Only Dream of Being You

For a long time in my life, as I was designing my future and my new self, I kept saying that I want to be this person or live that life (particularly Oprah). I was stealing already made blueprints to someone else to build me. It was easier to make what already existed, what I already knew had an acceptance and love, what I knew would bring success and security. I wanted to go the safe route after already enduring years of uncertainty and confusion. I spent years trapped by the anorexia, so buried deep in pain, so hopeless that I would ever see an end that I thought I wouldn’t mind coming out of it the easiest way possible for some relief. But as I started to build off of this already drawn blueprint, I realized it was doing more harm than good. It was actually a hindrance to my recovery and development of self than a help. It denied me my authenticity which I have come to discover is my only way to living free. It diminished my journey thus far, silenced my struggles. It lead me down a path that had the same opening as the path I took to the disorder; conformity to be loved stemming from fear and insecurity. I wanted to be someone else because I was ashamed of who I was, carrying with me the unkind words of others in the back of my mind that kept me in a prison of self hate. I was scared to be what I wanted for fear it would be denied, petrified to take a risk worried that it would end in despair, and I would end up repeating my past. But ironically, what I was doing to avoid those things was actually bringing me to them. I had to take the leap to design my own blueprint with the faith that my journey and my heart would create something I could love unconditionally.

So I began sketching. I drew and erased, drew and erased, drew and erased. I took what I love about those I admire and who inspire me and implemented those beautiful qualities into my unique design for what we love in others is a reflection of who we truly are. I took what my heart was whispering to me, what kept me going throughout my years of struggle, what made me smile, what I loved, all that I wished and ever dreamed of being and put them all into one gorgeous masterpiece. It had never been seen before, never before been lived out. It was a sketch of a person who never had been introduced to the world, whose story had never been told, who was 100% authentic, who was destined to live a life of recovery. This blueprint was the sketch of living in freedom and faith.

As I build from the blueprint every day and turn it into something real that I will live out and live in, I step more and more into a beautiful revelation. I no longer have the desire to be someone else. I don’t want to be Oprah. I want to be Jenna. I want my own name, my own life, my own journey. I want to make my own mistakes, have my own triumphs, feel my own sadness, delight in my own joy. I want my own travels, see my own lands, put my feet on my own path. I want my own love, my own hope, my own heartbreaks, my own loss. I want everything for me, specifically that I choose and welcome and accept. I want to create my own way to turn pain into purpose. I want to have my own ways of healing. I want my own successes, my own setbacks, my own failures, my own comebacks. I want my own authentic life. To wish to be someone else takes away from my true self, from my potential to leave an imprint on this world that nobody else could. It wastes away my creativity that could have had the amazing job of designing a person and life beautiful beyond words. To go through this journey of life thus far only to make the rest of it someone else's would be a deep shame, a regret that I would struggle to let go of, a decision that I would constantly have to forgive myself for making. How could I inspire others if I am making all my decisions and walking a path that is not my own?

I am proud of my design. I am in awe of its beauty. I am excited to build upon it with each passing day. I no longer wish myself away into someone else. I now wish to be nothing but myself. I now wish to live a life nothing but my own. Owning my story was the beginning of my healing. I am my own inspiration now.

I encourage you to stand boldly in who you are and who you want to be. Step courageously into your own design. Dream big of who you will be uniquely and authentically. Only one life is given to us. Make it your own.