I know a little something about coming from a sheltered upbringing. I grew up in a loving home, my hand held tight with each step I take and my cocoon safe and warm. It’s true that we learn to swim better when we’re dropped in the deep end, with no floaters and only encouraging voices giving strength to our arms and legs. But what if no one tosses you in? What if you’re so lucky to have loved ones who can’t bear to see you struggle? Well for me, it left me afraid.
I questioned every decision I made, searching for validation from those hands that had always guided me, seeking comfort in our intertwined fingers. So I suppressed every fantasy, swallowed all my insecurities and watched the flame of adventure slowly burn out in my soul. I tiptoed in fear around my dreams, wishing I could believe in myself, hoping I could look in the mirror and see the little girl who wanted everything. For a long time I waited, but she never came.
I woke up one day, and just decided, I don’t want to feel this way anymore. So I set my hands free, broke ragged holes in my shell until my wings broke through and I let the fear consume me. This time the fear wouldn’t hold me back – this fear would wake me up.
I want you to know, you are not the sum of your shortcomings or failures. You are not just one thing – afraid, shy or inexperienced. You are not just a friend, a mother, a sister, a daughter, or a wife. You are not too old to change. You are not too young or too old to dream. It’s not too late to start over. Most importantly, it’s okay to be scared. Your fear doesn’t define who you are, because it only makes up a small part of you. The sun may shine brightly on a bed of clear blue, but when the moon shyly appears, it lights up the entire sky and awakens all the stars.
You are made of so many beautiful little pieces that make up a perfect whole, my darling. You were made to be great. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Photo Credit: Natelee Cocks
A Special Thanks to Comptoir 102 for allowing us to shoot in their beautiful space.