[Written on November 18, 2017]
It’s me — your daughter, and I have a few things I’d like to get off my chest. You already know what’s on my mind and in my heart, so I won’t mince words.
I’m sick of this place, and I don’t mean Austin, Texas. I’m not entirely sure what to call it, but I can describe it to you. It’s a place that’s seemingly impossible to escape. It’s a place where I sit and wait for something or someone to once and for all prove that I am in fact enough — be it in my career, my womanhood, or elsewhere. It’s a place that cripples me with anxiety and inhibits my ability to believe in (and fight for) the woman you’ve created me to be.
I don’t know how I got here, but today, I’m determined to move on; to break free from this place and start anew.
You made me and you know my story. You know every road I’ve traveled and every battle I’ve fought — and with your help, I’ve been victorious. If I think long and hard, I can revisit those moments of triumph and see how your light overcame total darkness. Nevertheless, in recent years, I’ve found myself doubting you and everything you’ve allowed me to accomplish — both professionally and personally. I’ve found myself believing that the darkness is here to stay and that I better learn to accept it and take life as it comes — as circumstances and people define it for me.
But with everything I have today, I’m saying ‘no more’.
I don’t know everything, but I know many things. I can’t do all things, but with enough time and patience, I can learn. You gave me this mind. This mind that enjoys finding and creating beauty. This mind that strives to re-imagine the everyday things. This mind that finds pleasure in processing complex ideas and sharing them with others. Indeed, you gave me the ability to express myself in many forms — through the written word and through lines and colors. You made me an artist, a tactile learner, a critical thinker, and so much more. You gave me an eye for details that’s not always understood or appreciated, but I’ve nurtured it all the same. You gave me the ability to see beyond what’s in front of me for the better, and for that, I am truly grateful.
This heart. This heart desires to give so much, but there’s much it has yet to receive. Even so, you gave it to me. In this life, it has been broken and bruised by circumstances beyond my control. It has deceived me over and over again and has caused me to question things I can’t begin to describe. Some days, the things I know to be true in my mind don’t translate well to my heart, and the truth therein is tainted with lies. Still, you placed this heart inside me — fully aware of its limited understanding and its ability to lead me astray. In your kindness, you’ve shaped and molded it into so much more, something beautiful and compassionate; and despite others’ inability to receive it, I continue to guard and protect it as you’ve called me to.
All things considered, I see the miracle that is me, and I’m fighting for her to walk in freedom and to remain in you — when cries for help go unnoticed, when community is scarce, when the sting of rejection persists, when friends walk away. In the midst of all my pain and my doubts, you’ve met me and you’ve stayed with me; and for these reasons, I’m trusting you to show up mightily and be the hero in this rescue.
I cried on the drive home today because I know that you created me for greatness, to do and to become so many things, to give so much from what I’ve been given, yet I’ve allowed other’s inability to see my worth to define me and to stifle my gifts and my growth. Wandering through the darkness, I’ve lost sight of who I am, and coming to terms with that has been an uphill battle. But today, for the first time in a long time, beyond the shadows, I caught a glimpse of me and all that I am in you, and through the tears, I committed myself to fighting harder and wiser.
Will you show me how and where to start?