Don’t fit in if it hurts.
Don’t bend and twist yourself, to fit into other people’s shapes. You have your very own lines, curves, and angles; and your outline is just as precious. Don’t mess with your mind by drawing comparisons between a circle and a square. Don’t mould and man-handle yourself until you’re no longer the person you once knew, and could’ve learned to adore.
Don’t do anything simply because you think you should. And don’t allow anyone to convince you you should either. Don’t be afraid to say no to all the things you know won’t bring you happiness. And don’t be afraid to say yes to the ones that promise to set your soul on fire.
Don’t dedicate your life to pleasing others. Don’t fall into the trap of striving to make him and her and them proud. Promise me you’ll always make yourself proud first, okay? Go your own way. Pave a new path. Because this is your life; and you must fill it with the colour, beauty, and music that will make your heart sing.
Don’t let anyone tell you who you are, or who you might become.
Because that is all still up to you.
Don’t let yourself be steered off the path you know you’re meant to take. Don’t pay attention to idle gossip and toxic whispers. And don’t allow whatever happens to you in this life, to change you. To label you. Or damage you. Because you are so much stronger than any of the challenges thrown your way.
Don’t say you’re sorry, when you’re not. Don’t give out your apologies, when too many are still waiting and IOY’d to you. Don’t pardon the person you are. Not your thoughts, your choices, or your actions. Don’t shrink yourself down to cater to other people’s egos. Don’t spend your life excusing yourself.
Don’t try and fake a smile when you’re hurting. When tears are flooding your insides. Don’t pretend you’re okay when you’re crying on the floor. Don’t think you always have to be this strong, unbreakable woman. Don’t think your pain needs to be shadowed, because that pain makes you human. That pain makes you an un-edited picture of raw beauty.
Don’t be afraid of goodbyes.
Don’t be afraid to leave, if you’ve outgrown your space, and the people who once filled it up.
Don’t endlessly give the best parts of your soul, to those who give you nothing but heartache in return. Don’t be afraid to walk out on someone who treats you badly, and doesn’t alight your sparkle. And don’t be afraid to never look back. Because the past can never help you move forward.
And don’t try to fit in if it hurts. Because it shouldn’t. Don’t collect bruises and scars, and confuse them as badges of honour. Don’t wear those battle wounds proudly, because in time you’ll see they’ve cut you deeper than you thought. Don’t let those cuts run too deep, or else soon enough you won’t recognise who you are. Don’t fit in if it hurts. Because I promise you it’s not supposed to hurt. If something ever stings your heart, it’s a sign from the universe warning you this is not meant for you.
Praise for Bloom by Shani Jay
“I read Bloom in one night. I started feeling hopeless and pushed down. Shani picked me up, dusted me off, and guided me to self-love in a few short hours with only print. Truly inspiring” – Rebecca Barnoff