You are worth so much more
Have you ever had everyone around you doubt your fire, the very essence of who you are?
“You won’t amount to anything”
“HAHA! You think you can do THAT?!”
From family, to peers, and even some teachers
And you might think, if that many people don’t believe in you then it must be true.
That’s what I thought too.
I spent the majority of my life incredibly malleable, believing the words of the people around me.
I mean, these were people I loved and trusted, no matter how abusive. So they couldn’t be wrong. So many people…can’t be wrong.
I developed severe depression and anxiety, to the point where I wanted to die every single day. Why am I here if I don’t have a purpose? Why am I here if I’m just a piece of shit?
I deserve to die, just by my very existence.
I still wrote. In fact, I wrote pretty much everyday. It was a coping mechanism, as well as something to escape in. I believe I survived as long as I did because of writing.
Years later, I was taught to just take ANY job. It didn’t matter if I didn’t like it, heck it didn’t even matter if I wasn’t fit for the job. I just had to take it like a deserted dog desperate for water.
So, I did. But…because I was forced to be so isolated growing up, and because of chronic pain with no accommodations, I wasn’t fit for the jobs I applied to. I got fired from every single one within weeks.
Which made me even more worthless.
It proved them right.
And I was convinced that the only thing I’d ever be in this life is homeless.
I had no belief in myself.
I couldn’t pin point any value I had as a human being.
Of course I couldn’t be a writer in ANY capacity, I mean I can’t even be a hostess!
Not long after I was fired from my last job, I attempted suicide. For more reasons than having no worth or purpose, but that’s another article.
I obviously survived. Sometimes I had the thought of “I can’t do anything right, I can’t even kill myself”. But with some therapy and anti-depressants I healed just a little bit.
I healed just enough to have some confidence in what I was doing. What I wanted to be. Nothing major, but a start.
I still doubted myself, I was still wondering about “plan B”. But I was sharing my work on stage, and online.
And it’s funny, because in the places where nobody knew me, they loved my work. In the places I could show my true authentic self, people would raise their eyebrows, some even cried, because of how moved they were of my writing.
I had messages on facebook of people thanking me, and telling me I should write a book.
I see now that everyone needs the right audience. If you preach to the wrong ones, you will always fail. But that doesn’t mean you are a failure. It doesn’t even mean your work isn’t any good.
You just need to reach out to the people who need your message.
You need to work in such a way that it relates to other people, in such a way that someone can take something from your work.
Instead of it being all about you.
And that’s what leads me to this moment.
See, the other day I was at DOR: Department of rehabilitation. It’s supposed to be a non-profit organization to help people with disabilities get a job/career that they want. Even if it has to be compromised in some form, they are supposed to provide the guidance and tools of how to get there in the first place. Whether that’s helping you with school, what exact job you should be looking for based on your skills, and helping you with the accommodations that you may need. They can even help you drive a car.
And either by chance, or by a challenge by the universe, I got a bad councilor. She was old, and grandma-like. She immediately told me my obstructions were due to my diet and that I should seek a nutritionist instead of fully believing my frequent obstructions are due to my disability. Dismissing the fact that my mother, who was a nurse, brought me upon many different diets since I was born. Dismissing the fact that I researched many different foods, tried different diets, including vegetarian/almost vegan. Dismissing the fact that my body is born differently and it is a disability, thus no diet can cure it.
She told me because of my back, the only job I will ever get is a desk job as a secretary.
She completely dismissed the fact that I wanted to be a writer, simply saying “no, they don’t get paid”. Even dismissing the idea of working with kids because…I’d get a background check?
She didn’t ask what my goals are, she didn’t even ask what I was good at. Because of my disability, because of chronic pain, because of limitations, because of unrealistic expectations, the only thing I would ever be able to do is be a secretary. So, I better get a certificate in typing and volunteer at a desk job to get experience.
She told me I shouldn’t go looking for socializing at 7:30 at night because it’s too dangerous.
In the rich, white, neighborhoods of orange county…Yeah.
So, here’s the thing. A couple years ago? I would have been reluctant and disappointed, but I would have said “okay, if you think that’s all I would be able to do I guess it’s true”. And I would have perused a job as a secretary, even though the thought is soul sucking and a first way ticket to depression and suicidal thoughts again.
A couple years ago I wouldn’t have been able to see the flaws in that conversation, or picked up on her awkward, reluctant attitude. I would have thought she was right, just because she’s an authority figure.
But guess what came out of that meeting? Okay yes, a roller coaster of emotions.
At first, I cried because the meeting wasn’t anything I was told it would be, based on other people’s experiences. Then, I ranted out everything that happened to other people. And then…a fire started to burn in me. I was angry, I was determined, and I KNEW my value and worth.
Of all the things that came from that negative experience, something within me sparked that I had NEVER experienced before. Knowing I deserved more, that I had more value and more to give than a secretary job. I FIRMLY said “NO” to that experience. Just because I have limitations, doesn’t mean there’s not ways to work around them.
Just because I’m entry level doesn’t mean I can’t work towards a hiring level.
And just because someone says the only thing I’m able to do and worth doing is something of a secretary, doesn’t make them right.
See, I know even if I “can’t” become a creative writer in all the sense of the word, I know I could get a job that has writing in some capacity. I know that even if I’m not destined to become a writer, I sure as hell am not destined to become a secretary.
I know I shouldn’t settle for a job just because it’s there. Just because someone told me to. Perhaps I could settle for a job temporarily. But I’m not going to settle for a career.
This is how I know I’ve changed as a person. And once I’m accepted into the organization, I’m getting another councilor.
But here’s my message to you.
You don’t have to know everything right now.
There will be people who will doubt you, there may be people who will doubt every essence of your very existence
You might believe every word they ever said
Your very experiences may prove they were right
But they’re wrong.
I truly believe what we “know” we should be, we should follow
Even if it turns out you were wrong, those experiences will get you to where you need to be.
You have enough value to live.
You have enough value to give to other people.
You are enough as a person.
I can tell by the live feedback of my own work, that my words have enough value to comfort, and even change another person.
YOU have that same power. Maybe not with words, but with something else.
You have to find that inner strength to go against all the naysayers.
You have to find your own value and what you can do. Because everything you can do, is everything that you are. Is everything you are able to GIVE.
FOLLOW that. Fuck the people who say you can’t. Fuck the people who think they can dictate your own worth.
NEVER settle. At least, not for the majority of your life. ESPECIALLY if you’re settling based on other people, and not your inner plan.
I think these challenges and tribulations we go through, are for future fuel. Something you can use based on what you learn, once you are healed.
Something you can use to go against. Something to prove wrong.
So go ahead. Pursue what you like, what you’re skilled at.
Go ahead, follow those instincts.
KNOW your value. KNOW your worth.
KNOW you can change at least one person. And since we have galaxies inside of us, once you have changed one person you have just changed the world.
KNOW life isn’t as pessimistic and as bleak as people preach it to be. We can create our own reality.
TRUST ME when I say you are worth so much more than what you were told.
You can DO so much more than what you were allowed to do, and what you were led to believe.
A lot of times you have to be your own believer. A lot of times you alone have to know your own worth and respect that enough to act on it by acting against other people.
That can be the hardest part, because it takes an entire journey to do.
But I believe in you.
I’m not saying every vision you day dream will come true in exact detail. I’m saying if you follow it, you will end up where you belong, what you were supposed to do all along, even if it wasn’t what you were originally thinking. But you have to ACT upon those instincts. You have to RESPECT yourself enough to do so.
We have purpose. We just have to find it. We have to actively seek it.