January 22, 2009

Who Are You?

I was 20 years old before I realized who I was. Up until that point I had been hiding who I really was from everyone, including myself. Perhaps it was because I was afraid of who I would see if I really took the time to look. This was one of my quirks that translated from the emotional to the physical. I used to dread looking in the mirror because I knew that the person I would see wasn't really who I was. I had a completely distorted view of myself and didn't need it to be magnified in the mirror. On a very humid and sticky August night, I had no choice but to face who I was. Sitting outside of my parent's house, while home from a break at college, I had what can only be described as an emotional breakdown. There are numerous factors that contributed to my problems that night such as a broken heart, way too many caffeine and diet pills, incredible loneliness and mostly, a suffocating feeling that I didn't belong anywhere. None of that stuff really matters though because the only part of that night that stays in my mind was the intense nose dripping, face contorting, head ache causing sobs that made my entire body shake and tremble. As I sat there crying and wondering what to do with myself, I heard the back door open. Who knows how long she stood at the window and listened to my cries but what happened next was life changing. My sister silently came and sat next to me and although her exact words have faded with time, I will always remember the strong hug that she gave me and these words, " I don't know what is making you so sad but please know that I love you and I think you are an incredible sister." What was that?! All my mind could comprehend at that point was that someone believed I was incredible. Does that mean that I immediately transformed into Super Sister and all of my problems were gone? Not by a long shot but here is what clicked for me that night. The person that I loathed and hated so passionately wasn't at all who other people saw when they looked at me. That night I began a short list of things that were good about me. I included everything from my stellar baking skills to how dependable I am when I commit to something...and of course at the top of the list was what an incredible sister I am. As I took the time to really look into who I was, it not only changed my perception of myself at that point but also who I continue to become. Today when I find something that sucks about me, I have learned to work on transforming that one trait instead of hating all of me. My sister gave me a gift that night that I will never be able to repay but I try every day by working hard to live up to the title of incredible sister.

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