Around this time last year I wrote this letter to myself. Sometimes I look at it and I'm proud... mostly because I know how much I have grown in the past year. This is one of my favorite pieces of writing... it's long, but it's important. Please read.
I live in fear. I live in fear of the past, I live in fear of the future. I live in fear of what others might think of me. I live holding myself back. I live in fear of having fears. I tell myself fears are only human. Ambulophobia, fear of taking steps. My fear… taking first steps.
I talked to my mom one day. I talked about the bad that goes on in the world. I talked to her about how afraid I am of the world, the judgement. I talked to myself, “This is just the way things go, there is nothing you can do about it,” but there is. We can love. We can love unconditionally despite each other’s differences. We can love each and every skin color, religion, sexuality, weight. I can sit up on my own.
I got on my Twitter account. I saw negativity, I wrote something encouraging. Zero likes, zero retweets. I got upset. I talked to my mom. I talked to her about how hard I was trying to show people what love looks like. I told myself that it was not my fault, that people only want to see the bad. Drama appeals to the people, but that’s not true at all. The truth is that we believe the overshadowing bad rather than accepting the good… that one negative comment out of the endless positives. The one in the one hundred. So I deleted Twitter. I am now crawling.
I went out to eat with my parents, on the way home we listened to the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. It came on shuffle, God wanted me to listen to it. I cried in the backseat. I cried because I know that we should be, “living for today.” Living without fear of judgement, without fear of what is ahead of us, without fear in general. Yet that is the only way we know to live. Afraid to travel because the plane may crash. Scared to dress the way we want to dress because we are afraid we’ll look “weird”. Frightened to speak because the way you think may be different than the way somebody else thinks. We conform. Society says, “Do this!” We say, “Okay.” We are society’s slaves. I listened to that song all day the next day. “Imagine all the people living life in peace…” I can pull myself up.
I turned on the television, there was a shooting in Orlando. I looked on Instagram, there was a shooting on the side of the road. I glanced at the newspaper, there was a shooting in Dallas. At that moment I was sad, angry, frightened to death of the world, overrun by media, that I was growing up in. I shouldn’t have been. I shouldn’t depend on likes to speak my mind. It is up to me and the children my age to break this ugly chain that we are tied up in. It is our turn to make things right again in the world. It is our turn to love one another. It is our turn to act, speak, live with great compassion. It is our turn to forgive and to live not for other’s approval, but for ourselves. I just took my first step.
I got a journal. I began to write the things that I feel down. I pour my heart out into it. I love it. I love to write, I love to share my opinions. I love to hear other people’s opinions about the way I write, I love judgement. I am proud of myself. I am walking toward something wonderful.
I sit in bed. I wonder what the world will be like whenever I get older, old enough to have a family of my own and make decisions for myself. I wonder if life will be better or worse. What will I be doing with my life? Will I be laying in bed worrying about this still? Nobody knows. What I do know is that I can do everything in my power to make this world a better place. Will my friends still be my friends? Are they worrying about this too? Will I be loved? Will I still feel the way I do about humanity? I do not know any of this, but I will not allow myself to be afraid. What the world needs is love. I will not fear love. I will not be afraid to love. Do not be afraid to love. I am running to that wonderful something.
I watch as the days go by. Another year almost over and another about to begin. I hope to become more insightful, to learn from my mistakes, to live my life with a little less fear, to get to a point where I can help others live with less fear. I hope to appreciate what I have more. I hope to show my peers the love that they deserve because you never know what someone is going through and I pray that the world will try to do the same. Then we will take a step into something wonderful.
Written by Smith
Upside Down- Jack Johnson
Bubbly- Colby Caillat
You and Me- Lifehouse