If the answers are there, they are dead wrong.
I was one of those girls who went to a tarot deck for advice. I even bought my own set, and every time I felt a sense of struggle, I would give it a shuffle. I would save up money to speak to clairvoyants.
The answers would never be enough. I felt that I was continuously searching for something that I still may never figure out, and the best piece of advice would one day be found in my own strength.
Why, as a culture, are we now shifting away from the idea of being strong individuals? Not only is this something that is constantly being pushed through publications, but it is something that I have noticed through peer support.
Those women friendships that I felt were strong in my lowest state became unhealthy as soon as I got my feet back on the ground.
It’s possible that, as we begin to embody our own strength, those closest to us may fear the idea of no longer being needed, become envious of our strength, and slowly begin to put us in enemy territory until one or both of us have to call it quits.
As I witness many of these faulty relationships throughout my growth, it is no surprise to me that the media aims to promote our weaknesses and mock our strengths. We are no longer meant to feel proud of our individuality, but we are encouraged to wallow in our miseries as if we are merely victims.
Self-reliance has become a symbol of privilege when it is a broken path of fortitude that we have to walk through with an ever-present burning sensation liken to which we feel after intense physical activity.
And I would never go back.
I would never go back to the depths of the darkness where I lied in a stench of whiskey, one eye open, waiting for anyone to text and help me feel more than myself.
I would never go back to the days of complacency, fearing to speak my mind in an effort to banish any feelings of solitude.
I would never go back to lessening myself as an individual, so I did not make others feel uncomfortable, or where I didn’t have to acknowledge my own existence—an existence whose self has been kept alive through its own power to not give in.
I won’t go back, and I won’t surrender my self-worth for another friend, another job, or a political stance.
The cards will always be there waiting for my question. Former friends will keep waiting for my apologies. Clairvoyants will never turn down a new client.
A paid publisher can hide behind their words as readers become lost in their fears and watch any sense of self-reliance disappear as quick as condensation on a mirror—a mirror that was once used to patch ourselves up but has become a place to tear every part of ourselves down.
We are not weak. We are human.
Flawed but not victims. Failed but not beaten.
And though the script may not seem to flow properly, it is no one’s job to feed us the lines—we are the writers of our own destiny.