“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting”
Psalms 139: 23 – 24
I decided to change my bio on Instagram today and it led me to an epiphany. I don’t know about you, but I often compare myself to others and it has taken a conscious effort to stop. Normally when I change my bio, I check my friends’ bios to get an idea of what I want but today I told myself that I wouldn’t do that. I know that this might not seem like a big deal to most people, but it was significant for me because it represented growth. Growth in the sense that I was striving to be myself instead of someone else even in such a minute way. I told myself that I was going to create a bio without reference from anyone and that accurately represented me. As I was thinking about a tagline that accurately reflected my current season in life, the words ‘still healing, still evolving’ came to mind.
These words best describe my life at the moment because I am in a season where healing and evolution are my main priorities. I have been reflecting on my journey since I graduated from college last month and I can honestly say that I have changed a lot since 2015. When I first came to college, I was scarred emotionally and mentally. As an outcast for the majority of my life by virtue of always transferring schools, I desperately wanted everyone to like me when I went to college. It was finally my time to fit in, so I gossiped and pretended to be someone that I’m not. And I did fit in, but I often ask myself at what cost.
The answer is that I felt like I belonged at the expense of my authentic self. This meant that I felt like I belonged by being someone that others wanted me to be instead of who I really was. I was suppressing my authentic self in order to maintain friendships and relationships that were toxic to begin with. I did a lot of things during the first two years of college for status, success, popularity and clout. And I did achieve these things, but I was deteriorating on the inside. Internally I was suffering by externally I was prospering. I was using my achievements and accolades to define me, but these fleeting moments never satisfied me. Despite the sex, partying, status, achievements and accolades, I still felt empty.
It was not until the end of my second year that I decided to start going to counseling. I acknowledged that I had a problem and took steps to improve but I was not ready to give up the life I was living yet if I am being honest. I was very stubborn and decided that it was time to just live my life how I wanted to. I wasn’t ready and God knew that it would take more to bring me back to him.
That more materialized in the latter part of the year when I got someone pregnant and my fraternity got suspended. When both of these things happened, people who I thought were my friends started talking negatively about me and my status within the community was quickly eroding. I was going though one of my biggest trials and it was taking place for everyone to see. This dark period in my life culminated with me losing all my leadership positions and becoming an outcast again. But it was during that time that I found God and ultimately myself. I remember waking up one Sunday morning and just having the desire to go to church again after four years of avoiding it. I remember how alone and uncomfortable I felt when I was in that church by myself. But I also remember that the pastor was in a series called ‘Gladiators’ and how his words were exactly what I needed to hear.
This visit was the first step towards healing and rebuilding my relationship with God. As I was changing my bio on Instagram, I realize that I am still in that healing process and that I am still evolving. I have made many mistakes along this path and I have lost a lot of relationships, but I have also gained a better sense of self and trust in God. I don’t know where life will take me in the next year, but I do know that I will continue to push forward. I will continue to push forward until I am comfortable in my own skin and until I no longer need the affirmation of others. I will continue to push forward until I rid myself of self – destructive habits that hurt the people that I love and isolate me from others. I will always continue to push forward not because I seek to be perfect but because I seek and desire to walk in my destiny.
I may have graduated from college, but I am still in the process of becoming the person that I was destined to be. College was a great wakeup call but now it is time to match my epiphanies with my actions. It is time to evolve into a better version of my current self and I know that my evolution is eminent as long as I remain in his presence. I am in the process of healing and evolving but I am proud of myself for coming this far and I am excited for the future.