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  • Writer's pictureRachael Elizabeth Jones

The Ugly Truth about Growing

Honestly, being an adult sucks. I am consistently trying to get back to the mindset of being a child where the biggest care you had in the world was what color crayons you were gonna use to make your drawing pop. Before you knew the world could be so mean. so cruel. so cold.

I know this is sounding very offbeat for me, but I struggle a lot with growth in my own life. Deciding to take all my savings for the past year and move to Colorado has been one of the best things to happen to me in a long time....but also has taken a lot of my own personal growth. There were so many nights and days before this move, during the move, after the move, (aka right now) where I cried and longed to be happy and be the carefree Rachael everyone thinks I am.

The truth is I struggle with expressing how I truly feel and I'm not good at opening up to people... more so romantic interests...BUT I am working on that and I'm trying to allow my heart to be more open to the possibility of love or whatever could happen.

It's hard for me to accept love because in every relationship I had my partners were never fully faithful to me like I was faithful to them. It hurt so much and it still haunts me to this day. Past lovers are just ghosts that stay to torture you with the lingering stains and pain they caused. I carry my scars around with me to remind me to not be that stupid or naive again. Talk about trust issues. I always put 110% into the relationships I have and it always hurts so much to find out you care more than the other person does.

It's made me feel hard to love. It's made me feel like no one really wants to deal with all my emotions and all of me because I'm too much. It's what's closed me off to love for the past four years. Feeling like your hard to love hurts so much and I often let my own anxiety remind me that everyone in my life could make me feel that way if I let myself get swallowed in my thoughts. Just because I'm the one who always encourages others and always happy all the time, doesn't mean I always am. I don't know how to ask for help, I'm still learning and if you're not gentle with me, my anxiety will believe that you don't care.

I feel the same way with friendships at times. They must think I'm annoying if they don't respond within hours. They must not care if they aren't asking how I am doing or seem as excited as I do in a text. It's something I am trying to work on so that I am not so codependent on my relationships in my life.

A friend recommended I read a book called "Codependent No More." How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself By Melody Beattie. Give it shot if you experience codependency problems.

The ultimate truth of mine is that I don't want to need someone or feel like if they aren't there for me I'm going to crumble. I do truly believe at the end of the day, all you truly have is yourself and God. That doesn't mean you cannot ask for support and accept it when it's offered. After all, we are at our best when we serve one another and look out for another. Community, friends, family, and unwavering support are important to have in life.

Don't push everyone away to isolate yourself from your feelings when in reality you need those people to help you get back on your feet. We all fall down sometimes and need a hand back up.

I have always felt like I never fit in with the other kids growing up and that I was weird for having emotional and sexual feelings for women, not just men. I have always liked the weird kid stuff like conspiracy theories and aliens. I have always felt a little out of place next to everyone else around me and I struggled for so long to be okay with who I am, what I feel, who I love and am attracted to, and just to be simply 100% authentically me. The south will always be my home and who shaped me into the woman I am today, but it was very toxic for me as a young child and growing into a young lady.

The Southern environment along with conservative values from family made me feel so guilty and wrong for enjoying the presence of women just as much as men. It made me feel like I couldn't come out to my family because they would see me differently than the conservative southern gal and as someone who is going to hell to be blunt.

I went off to college and began to challenge what I was taught growing up and what values I wanted to claim as my own. I become labeled as the "liberal college girl". That's the thing, I've been labeled so many things in this short 22 years, that I could care less for one more of those things. Labels are just what OTHER people decide to describe and perceive you as. You can't change or control how they are going to perceive you, so why try?

Popular to contrary belief, I have been so close to God lately and I've felt him in the mountains, trees, wind, and all over nature that now constantly surrounds me. He keeps telling me to choose myself and speak up for those who need help getting their message across louder. So with that being said, I will never stop standing up for the underdog and being unapologetically who I am.

Self-love isn't linear, it's loopy, up and down. A rollercoaster of emotions and love. Some days you're on top of the world and the next day you're at the bottom of the ocean in a self-pity love affair. This doesn't mean we don't continue to rise again and choose to love ourselves thru the ugly parts and the beautiful parts.

Growing into who you and who you want to be is simply hard. It's an ever-changing experience. You're gonna change a lot. 10 times. Maybe 20 times, maybe 100 times before you know who you are and you still might change your mind again. That's okay! We should continue to learn new contradicting things and how to love people better. That's why we will always be growing and adapting to new information and ideas. Never stop learning or your soul will never be as full and enriched as it could be.

Be weird. Laugh a lot. Smile even more. Do what makes you happy and don't even give a second thought to what others think or say. It's your life. Go change the world <3

Love always,

Unapologetically Rachael <3

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