The world isn’t doing you some kind of great favor by letting you exist.
You have as much of a right to pursue happiness as anyone else. You have as much of a right to carve out your own path as anyone else. You have as much of a right to form your own ideas as anyone else. If you don’t have a right to be here, no one else does. If everyone else has a right to be here, so do you.
Hold your space with confidence. Stand your ground with poise. When you walk, walk with dignity. You don’t need to avert your gaze when standing in the presence of others. You don’t need to bow your head and whisper softly when you ask questions or express opinions. Be who you are without apology.
No one owns the air you breathe. Inhale it freely. No one owns the thoughts you think. Dream freely. No one owns the convictions you feel. Feel what you want to feel. No one owns your body. Stand how you wish to stand. No one owns your voice. Say what you truly want to say. No one owns your capacity to choose. Live as you believe.
Some people say you only get one life to live. Others say you’ll get an afterlife when this one is over. Then there are those who say you’ll get many lives after this one. Here’s my question: which life do you have to be in before you give yourself permission to live with a little self-respect?
All you will ever have is the present moment. The future is an idea that you’re contemplating right now. The past is a memory that you’re contemplating right now. The notion of another life at another time is an idea that you’re contemplating in this life at this time. When the future finally gets close enough for you to actually experience it, it will become the present moment. Whether you have one life or many lives, you always have only one moment in which you can live it: now!
Always keep working to increase your future value, but don’t wait to start carrying yourself like someone who has current value.
Start respecting yourself now. Start thinking for yourself now. Stop putting other people on a pedestal now. Stop waiting for external validation now.
You belong here. Act like it.