June 8, 2020

In this birthing of the new me, I have been quick to reference back to the person “I used to be”. 

The person that used to be confident. That used to be outspoken. That used to love writing prose and poetry. 

These days I am loving the person I have always wanted to be. The person who questions and releases the need for validation or applause to feel accomplished. The person who is willing to take chances no matter how uncomfortable it is. The person who hears a compliment, takes a deep breath, and responds with “Thank you”.

In all of this *becoming*, I left someone in the shadows. I left her alone in the dark- the very loneliness she has wrestled with for decades. I left the person, who I just grew from, and never looked back to.

But she’s been me for years now. She is me. She is the me that hung on when depression and anxiety held her prisoner behind closed windows aching to be set free. She is the me who did not lose hope when the clouds of hopelessness lingered as the only persistent weather that carried into the horizon. She’s the me who got me here.

In this journey of growth, I forgot to give her credit. I shunned her like a part of me that I didn’t want to acknowledge. Like a disease that I had plucked out of me. But who I am becoming today is as part of her victory as mine.

She is still within me. She makes me sit back in humility every time I feel like I am ascending towards my dreams. She reminds me to not take a second for granted. She whispers to me to remain authentic and sincere no matter where I am or who is around me.

So no, this me who is working on healing and growth is not just celebrating the part of me that was once ambitious. And she’s not just the me who is finally being comfortable in her skin today. I am also celebrating the me who held on by her teeth trying to survive an hour at a time, day after day. 

I celebrate every part of me. I own all of my stages. And I acknowledge them all. There is no part of me I would want to hide away. They are the badges I earned. And I wear them with honor and valor, as warriors often do.

-Tumkeen, Writer

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