“You only live once!”
Those were the words my mom said to me today when I made a joke about the possibility of making an ass out of myself on national television in the near future.
There was a time when I didn’t think I was special enough to be on TV. And even if deep down inside I had thought I was worthy, I surely would’ve been too scared to ever go through with it.
I used to be a completely different person. I looked different and I acted different because I had ZERO self-confidence for most of my life.
I hid timidly in the shadows of other people because I didn’t believe that I was capable of anything more. I didn’t think I DESERVED more.
Growing up I never really felt like anyone believed in me. I don’t recall anyone ever being my cheerleader or telling me that I could be anything that I wanted to be.
Don’t get me wrong, my parents supported and loved me. They were great parents and continue to be, but I don’t think they ever saw themselves as extraordinary or envisioned themselves living the life of their dreams so how could they be expected to encourage me to?
It wasn’t until my teens that I got a taste of what it was like to feel special. When I went from chubby and awkward to thin and pretty teenage boys started to shower me with attention. Little did I know that the attention they showed me was for all the wrong reasons. That attention and the feeling it gave me set the stage for the next fifteen years of me clinging to shallow men who did not deserve me and me basing my worth on how men felt about my physical appearance instead of who I was inside.
Over the last three years as a single mom I’ve slowly found my mojo and have learned how to love myself through my own eyes instead of someone else’s.
Being single pretty much forces you to.
Though learning how to love myself has played a huge role in the woman I’ve become, I also owe a lot of my success, confidence and ability to not give up and continually follow my dreams to a good friend I made over the Internet.
He saw something in me when I was at my lowest of lows that no one else did and he taught me how to see it too. He showed me how to believe in myself and that is probably the greatest gift that a person could ever give to another.
His belief in me lit a fire inside of me that has led me to more opportunities and adventures than I can count.
Because of him I know how to keep chugging along despite any shitty days, setbacks or failures.
“They can’t all be winners.”
Because of him I know that “I think I can” eventually turns into “I know I can” when you’re brave enough to stop feeling sorry for yourself and remember who you are and how far you’ve come.
My story is that of the little vagina that could.
And yours can be too, as long as you believe.
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