how i’ve changed in recent years by Donna-Marie Riley

I am less concerned with other people’s thoughts, preconceptions, and assumptions about me. I wash my hands more. I try to substitute chocolate for fruit and yoghurts. I do not believe grades are an accurate measure of my intelligence. I do not believe the number of people attracted to me is a measure of my worth. I speak out more often against judgements I do not agree with. My voice shakes less. I use my legs as my primary means of transport. I am kinder to children. I am kinder to myself. I do crosswords and play word games to keep my brain active, but moreso because they’re fun. I let go of people when they want to leave. I no longer compete with other women. Though I am still often envious of those who are smarter, prettier, brighter, better at socialising, I do not resent them for it. I applaud them. When debating an issue, I try to say what I believe calmly and firmly, without getting overly aggressive or defensive. I still go outside when it rains. I spend less time doing my hair. I wear what I want to even when others tell me they do not like it. I make a conscious effort to recycle more. I cut out the people in my life that make me feel anxious, uncomfortable, or negative about myself. I am no longer afraid to sleep in the dark, with the exception of nights I watch horror movies when I am alone in a big house. I wash my hair less, shave my legs less, try to smile more. I call my parents. I am patient with my siblings. I choose my words with great consideration. I accept that I am not responsible for other people’s happiness, nor is anyone else responsible for mine. When it rains, I still go outside. I start conversations with strangers. I tell women in changing rooms that whatever they’re trying on looks fantastic on them. But only if it really does. I’m not here to sabotage anyone. I take more photographs of myself and am less ashamed when I do. They are a project in liking myself. And they help. And they hurt no one. And I do not have to explain this. I try to take my own advice. I try to take others’ when I think it will benefit me. I laugh loudly. I sing badly. I love gently. I write honestly. I believe strongly. I live hopefully. I live hopefully. I live hopefully.
how i’ve changed in recent years by Donna-Marie Riley

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