Get Out Your Glitter: a Note on the New Year, Growth, and Sparkling Birthdays.

It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago when I wrote this.

I reread it tonight. Funny, I actually cringed because  I’m a little sad for ‘that’ me. I was terribly, excruciatingly unhappy. I’m at my worst when I’m defensive and ‘tough’. Really, I am kind of matter-of-fact without puffing up and throwing the word ‘fuck’ around too much. Don’t get me wrong, I think I needed to be there for a bit. And this isn’t indicative of feeling like I was on the wrong path, but instead, a way for me to actually see how much I’ve grown this year.

A tiny comparison:

2010 (the end): I’m kicking and screaming and taking what I want. If you don’t fit into that equation, go fuck yourself.

2011 (the end): I’m smiling because I trust myself. I’m proud of the progress I’m making. I don’t need anyone to provide validation. I am enough.

I don’t need to tell you that I’m going to stomp around in 2012, because I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I’ve worked hard. I mean really, really hard. I’m happy and that’s all that needs to be said. That’s what has made all of the difference.


In July of 2009, only a few days after leaving Mike, I wrote myself a note. It’s one that I haven’t shared with many people and one that I’ve kept.  I want to share it with you.

Dear Fina,

Remember who you are today, would ya? Smile and love…think…seek to understand. Never question your ability to complete a task. You are one of the smartest people I know. Don’t lie. Think about the possibility of being a non-smoker. Run off your stress and take pride in your body. You are always happier when you’re thin (and exercising).

Please pay your bills before you spend your paycheck. Go grocery shopping and buy healthy food.

Don’t be too hard on yourself about your past. Please forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Some things you can’t control, so LET GO & MOVE FORWARD!

Be empathetic and do what’s right. You’re a good person, lady. Start behaving that way.

Two and a half years later, I’ve finally taken this advice. It wasn’t as if I wasn’t trying before; it’s not like this was easy for me. PTSD and body dysmorphia (yes, it’s a new diagnosis that I’ve yet to mention) don’t make life easy. But I quit smoking and dropped a few inches from my waistline in 2011, and I’m getting better with my money (even taking a finance class through the DV organization). I’m kinder to myself and to others. I don’t lie to people about who I am or where I’ve been.

I still wake up and fight the battle. I still have to make decisions consciously. It still feels strange to remind myself that other people aren’t out to get me. But I’m okay with all of that now. I’m actually proud that I can acknowledge how difficult all of it is. My brain is graffitied with the good and the bad, and it will always be, but I can identify which is which now.

Life doesn’t have to be easy to be good, and somewhere between abuse and recovery this fact left me. But it’s back now. And I’m so very, very thankful to have this clear and poignant message resonating through every ounce of my body. Life doesn’t have to be easy to be good.

My journey isn’t over. I need to get rid of the war inside of my brain. To trust or not to trust, that is the question. Next, my brain needs to stop telling my body that what Mike said about it is or ever was true. You aren’t ugly, Fina. Then, sometime after these two things happen, I’m going to need to make the decision to let someone else love me again. Everyone isn’t abusive.

I’ll get there, and I know that now, even though I didn’t 365 days ago.

Oh yeah, I’m turning 29 on the 29th of December, making it my golden birthday. Not only is my life becoming mine again, but it’s on the brink of something that’s supposed to be sparkly…get out your glitter, friends.


One thought on “Get Out Your Glitter: a Note on the New Year, Growth, and Sparkling Birthdays.

  1. It isn’t always easy to look back at the pivotal points of our personal growth – but it is always worth it. You have an advantage that many people don’t. You lived your last year OUT LOUD…making it easy to see the stark contrast of where you are today.

    I am so very proud of you. And excited for you.

    Happy Birthday, pretty girl. ❤

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