I wake up at 3 and realize that’s a stupid time to get out of bed so I wait until 4am, which sounds more reasonable. I spend that hour in the dark thinking.
Lately I’ve been thinking about people from my past. People from grade school who tormented me, who went out of their way to let me know they would never be friends with the likes of me. People from middle school who barely tolerated my existence. People from high school who closed themselves off from me. Guys who spurned me. Friends who abandoned me. Adults who said I would never amount to anything. People who used me, boyfriends who treated me badly, relatives who judged me, friends who turned out to not really know the definition of friendship. People who shunned me because I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or cool enough or enough of anything at all.
I think of all those people and I smile.
I smile because they were wrong. I smile because I know what some of those people are up to now. I smile because I know I’m better than them. I smile because they each taught me some valuable lesson about life that matured me and helped me become a better, wiser person. I smile because after all their predictions about my life becoming a lonely, horrible existence of futility and despair, they were wrong.
I smile because I no longer believe them.
I no longer believe those words spoken to me and about me.
I no longer let about forty years worth of words make me feel small.
I smile because I have realized, finally, that I have not lost anything by not being able to convince all those people to like me or find me worthy.
They have lost. They have lost out on the opportunity to really know me.
Too bad for them.
4am. I smile, get out of bed. I’m ok with getting up this early because I have a lot to offer the world and the more time I spend doing it, the better off I am. I hid inside myself for too many years, shadowed by harsh words, all too ready to fulfill prophecies spoken by people who never bothered to find out what I was really made of.
I have a lot to give. I’m good enough. I’m worthy. I’m none of those things anyone expected me to be or wanted me to be.
I smile because I’ve finally broken free of everyone who tried to hold me back. And because I’ve discovered there are people who think the world of me and they are the people whose opinions I should value.
The journey to self-discovery has been long and hard. I never thought it would take approximately half my life.
Yet it is still happening. Every day.
I am awake. Wide awake at 4am. I am smiling. I am free of the restraint of the past. I am ok, I will always be ok and I have always been ok. The hell with those who think or thought otherwise.
PRINT "Hello, world!"