It's Not a Recent Photograph


It's not a recent photograph but someone said post a picture that will convince me you are happy.
It's not a recent photograph but this girl, the one captured in this image, she's happy. She's got a twinkle in her eye and a secret in her heart. And she thought she had it all figured out.
It's not a recent photograph but I can assure you that girl is happy.

A few months ago, I swore I'd gotten it right. I would have told anyone that at 24, I figured out the secret to happiness. A few months ago, I truly believed that. But lately, I'd tell you I'm scared for that girl in the photograph. I'm scared because she was so happy. And up until a few days ago, I'd have told you I lost that girl. I was so scared that she'd be gone forever.

That girl, she believed in fairy tales and love stories like those in the movies. She believed in good people and good intentions. She had high expectations for the world and she demanded they be met. She had a pure heart, one that she wore on her sleeve.

But that girl, she learned the hard way that life is full of unexpected turns. That even after months of thinking she'd gotten it right, everything was all wrong. And that girl, she lost her faith in love. She started to believe the world to be the dark place she was warned about so many times. She gave up on people, and on herself. She took her heart from her sleeve and locked it away behind stone walls instead.

It's not a recent photograph because a recent one wouldn't convince you that I'm happy.
It's not a recent photograph because that girl, she went away. She traded that twinkle in her eyes for tears on her pillowcase. And that secret in her heart only caused pain and confusion.
It's not a recent photograph because I can't say my eyes have shown happiness in the last few months.

A few days ago, I knew I had to let go of the anger in order to heal from the pain. I'd tell anyone that at 24, you won't have life figured out and there is not secret to happiness. A few days ago, I chose to forgive - I chose to forgive myself and to forgive someone very important to me. Because regardless of apologies, forgiveness is the only way to find peace. Up until a few days ago, I was terrified I'd never find that girl again, the one in the photograph. I was terrified that she was never coming back. But today, I know that she'll come back.

It will take time. But this girl believes in fairy tales and love stories like those in the movies. I believe in good people and good intentions. I have high expectations for the world and I demand they be met. I have a pure heart, that I will one day wear on my sleeve again.

Life is full of curve balls and unpredictable events, but that's how it works. And that's part of the beauty. No matter how many times we think we got it right, something is going to shake us up a bit. But you can't lose faith - not in love, or people, or life in general. The world is a beautiful place and it's only has harsh as you allow it to be. You can't give up, especially on yourself. You can't hide your heart from the world.

It's not a recent photograph because I had a story to tell, one that reminds us it gets better.
It's not a recent photograph but I'm going to be alright. I may still cry, because pain doesn't go away over night. But my heart, it's full of love.
It's not a recent photograph but I can assure you, I'll find happiness again.

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