Your Mistakes Don’t Define You by Lindsey Turnbull
Here’s a selfie of teenage me, circa 2004, according to the watermark. I don’t know why I wasn’t smiling, I was probably trying to look tough/angry/some version of what I thought a model-face looked like? No idea. This was before I’d ever heard of America’s Next Top Model.
I wasn’t necessarily angry when I took this photo, but I liked how I looked enough to save it. (Also, digital photos were a lot harder to come by back then.)
What I remember about those years is that I was angry a lot. I was passionate, but felt unheard. I had potential, but few adults took me seriously (and I am SO grateful for those who did). I had friends, but I didn’t feel like I really fit in anywhere. I had struggles with my family, my classmates, my teachers, my own brain. And because everything felt like an uphill battle, I made my fair share of mistakes.
Everything felt hard. Every decision felt like an uphill battle. And to be honest, it would have been easy as heck to just…not try. To go with the current. To be angry all the time at all the things I could not control (OK, still working on this one). To define myself by the mistakes I made (there were many), instead of the potential I knew I had.
The truth is: I made my path. When I look at this photo, I see a young woman who was trying so damn hard, who made a lot of mistakes. I am SO glad she didn’t let those mistakes derail or define her. We don’t have to let our past dictate our future. One mistake, one hundred mistakes, don’t define who we are. Each year, each month, each day is a chance every single one of us has to decide who we want to be. You can be anyone- why not be the best you, you can be?
That’s so powerful. And you’re exactly what the world needs.
Need help on your journey? You’re not alone! I’ve heard from hundreds of young women who feel the same way.
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