When people think of you, they don’t necessarily think of you as that sweet girl who is nice to everyone. They think of the girl with her head held high, eyes forward, shoulders straight. They think of the girl who tells you how it is, no matter how blunt and who can weather any storm. You know differently, but that’s who they see. You’re the strong girl, the one who’s got herself so together and is so ready to take the world by the balls and make it her own. Even if you’re really not.
You’d love for them to see the real you. The one who feels sadness so deep inside herself it wraps its way around her heart and squeezes so hard it becomes a physical ache. The one who feels anger so acidic it burns her insides up and her eyes go hazy. The one who shoulders the weight of others’ problems along with her own because no one sees how much you are hurting. Because you don’t let them. You’re a force to be reckoned with, and that’s how people perceive you. No matter what you feel, you are strong and you are ready to hold that weight. But you just don’t want to.
You want someone else to take hold of things once in a while. When someone breaks up with you, you want them to realize that it matters, that it does hurt, that they are crippling you. But they won’t, because you will live your life the way you always have, and you will put on a brave face. And then at the end of the day, you’ll go home and stand in your shower and cry quietly so your roommates don’t hear you. You’ll collapse on the bathroom floor, head between your knees, and sob so hard you can’t even breathe, or hear, or see.
When a friend talks about you behind your back, you want them to know that their words burn, that the trust you put in them that you do not freely hand out is ripped to shreds, crumpled like paper. When your boss criticizes you, it feels like someone has taken a scissor to everything you work so hard for and has snipped it like fine silk. And no one ever realizes.
Strong girl, it’s okay. You can feel these things and you can express them. Lean on friends, lean on your family, lean on whatever it is that will enable you to let it out. Bottling it up will make you weak. It is strong to feel. I know that it is difficult to stay strong all the time. So don’t. You can be strong and still feel the things that demand to be felt. Cry about the breakup, get angry about the friend, be hurt and angry with your boss. It’s okay, it’s allowed. Break for a moment and then stand up ten times higher and ten times stronger. I know you don’t want to be strong right now.
I know life has thrown 1001 obstacles at you and you don’t want to take them all on anymore. So don’t. Make a game plan. Be a fighter, take each bump in the road one at a time. Plan how you’re going to handle one thing before you move on to the next. You don’t have to smile the whole way through it, and you don’t have to be the only person fighting on your side. Let people love you, and let yourself love them, no matter if you’ve gotten burned for it before or not. You are still strong if you break sometimes. You will get through this, because you are a fighter and a bad bitch.