I may not party, but I guarantee I have more fun than those who do. I do not drink excessively, I think smoking, tattoos, foul language and promiscuity can make the classiest of women appear trashy, and I'm not afraid to say how I feel. I come off as conservative, old-fashioned and prude; I am okay with that, becauseIlove the life I live.
Most 22 year-olds have had neither the life experiences nor the people which I have been blessed with to realize that life is more than which party to go to or what drink to order. Quite frankly, I would much rather drink a diet coke than a beer and I'd rather explore the wonders of the world than be in a club wasting time that could be lived.
I've learned that I am loved for these things and I've learned that I am hated for these things.
This past week I was hurt. I was hurt by people who told me they were my friends and they loved me and they cared about me. I was made fun of, I was told that I was not a good friend and I was teased for the person I am. The top ranking of all the insults was being told that I was so lame I probably have girls' nights at the library. Well do you know what? I LOVE books and I LOVE to read, so maybe I will have a girls night at the library. I have over 150 children's books and purchase more each month. I do my best to be continually reading a book on the side of the ones I am assigned for school so I don't lose sight of the joy reading can bring.
I spend time on my homework, I make choices that allow me to do well and succeed in school. I join groups/clubs/organizations based on how they can challenge me to become a better person. I go above and beyond what is expected not to gain points with anyone but myself. I enjoy volunteering my time for the extra activities at work, not because it makes my boss like me, but because I see how much it means to the children when I take the extra step to care about them, their family and their lives.
I believe in education. I believe academics and learning to be a good person are intertwined. I believe that if I do not daily try to become a better person I should be in no position of influence.
I believe these things not because I am told to, or because they get me anywhere; I have chosen to believe these things because to me, they make sense. To me, these are the things I need to stand by.
I have an amazing relationship with my parents - I can tell them anything, they are there for me when I need them and they are the people who challenge my thoughts, my ideas and give me honest advice.
I have a phenomenal relationship with my boyfriend, which is very rare to find these days among girls my age (this pains my heart to say). We are best friends, we share everything and truly enjoy each other. We encourage each other to be the best people we can be. I can say with confidence that I am truly cared for. When I have something to share, I am listened to; when I need advice, it is heart-felt; and when it comes to life decisions, I receive selfless answers - not answers that deem personal benefit. Not many girls my age can say that about themselves. Shoot, I have yet to meet many people through their thirties who can say that about themselves!
I am blessed.
I have seen people envy who I have chosen to be, and because of that I have learned: the same things which I am greatly loved for I am also hated.
But this week I have refueled myself to fight the never-ending battle that I know I am not fighting alone. The battle to love myself for who I am and set aside the opinions of others. This is a battle I rarely lose because I have chosen to surround myself with people who love me. And when someone comes in who challenges my love for myself, they are quickly removed. Because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.