Simply put, I like to be good at things. Growing up, that’s what I was known as: the girl who is good at things. And that was a pretty cool feeling. Knowing that I was succeeding in most departments of my life was reassuring. And before I knew it, I began measuring my self-worth relative to my successes and achievements.
But that is exactly what hurt me once I started college. Although the nature of my accomplishments changed, my mentality did not. I held myself to the same expectations as in high school, completely disregarding the fact that my circumstances and I had evolved. As a result, everything that wasn’t a “success,” was a disappointment.
No, I do not have the stellar academic transcript I’ve had since grade school. No, I definitely do not have the same body I had during my teenage years, let alone one like those portrayed in women’s magazines. And no, I have not had a second chance at love since having my heart broken. In fact, it seems like anything I do just isn’t enough.
Note to self: It’s going to be alright.
Because, in all honesty, I have a lot to be thankful for. I am at Duke, challenging myself academically by having the opportunity to take courses of high intensity and rigor. I’ve been able to explore the world of fitness and permanently adopt healthy lifestyle habits. And I’ve met so many wonderful people, forming friendships and memories that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
Yes, it’s difficult at times to completely accept the person I am in this very moment. But I am also coming to terms with the fact that I am constantly evolving. I am not the same person I was a few years ago, nor will be the same person a few years from today.
My peers have changed, my circumstances have changed, I have changed.
Albert Einstein says it best; “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” It’s not a matter of laziness or a lack of ambition, but rather an acknowledgement of or respect for my own limitations. In fact, the acceptance of my boundaries is the first step toward my version of self-love. As much as I want to be the perfect, 2.0-version of myself, I need to stay within the realm of the possible. And I realize that it’s not easy; it takes guts and forces me to be vulnerable. But if I desire to live, love, and engage in the world from a place of worthiness, it’s important that I practice the bravery it takes to embrace my imperfections and the stories that tell the truth about who I am.