It's Okay to Not be Okay

By: Grace Livingston // @gracielivingston

I don’t have a traumatic story. Honestly, I’m blessed to have had a pretty easy life. My family is loving, my friends are supportive, and for the most part I have felt like I’ve had a purpose on this earth. My story isn’t really that great of a story. Which is why I think it’s important to be told.

I’m really good at shoving feelings into a black hole and putting myself on an island away from emotion and connection. Sometimes, that’s easier. Often, it’s easily justified.

I’ve always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I was either too fat, too skinny, to loud, too introverted, too weird, too boring. I don’t think me feeling uncomfortable came from being mistreated, which made me feel like I was being dramatic about my insecurities. Instead of learning to love myself, I learned to dismiss my insecurities.

After running from my insecurities, I realized they grew bigger and ran faster. They caught up to me and I let them define how I acted and thought until I realized that they were real, normal and untrue.

If you feel emotions, those are valid. How you feel does not define you but it doesn’t make them fake. You are entitled to be sad in this life and not put on a smile every day. You are loved. You are human. You will be okay.

Emotions are a funny thing and are often irrational. Sometimes all people need to hear is that they are allowed to not be okay. It opens up the conversation on how to be okay instead of just playing pretend. I wish I could say I’ve mastered this. In fact, it usually takes an average of being asked, “what’s wrong?” like three times until I admit something is wrong. But I’ve learned that pretending only hurts myself.

So for now I’m reminding myself of these truths:

I am able.

I am beautiful.

I have a purpose.

I have the opportunity to make a difference.

I am stronger than I was yesterday.

I have the power to make someone smile.