This tab has been up on my computer now for a solid 30 minutes. Time to write and fill the white space, huh?
But, try as I might, I can’t get this worded correctly and succinctly. So another five minutes passes. And I’m no closer to writing this than I was five minutes ago.
Here we go.
I was told last year that I have a “swagger.” I walk with a purpose; head up, eyes forward, smile –– usually –– on. I wouldn’t call it swagger; that has negative connotations. Especially when nobody knows how hard it is for me to put that smile on and walk around.
I’ve been demolished several times. Shut down. Turned off. Doubted.
Eighteen-year-old Emily walked onto campus and acted like she owned the place.
Fast forward to the tear-stained, first night of my second semester. Through hearsay, a friend told me the freshman girls in my major who knew me didn’t like me.
I sobbed. I don’t know why, but I sobbed. Then I learned how to say “fuck you” and got over it, but some of my confidence remained shattered on the floor. And I didn’t know how to fix it.
Having my boyfriend of nearly three years join me at school the next year was a treat. He pumped me up, overflowing my world with unnecessary, dare I say it, cockiness.
I had to. I just had to. I began this semester, sans boyfriend and basically parent-less after informing them I had decided to leave the cross country team.
The quotes on my walls served as my only vice, helping me through a terribly difficult time and inspiring me to climb out of bed, despite the urge to stay tucked in and continue hugging Strawberry, my barely-pink-anymore teddy bear. I read these quotes every morning and remind myself that everything is going to be okay and that, though I’m just a little girl in a big world, I have the power to change it.
As my Papa said and as the quote on my wall states, “Everything happens for a reason.”
I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in right now if I still had that boyfriend or if I still ran on a rigorous, D1 cross country team.
I made these choices. I stood by them. I defended them.
Now I’m waving to a scared, 18-year-old Emily from across the gorge, urging her to take a risk. Assuring her that she’ll land safely on the other side and I’ll be there to comfort her.