Twenty Two

Five years ago, I was a completely different person. I was in a dark, frightening place and felt extremely happy and unloved. I look back at that part of myself and want to give her a long, loving hug. "Things will work out beautifully," I'd tell her, "You keep holding on, keep your chin up, and you'll see!"

Today I can say that I have risen from despair and have discovered a beautiful, good world waiting for me. I love deeply, and I am loved in return. I know that self-love is deeply important and not at all selfish; I know that people are kind and that hope is a powerful thing. I know that I am beautiful and talented and that I have so much to give the world; I am learning that I needn't be apologetic for who I am, and that modesty is not denying your gifts, but being grateful for them and celebrating them without selfishness. I am learning that it is okay to be vulnerable and that it's okay to have and express feelings - the good and the bad alike.

Yesterday I looked through a journal written by my young sixteen year old self. She wanted to feel beautiful, talented, loved, appreciated; she wanted to be herself without fear of being judged and she wanted to find independence and freedom. I can say that, over time, I have come much closer to achieving each of these things. As I continue on this long journey called life, I hope to always strive to learn and grow, always working towards a better me and always loving the me I am in that moment.

Here's to three hundred and sixty five days filled with growth, adventure, trust, happiness, and love. Happy 22nd birthday, Self! I love you, I love you, I love you!


Nolwenn said...

Happy Birthday !
What a long road you passed by. But I came to the conclusion that having really hard times young can be a blessing, after all.
Take care

Jeannie said...

Happy Birthday!

Twenty two was my favorite year, to date. I was so hopeful, and free! Enjoy it to the fullest!

spooky said...

Ooh lovely photos. Happy birthday to us both (mine was yesterday)! I can't believe you're only 22. You seem so wise.

Make-a-life said...

You go girl!I have learned that the best way to happiness is to make lots of art, keep your friends close and not give a shit what other people think of you.AS long as you are happy with yourself then who cares what everyone else thinks!Happy birthday!!

Steffi said...

So true, beautiful and wise!

I already said it but I'd like to say it again: Happy happy birthday, sweetest Ingrid!

You are beautiful, word-wise, artistic, a love- and spirit-filled soul and an amazing photographer! Thank you for being you!

Emma said...

Congratulations and Happy Birthday! What gorgeous photos!

Brandi said...

Happy 22nd birthday, my dear! Sending a big birthday hug your way. It's amazing how far we come over the years. I'm so happy you've discovered your place in the light.

KatW said...

Happy Birthday! (for yesterday - sorry its a belated greeting)

I hope you had a fabulous day doing things that celebrate you.

Your post shows what a wise & accomplished person you are. Glad you are in such a good place. Its taken me a lot longer to reach a good place (I was 33 last month & feeling old)

Best wishes for a fabulous 23rd year :-)

Kolleen said...

i LOVE this post!!!!

you are so wise my dear at such a young 22 years of age....what an incredible path you are on!!!! you already have all the hard parts figured just keep on keepin on!!!

happiness to you!!


Ingrid said...

dearest friends ~ a heartfelt thank you for your most kind wishes and blessings. i'm basking in the love and good thoughts! lots of hugs ~


Lianne said...

The way you see yourself, your life and your surroundings is so inspiring! You are a special person, Ingrid! And I am so blessed to have met you. I hope your year will be the best one yet! <3


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