"It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere."
Growing up, I read all the fairy tales. They all sort of turned out the same: a girl is down on her luck, finds the perfect dreamboat guy, and all her problems are miraculously solved.
The problem was, as a teenager, I felt about as down on my luck as a girl could get. I can't tell you how many nights I spent wallowing in self-pity as I flipped through the yearbook, longing for the perfect boy hiding in its pages to come sweep me off my feet. (Or wheels... whatever! :p )
"Why am I not good enough? Why am I not beautiful like ____? Why doesn't ______ like me?"
I was spiraling into a really dark place. My family, as far as I could tell, had no idea. I tried to hide my inner turmoil. I didn't want them to be disappointed that boys didn't ask me out, or that I had crushes that were never reciprocated.
Then one day, I woke up.
I remember the moment vividly, I was sitting in my room listening to India Arie's 'Video'. And the lyrics played:
"I'm not the average girl from your video. And I ain't built like a supermodel. But I learn to love myself unconditionally, because I am a queen."
It was then I realized, I don't want to be a copy of anyone else. I don't want to be a interchangeable 'video' girl. I don't want that fairy tale story, if it means the end is already written for me. I am my own hero. I don't want a man to 'save' me.
My story was not -and IS not- complete yet. My destiny depends on MY decisions. At the end of the day, I am the only person who has to deal with me every moment of every day. I needed to focus on loving myself.
And I did.
Once I learned to stop searching for external gratification, love, and happiness. I found the brightest light inside myself. I learned that I have the power to be happy, and no one can take that away from me.
Yes, I have bad days. I am not always the person I wish that I was in terms of having a perfect attitude. But I know that if I work hard enough on becoming more positive, I will eventually evolve into a happier person.