This Is Who I Am | Mary Part 2

Note to Reader

This is a twelve month project which aims to bring to light the individual pain experienced by young women and to show how their unique stories make them who they are. We ask you to feel with an open heart and respect their stories.

I think mostly this pain has helped me to appreciate the moments and set my priorities right. Because people can work all day long to give everything they want to their family but then they lose, they miss the family, they miss what’s important. It has helped me to slow down and reevaluate what is meaningful to me and to set that as my priority, so I’m not just living my life for external things that are not important. It makes me realize, this is important, this is what I’m going to chase. You know? I’m going to live my life in pursuit of that. And when you have all that, you have that joy when you know you are doing what you know you should do.

I guess the good in this story is if I didn’t have this separation, I would still be taking those things I love for granted. I would not be appreciative of what I have. I would not take the time to let my family know that even though life has taken us all on different paths, that I’m so happy for them, I’m still there, and I love them. I care for them even though we might not all be, all six of us together, under one roof. It has helped me to appreciate that. I think I took our time we had together for granted. It never crossed my mind that we would all be thousands of miles away from each other, but now it’s part of life. It’s helped me think through life and how it will throw it’s turns on you. You just have to do your best to adjust and then make the best of it while you have the opportunity. Because we have the opportunity every day and most of us don’t take it.

Once you know what you value, I think it’s your obligation to cast aside everything you don’t.

I think the pain shaped how I view things because you end up viewing things in light of your pain. But at the same time, it kind of gives you a new life and perspective. I know more about myself and the things I value. And once you know what you value, I think it’s your obligation to cast aside everything you don’t. Because everything else is just temporary. Things and stuff, the things we’re chasing. I think when your family is your core and you get joy from having them, then you should keep it. Chasing things in other places might make you happy but it’s relationships that last. Sometimes you try to suppress the pain, you try to suppress the events, you try to suppress the storm in your mind, but it needs to be addressed and looked at so you can be able to resolve that within and find resolution without.

I think the thread through my whole life is to embrace what you have because you don’t know when it’s coming to an end. There are seasons in life but each season gives it’s own beauty. There is beauty in the snow, in the barren trees, it’s just a matter of seeing it. Sometimes we don’t see it for many reasons. I think whatever happens next is going to be that opportunity to see it. See it for what it is and embrace it and look for that beauty in spite of whatever you might be feeling inside. It might not be what you desire but it is what it is. Look for the positive side of it, not the bad.

I think for everyone who has set an expectation on beauty, I say f**k them all. Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everyone is different. Everyone is going to have a different sense of beauty. What is pretty to me is not going to be pretty to you. I think people need to celebrate that diversity and stop trying to have the final word on what it is. They shouldn’t try to define beauty. It’s not definable.

The world is expecting too much of us in many ways and I think beauty is what you make it. If the world is not excited about that, then who cares. I think we go through a lot of our lives just thinking about what others think of us, but in the end maybe they weren’t thinking of us and we were making it up in our heads. So whatever you think is beautiful, is beautiful. A sad poem is beautiful. It may not be perky and give you good feelings in your stomach and all of that, but it could still be beautiful. Because there is emotion, depth. I think anything beautiful is something that has depth. And you know, your luggage. If you have luggage full of stuff that you’ve carried in your life, sad or happy, that’s your story and that’s beautiful regardless. Beautiful because if you’ve had sad things happen to your life, well you’re still here and that’s beautiful because it shows resilience. It shows that the human spirit can hope and overcome.

Yes, I do have worth. I’m beautiful because God created me that way. He wanted to create me that way. All of things that I’ve been through, He’s been there, He’s still there, and He’s shaping me. I’m a road under construction. One day it will be a beautiful road but right now there are construction cones everywhere, dirt and nails on the road that might hurt a tire or two or many, but in the end there will be an end to the construction. I don’t have to stress too much about the final destination, I can enjoy the journey for what it is, and I can learn lessons along the way that will help me make the most of the trip.

My worth comes from God. When I think about the stars in the sky and everything He has done with His hands, what is man that He would think of us? But He does. He did. He created us. He created us with a purpose, with the opportunity to grow in the knowledge of Him who made us. And that’s all. No pain or suffering can compare to the glory that’s to come. It is a work in progress, so we need to have that in the back of our mind, that He is not finished yet in the present moment. The fact that He died for me, He is coming back for me, it gives me not only hope, but that’s where my identity is. It’s who He says I am, it’s not who I think I am. I’m His child, His creation, and He loves me.

It’s who He says I am, it’s not who I think I am.

My scars are reminders of the pain but they have made me beautiful. I think beautiful is such a complex word but in every story, beauty can come from the negative. Without the bad, good cannot be so beautiful.

For everybody reading this, beauty has many facets and just because the world is saying beauty is one thing, you shouldn’t believe it. I think once you begin to renew your mind, that it’s not what the world thinks, it’s what you think. To me it’s what Jesus thinks about me, then nothing else matters. If He can turn ashes into beauty, then we need to believe that.

This project has gotten me out of my head because I’ve had all this in my head. I’ve definitely thought about it but I haven’t put it out there. I think this was good. I feel a little lighter, like I’ve just had a therapy session. I think this will inspire people to not look at their pain as something they shouldn’t be experiencing, because we all have pain, but just to look at it with different eyes.