I matter.

Despite promises to do otherwise, my past several posts have been about fairly heavy topics. The past few months have been stressful and strange as I navigate the transition out of undergrad and into whatever the next year holds. During periods of high stress, my mind zeros in on the negatives in life and nearly blocks out all of the positive things that abound. That’s the reason for the tone set by most of my recent posts.

This post also carries a somewhat serious undertone, but I hope it helps set my blog in the direction I originally hoped it would take. My intention was that this site would provide a space for me to write about life in general – the good and the bad – not just the bad.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been gradually experiencing a change of heart in terms of how I approach the world: I realized that I matter. It was a simple and seemingly obvious realization to make, but one that had never quite felt true for me.

I matter no more than everyone else, but also no less and because of that, I deserve good things no less than anyone in the world. I deserve care, compassion, and kindness always. I deserve hope, healing, and help when I need them.

I deserve to love and to be loved by people who are ready, willing, and able to love me just as much as I love them.

I deserve respect.

I deserve dignity.

I deserve second chances.

I deserve to have a voice in conversations that affect me and the way that I exist in the world.

I deserve to have a voice. Period.

I deserve healthy foods and enough sleep and a family who loves me. I deserve hugs and shoulders to cry on and friends to celebrate with. I deserve time by myself and time with others…time spent inside and time spent outdoors.

I deserve things that haven’t come to mind and won’t appear on this list.

And no, I won’t get all of these things all of the time because people don’t always get what they deserve. In fact, no one in the world has all of these things all of the time, but everyone deserves them nonetheless. I do, too…because I matter and I’m worth it. And that’s not selfish.

Recognizing this doesn’t make the difficult things less difficult, but it makes me feel stronger, happier, more empowered, less shoved out, less flattened, and entirely worthy of the space I take up. Because yes, I deserve that, too.

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