Today’s post is very different than my regular fashion or lifestyle post. This has been a post that I’ve spent countless nights tossing and turning in bed while thinking ‘will they still love my blog if I write it?’ Over the past 11 months of my blogging journey, I have been so blessed to meet the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my short 20 years of life. Each and every one of you has kept me inspired, motivated and excited to wake up every day and do what I love. I’m sitting here and still have the biggest fear that many of you will think of me differently after this post. But, that’s okay. Because I know that, by writing this, I will (hopefully) be helping at least one person who reads The Fashionista’s Diary. Ever since I was younger, I have always had a strong faith in God. When I have felt afraid, I turn to Him. When I have felt anxious, I turn to Him. But this past year has been one of the most difficult years I have ever had to endure and it has indefinitely tested my faith. Every New Year’s Eve, I hope and pray for a better year ahead. For health. For happiness. For safety. For my family. Going into 2014, I really believed it was going to be the best year of my life. I was positive that my health would improve, friendships would be gained and the anxiety would slowly fade. I thought ‘this is going to be my year.’
This past May, I was the victim of a crime that happens every single day and goes unnoticed. By saying it happens everyday, I am not saying that it is normal. Because it isn’t, and it shouldn’t be. It should never be okay. [Sigh.] In the beginning of May, I was the victim of a rape. I can’t begin to explain the toll it has taken on not only me, but my family as a whole. 2014 has proven to be the most difficult, sad and helpless year. It has left me cold and fearful every single day of my life. It has hindered my ability to get up everyday and go about my normal life. Because it is no longer the life I am used to. Needless to say, things have drastically changed. The reason I have finally decided to speak up about what happened is because I would never wish that on anyone and, if I can, I want to prevent this from happening to you. I want to tell you that you aren’t alone in this. There’s no doubt that it is a very scary world we live in. It’s a world filled with a lot of malicious people. But it’s also a world filled with beautiful people. The kind of people who have reached out to me, have held my hand throughout this difficult journey, and who have shown me that God will never give me something I am not able to handle. I strongly believe that this horrible incident happened to me because God knows I am going to use my words and my strong following to make a difference to someone, somewhere. Yes, I struggle with the reality of it all every single day. Yes, I have asked God, ‘why me?’ Yes, I have had many, many…many days where I’ve sat in my bed crying myself to sleep wishing I could rewind. Go back in time. Prevent it from happening. I’ve even gone so far as to blame myself. But it’s not my fault. It never will be my fault and I have come to terms with that. From time to time I still get very angry. I’m not perfect and I never will be. This will always be something that affects me, but it will not be something that deprives me of a happy life.
Out of fear, I chose to drop the case and not press charges. I didn’t want to be looked at differently. I didn’t want people to see me as that girl. And, for a while, my family couldn’t understand why I just let it go. I let it go because, whoever did it to me, will have to deal with God. He will have to live with himself everyday. While I resented him in the beginning, I hope he sees that this has made me a stronger person. He has given me the ability to speak up and make a difference. I let go of my hatred and thanked God that I’m alive. I let go of my anger and frustration and held on tight to my amazing family. I let go of wanting to know who did it so I could hurt him back and realized that doing so would not make me a better person. I rose above it. I put all of the negativity in an imaginary balloon, and I let that balloon go. I set it free. What has happened in the past does not define me as a person nor does it define my future. What defines my future is the actions I take today. The people I inspire right now and the love I pour out to everyone who crosses my path at this very moment, whether it be in person or through technology.
Today’s post is about letting go. Let go of those who have hurt you. Let go of the negative feelings that are suffocating you and stopping you from being happy. Stop looking for happiness in the same place that you lost it. I promise, you won’t find it there. This past weekend, I did something that I encourage you to do before the end of 2014.
I bought balloons. Each a different color, representing different things I wanted to let go of as we move into 2015. I closed my eyes, spoke out my worries, my anger and my fears in my head, then let the balloons go. I set them free. And, while setting them free, I set myself free. As 2014 comes to an end, I encourage you to do what I’ve done. Smile because you’re here today and you’re alive. Laugh because it’s a sign of pure happiness. Be a good person, despite the adversity you have faced. We may all be victims of something, but we should not let that ‘something’ stop us from being great and accomplishing what we want to in life.
Set it free. Set yourself free.
Thank you to my wonderful, amazing and infectiously positive photographer, Akamie, for capturing this moment perfectly.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.