To Everyone I Gave My Power To: I’d Like It Back Now.
It wasn’t your fault at all, you probably had no idea what was swirling around in my head. You probably haven’t even given it a second thought.
Let’s face it, for some of you, it was years, decades ago.
But here’s the secret: I gave you a little bit of my power. I gave it away to you, and to you, and to you. I gave it to family, friends, enemies and lovers. I am so sensitive, and have always felt so different on the inside, even though I always fit in on the outside. I was desperate to please all of you, to make you feel better, to help heal you or raise you up to where you needed to be.
I gave you my energy, my thoughts, my worry, my anxiety. It has spun around inside my body, taken over my daily actions that I became so focused on protecting and saving those around me, that I lost me. Nearly drowned, until some spark of hope came walking into my life. I realized that it has been long enough. I have given you enough, and I’d like my power back now.
So, to my teenage friends who would call out my faults — Is that a pimple? Where did you get that shirt? You don’t know what Tiffany’s is? — I’d like to take back the self-confidence that I gave you. I am not going to allow myself to struggle with worrying about my skin, my clothes, my style (do I even have a style?), or my hair.
You made a simple, stupid comment, and I gave you my sense of physical beauty for almost 20 years. I may never have perfectly clear skin, wear my hair in the mom-bun way too much, and still get worried about dressing appropriately when I go out, but I am going to start looking at myself in the mirror every day and reminding myself how beautiful I am.
To the boys (and men) who I thought embodied my every happiness: I’m over you, and guess what? I am still breathing, living, thriving, and happy.
I always loved you more. But let’s face it, I loved because I was scared of being alone. Scared that you would leave me and suddenly I would get sucked up in this vast vacuum of lonely nights, no plus ones, Valentine’s Day dinners alone, and the pity stares from all of those happy settled couples.
I stayed in the relationship for far too long. Gave up too many of my thoughts, dreams and hobbies to be the perfect girl who was content to do whatever it was you wanted to do. I’m done with that now. I want a love that will allow me to grow independently, from someone who is content to grow alongside me.
I won’t give away my happiness for the sake of yours, because that’s not love, and I will always love myself more than I love you.
To the moms who have deflected their own insecurities onto the way I choose to parent my children: We are done judging each other. We all walk through struggles, doubt and guilt as we try to raise our babies to be loving human beings. We don’t need to tear each other down with our critical comments or judging views, we need to support each other on our own individual journeys through mommy-hood.
I’m not going to let your disapproving looks or negative comments make me feel like any less of a mom.
To my family who somehow always helps me end up squarely in the middle of every situation: I can’t do it anymore. I have been the middle-person, the peacemaker, the negotiator, for far too long. We are all adults now (even me, and I’m the baby). I will listen to you, and love all of you, but I can no longer bear the burden of fixing everyone’s issues.
If you want to be mad at so-and-so, that’s fine. Just remember that we are family, we are all we have, and some day we will want that time back. I have to be the peacemaker within myself right now because I need healing, so all of you are just going to have to work it out on your own.
And to anyone who has crossed my path and given me extra cause to worry about you, or to judge me: I’m done with you too. You don’t know me, you don’t know my thoughts, my desires, my hopes or dreams for this life. I should never have given you the ability to make me doubt myself, or judge myself. I am good, strong, beautiful and capable. You don’t know me, and you can’t have my power.
From now on, my energy, my source of light, my power and strength will remain solely in me. I will still reach out and help care for you, listen when you need someone to talk to, hold you if you need to cry, and share in laughter that makes our sides hurt. But that is where it is going to end. I am not going to worry about your comments, second glances, critical words or looks.
I am not going to take on your problems as mine, or your goals and dreams as mine.
I’m taking my power back. I’m going to bottle up all of my strength and energy, and focus internally until I can remember all of the dreams that I let disappear. Until I can feel my own talents bubbling up out of my fingertips. Until I feel like I am choking on love, beauty, and happiness when I can feel the love for me rise up in my chest.
I have given you enough of my strength to help you shine, but I’m going to take it back now so I can become my own sun.
Sarah Mangiarelli is a mom of two beautiful babies. While her career is in accounting, her passion is in writing from the soul and being out in nature. She is on the precipice of a new journey in her life, and hopes that the words she writes through her struggles and triumphs may bring some peace to others who are brave enough to begin their own new adventures.