9.5
September 23, 2019

For those who have Decided to Leave what No Longer Serves Them.

I have earned my closed door.

I have earned my deep breaths.

I have earned my claim over my space.

I have earned my time of process.

I have earned my complications.

I have earned my celebrations.

I have earned my rest.

I have earned my peace.

I have earned my closed door. 

I have put on a happy face for those who couldn’t be bothered with my struggles, who couldn’t handle my challenges and depression. I have suffered in silence in the face of those I knew would only help me get out of the house if I was seemingly normal, when I was anything but balanced.

I have earned declining invitations for gatherings that no longer suit me with people who no longer serve me. I have earned the time I need to regroup and reassess who is in my life and who should be shown the door.

I have earned my deep breaths.

I have spent endless nights all alone with my sorrow, my chest heaving in sobs, my breath hitching when I try to catch it. I have woken up with swollen eyes and a hangover from pain and grief, and gone to work and smiled and made it through the day, only to fall apart again when I am alone.

I have earned the right to let the goodness of a deep breath fill my lungs and fill my body. I have earned the right to pause and focus solely on the action that gives me life, before I can cherish it in all the other ways.

I have earned claim over my space.

I have opened myself to many things—negative thoughts, self-doubt, self-loathing, and jeopardization of identity. I have believed in what the world thought of me before I knew myself. I have sacrificed authenticity for hollow commitments, and suffocated within the constraints of surface relationships.

I have earned as much room as it takes to become myself, no matter how wild my vines run, what flowers they wish to bloom, how far the wind carries my seeds.

I have earned my time of process.

I have ruminated over many “what-ifs,” reconstructed scenarios over and over in my head, apologized for things that were not my fault all the way into a second chance. I have relived every experience where I was never good enough, where I could have done something different, better.

I have earned my thought processes, the time that it takes to rewire the brain into positivity and optimism. I have earned the time that it takes to process what I have gone through and how to make peace with it.

I have earned my complications.

I have endured blows to my ego, my spirit. I have relived abuse many times, blaming myself for all the times I didn’t and couldn’t speak up or fight back, and for all the red flags that I ignored. I have been cast aside every time anyone ever said that I was “too skeptical,” when less skeptical would have outright killed me.

I have earned my complications. I have earned the right to screen you before I trust you with my body, and before I integrate you into my carefully arranged life. I have earned my standards that I set for you.

I have earned my celebrations.

I have also been the one who sat on the sidelines while the whole team played, unable to make a squeak of joy while the whole crowd erupted in cheers around me. I have been the one who was not invited to the party, who then was invited, who then was shamed for what she wore.

I have earned the right to celebrate each shred of joy as if it were an entire mosaic. I have earned the right to throw a party just for getting out of bed, just for staying sober, just for making it through the day, just because…and I have earned the right to wear whatever I want to wear to any party—my own or someone else’s.

I have earned my rest.

I spent a lifetime refusing good things because I did not see myself worthy. I spent my time shaming anything that loved me, looking at it quizzically, seeing it as defective because it loved something like me. I questioned my blessings instead of wrapping them up in a hug and telling them, “I have been looking for you, I have been asking for you, I have even demanded you. I have been waiting for you. Thank you for finally showing up.”

I have earned what has sought me out. I have earned the love of self and of others that has replaced the all-consuming struggles that I handled sometimes with grace, sometimes without, but that I handled all the same.

Every time I said or could do no more than choke out a “no” to what I did not want, I have gotten closer to my heart’s desires.

I have earned coming home. I have earned taking off my bags and my shoes. I have earned the sigh I release when I close the door in my own space, as I reflect on the process it took to get back home.

I have earned the celebrations that have come to substitute the complications, even if that celebration is just lying down in bed. I have earned the peace in the breath that I take before I fall soundly asleep.

I have earned my peace.

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Courtney Young  |  Contribution: 3,625

author: Courtney Elizabeth Young

Image: Eddy Lackmann/Unsplash

Editor: Kelsey Michal