I had page and pages of memories, thoughts, happiness, tears, confusion, every emotion known to man all written down from the past year. It was a wonderful therapeutic way to work through things I was dealing with. I went back and read over things from time to time. I knew toward the end of the year, at some point it would be necessary to get rid of it forever. While the pages were filled with the hard mental work I had done, they were also easily took me back to a place of not feeling good enough. My self worth on those pages was in a word….atrocious.

For some reason though I knew I had to get rid of it, I had been struggling the last few weeks to go through with it. I had collected all the books, lose papers, etc and put them in one drawer. There they sat taunting me. Today however, I had to put something away in this drawer, and there they were staring back at me. I took a deep breath, sat on my floor in my bedroom and started reading. I skimmed through to important dates over the past year, moments I knew I had made big leaps or had huge setbacks. I was so sad. No matter what I had said outwardly through that time, I was in so much pain more often then not. Behind closed doors I was often in a puddle of tears, trying to work through all the years of words that made me believe that I still wasn’t good enough.

As I read through the pages I saw things like, “I’m so ashamed.” There was a reference regarding my hearing loss: “being broken, its a terrifying lonely place….sitting in a room full of people that you are sure are talking bad about you, because you can’t hear anything. It’s not something you get “relief” from. It never goes away. You’re always broken, always different, always too complicated for others to deal with.” And the most painful one I read…”I never let anyone get close to me. I’m terrified once they see the real Jen, they’ll realize I’m boring, basic, simple, never going to be enough.”

I’m sitting here with huge tears running down my face. Why would I share something so bad. Why would I share my insecurities? The same reason I’ve shared anything else so far. If there is one person who is feeling like that who can read this and know you aren’t alone. AND I’m going to tell you something….YOU ARE ENOUGH! Anyone who can’t see that isn’t enough for you. Regardless of what makes you “different” if someone isn’t willing to make adjustments necessary, they don’t deserve to be in your life. Not all of us can be beautiful blondes with their shit together, some of us are just boring, basic, simple, doing life the best we can, caring about others, trying to get better then we were the day before….and that is more then enough…that’s pretty damn extrodinary.

I finished skimming through the pages. The last few tear drops falling down my face and I ripped them from their bindings. I set out with a lighter and a bucket and headed out to the bitter cold to burn it all. Initially the flames burnt slow and often went out, requiring me to relight the papers. Then suddenly, it all went up in flames. And just like that the pain, the memories, the details were all blacken pages and ashes.

Of course I still have the memories of the year, I will have those forever. But instead of rereading those pages, going back down the rabbit hole, feeling those same painful emotions with each word I read; now I can just draw from the strength that came after the words were written. There will always be days like today, when those memories come back and haunt me, but that work I did on all those pages (several hundred pages) last year, was worth every hand cramp, dried up ink pen, and tear smeared ink page, that it took to get me through so much.

So today I burned it all, I’m turn the page, and I’m moving on. What will the next book look like? I’m certain it will be filled with its share of hardships and pain; but it will also likely be full of the strength and self love that I have been building this last year.