"Earning your stripes," he said. He's never indulged my whining which is why I've constantly ached for his approval. "That's what you get if you're willing to put in the work. Experience. When you have that under your belt, you will have something totally unique to offer those you encounter. People who wrestle with your same demons will come to you for help. But you can't get to that point without a little elbow grease and a lot of courage."
His words are water on my parched heart and it swells in reaction. You know you can do it! You know you have it in you! My little pep talk in my mind falters as memory of past failures creep across the optimism, like clouds over the sun. I violently shove those dark thoughts away. 'My past IS NOT my future!' If the voice in one's head could spit with the force of the words it thinks, mine would've done just that.
Belief in myself was never my strongest quality, but I am a human being, not a snail on the bottom of the ocean. I was born for this. I came to this planet with a gift called choice. I choose now. I choose today.