By Elizabeth Ainsley

I’m giving the fuck up on the parts of my life I only think I have to sustain. I’m starting to believe that “what I’m not” creates the contrast for me to see “what I am,” and I’m starting to believe that maybe you can’t have everything in life, but that you can have what really, sincerely matters to you, if you’re one of the lucky ones who figure that out before it’s too late.

I am never going to be the most beautiful woman in the room. I pass by store windows when I walk down the street and watch the way my legs rotate in front of one another, and they are not as slender or sleek as I imagine, as I hope. My apartment will always look ordinary. I may never get to the dishes before bed. I am not the best cook. I have tried many things and found that I was not very good at them.


So I’m giving the fuck up on thinking that I even want to be beautiful. I give the fuck up every night when I leave my dishes in the sink because I need to prioritize sleep. I give the fuck up when I choose not to spend my paycheck on trendy clothes, and put it toward my student loans, because my dreams are not to be a well-clothed woman of society, but actually to be someone who doesn’t have many living expenses, so I can afford to live more than I work.

I am giving the fuck up on wanting a lot of friends. I have a few close friends who are wonderful to me, and if that’s not the most fortunate thing in a life, I don’t know what is. I’m giving the fuck up on wanting to be beautiful. I’ve been beautiful. I didn’t feel better. I feel good – really, really good – when I’m wearing my favorite sweater. I don’t want to be someone who wears a sweater because it’s fashionable, I want to be someone who wears a sweater because it’s cold. I’m giving the fuck up on everything else.

What’s funny is that we’re told giving up is the worst thing you can do, the final mark of failure, yet, the courage to give up on the things that hurt you, that you’re not made for, that you’re not meant for, that you were never intended to be… is probably the most noble, and the most worthwhile, and the most fearlessly brave thing you can do in a life.

Give the fuck up on what doesn’t matter, so you can make room for what does. Give the fuck up on the person you never really wanted to be. Surrender and say: I may never be rich. I may never be beautiful. I may never be any of the elusive things I dream my worth depends on. Even if that is the case, I will still live a damn good life. Because I gave the fuck up on letting my energy drain through infinite black holes, and dead relationships, and images that are as flimsy as they are fleeting.

I am giving the fuck up on everything but the few things that matter to me, and for the first time, I am starting to feel a little free.

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