find your happiness

‘I used to avoid social gatherings because I was so scared to be seen in a swimsuit. I would sit outside the pool, fully clothed, as my kids begged me to have fun with them.’: Woman urges ‘you are more than what you look like in a swimsuit’

“I missed out on so much. I missed out on moments I can never get back. Finally, I realized enough is enough. My kids, my family, my (true) friends absolutely DO NOT care how I look in a swimsuit, and I will bet you my next paycheck yours don’t either.”

‘If I’m so smart, why aren’t I a success yet?’ I was so hung up on this idea of what success was, I didn’t care if I was happy.’: Woman urges ‘you are a success in your own right’

“If your childhood was anything like mine, you grew up with your parents saying you were going to ‘be something’ one day. I was so hung up on this idea of what ‘success’ was. A 9-5 Monday through Friday gig, making more than $70,000 a year. I didn’t care if I was happy, as long as the job matched those criteria.”

‘If I knew what life had in store, I wouldn’t have spent 4 years with my ex-husband.’: Woman describes grief after fiancé’s sudden death, ‘Being with him was like finally getting a breath of fresh air’

“I beg every god I have ever heard of for this to all be a dream. I beg to forget coming home from work and finding the love of my life, lifeless on our couch. I wish I knew what life had in store. I would’ve done everything in my power to spend more time with him. I may not know where my life will go from here, but I do know I am not alone.”

‘I could never enjoy date night with my husband. Guilt was always there to haunt me, to blame me for being relaxed and lazy.’: Woman learns to accept her ‘imperfect life,’ says today is ‘the perfect time to feel happy’

“I thought happiness could be measured by my achievements. I pushed to get good grades in school, to get a high-paying job. But after all of it, I still wasn’t happy. My excuse was always, ‘I’ll be relaxed and enjoy my life only after [x]. I’ll do that after I achieve [x].’ I always had something to pursue. I was never good enough for my own love, or anyone else’s.”

‘Oh wow, my thighs look huge in these jeans. After you have an eating disorder, they say you’ll never be normal again.’

“The next five minutes I spent trying to change the illusion of what I had just seen, pulling up the waist of my dark jeans a little higher, smoothing out the denim hoping that may give the twins a slimmer appearance.  I pulled on the hem of my sweater a bit, pulling it down a little further than the widest part of my thighs, hoping once again to give a thinner illusion.”

‘My mother told me, ‘You were the product of a one-night stand.’ I’d spent years feeling like I didn’t belong. ‘If you want answers, search on your own.’: Woman searches for biological parents after learning she was not ‘switched at birth’

“She promised to help me look for my parents when I turned 18. After years of waiting, she wanted nothing to do with it. ‘If you want answers, you’ll have to search on your own.’ I decided to do a DNA test. ‘I’m sorry,’ she kept saying. Something in her voice let me know I couldn’t trust her.”

‘My aunt said, ‘I hope you grow up and not sideways.’ I was the ‘fat kid’ and my father was disgusted with me.’: Woman learns to embrace plus-size body, ‘Fat is not a dirty word’

“School bullies loved to remind me of how worthless I was. I became the punchline to every joke. The word ‘fat’ was used as a weapon. I quickly learned I needed to find a man to validate me. That if I got married and made babies,  then I could justify my existence. I was so tunnel-visioned I ignored red flags.”

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