Like many things, I felt this at the tender age of six. It was when we were asked to pick seat partners for the upcoming field trip. For some odd reason, I wanted to sit next to a girl, covered in an infectious coating of cooties, something that I had failed to see. I was turned down with the ever-so-innocent “ew”, and while the class erupted in playful laughter, I accepted defeat and took a seat next to my friend.

I felt this way throughout high school. But let’s be honest, it’s only natural during that season of life. In a place where cliques run rampant, top grades lead to acceptance letters, and awkward sloppy first kisses are had, high school is filled with inferiority complexes. But one particular moment that comes to mind is when she left without any warning. The days that followed, I had so many unanswered questions, so many words left unsaid, and a knife slowly twisting in my chest.

Then it came again after college graduation. When the ‘good job’ turned into whispers behind cupped hands and the triumphant smiles turned into looks of disappointment, that is when I knew. The feeling began to swell in the depths of my chest for God knows how long. Maybe for a few months? Maybe even until now? Either way, the feeling remained rooted in my chest, making it difficult to comprehend my worth. Or if I was worth anything for that matter.

In these moments, I do not feel infinite. In these moments, I felt inferior and weak and that everything I did/do/continue-to-do is for naught. And sometimes, I think those words are right. That I really won’t amount to anything. But in these moments of darkness, I also look for strength. I somehow gather the courage to become a beacon of hope to others, to serve as a reminder that there is an end to the darkness. You need to only realize that there is a light. A light that is called “you”.


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