg finishing climbing the mountain or someone working 24/7 to support themselves.
I thought that because I wasn’t out there all the time doing backbreaking work to make things better for me, I wasn’t doing enough. Instead, I was mostly staying at home and taking three classes at most per semester sorta lazily getting good grades (because I wasn’t at the library 24/7 studying) and indulging in nice clothes and makeup to make me feel a bit better. I asked her what she thought of this. If I was okay even though I wasn’t a remarkable person or a success story.
She said yes.
Yes, but I AM a remarkable person. I AM a success story.
I saw myself as someone lazy and unmotivated, just living day by day. Someone who couldn’t bother to take more than three classes before, and is only taking one class now. Someone who stays home instead of going out and being active because sitting and laying down is so much easier. Someone vain who cared more about appearances than success. Someone relying on medication to feel happy. Someone weak.
She saw me as someone struggling, constantly, with so much negativity in their life that showing up to class and participating is in and of itself an incredible task. Someone who takes things step by step, so that they can get the most out of their education. Someone who continues to strive to get good grades, despite having every reason to desire giving up. Someone going online and finding tools and resources to help myself so that I can get better and move forward. Someone stuck, who still has hope. Someone who puts time and effort into their appearance. Someone who isn’t afraid to use the tools at hand to help themselves. Someone who, even when facing so much sorrow, wakes up each day and tries to find happiness. Someone strong.
Just because i’m not climbing mountains doesn’t mean i’m weak. It doesn’t mean i’m not doing enough. I’m strong. I’m remarkable. I’m a success story.
And so are you.
We don’t have to climb mountains. We can just live each day finding joy and continuing on and smiling even when we’re not happy. That is enough. That is more than enough.
We are strong, we are remarkable, we will survive.