With every cool breeze and fallen colored leaf, I am constantly reminded that winter is coming. Even more shocking to me is the fact that graduation is looming right around the corner. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited; however, I feel like there are many loose ends that still need to be tied up before I can truly be home free. In the midst of chaos, it is easy to get caught up in the little things and miss the big picture. In fact, reality may be so jumbled that the big picture is too blurred to acknowledge its being.
If anyone else is like me, there is always at least one obstacle that finds its way into my life path no matter how many times I feel like I have defeated it in the past. Each time it rears its ugly head, it reinforces itself into my reality and scrambles it up. I think to myself, if I can’t seem to shake this anxiety, this fear, or this problem out of my head, does it mean that it is just a piece of who I am?
I believe that growing completely out of self-doubt is an impossible task; however, growing into a person that can accept self-doubt and rise above it is hard but possible.
I’ll be honest. Right now, my seemingly invincible foe is the voice in my head that tells me that I need to make life decisions based on how they will make me appear to other people rather than based on what makes me the most happy. I constantly trick and flatter myself into thinking that big decisions for me are also important to those around me. For example, this past week my stomach has been in fits even though I haven’t broken my plant-based diet a single time. Part of me is crushed at the fact that my digestion issues aren’t solely rooted in meat or dairy, and part of me is, dare I say, relieved that I can indulge once more into some of my favorite foods that I have been neglecting. Of course that voice creeps in and tells me, “What will the people who follow you think if you decide not to be vegan anymore? Won’t you destroy the image you wanted to embody?”.
Even as I’m writing this blog, the voice is streaming through my consciousness loud and clear. Haven’t I come to this issue of labels before? Haven’t I already decided not to be trapped in the confines of language? The truth is that I have, but I managed to get myself caught in the snares of labels yet again. Image is my weakness, but that doesn’t mean that my being has to be defined by weakness. Rather, I believe that my reality is painted with the desire to grow and to discover both myself and the world. It’s just that sometimes the colors get muddied, and my perception is distorted.
My point is this. Self-doubt and obstacles are a part of reality. Even though they fit into the picture, they are not what make it beautiful. Accepting them for what they are and harnessing them to make a stronger, more detailed image is what will transform our lives into perfectly imperfect works of art.
Whatever your weaknesses are, don’t let them cloud your perspective. Weaknesses are not for the weak. As for me, I’m going to take a breath, live my life, and maybe eat some ice cream.