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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!

11 comments:

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 out....so just keep on keepin on!!!

happiness to you!!

xoxoxo
loves,
k

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 ~

ingrid

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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