[caption id="attachment_1948" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Nevermind the naysayers - they'll know you can fly when they're on the ground looking up at the soles of your feet!"][/caption]
Know your worth. Every force that threatens to cause you to defeat yourself (because you are the only one who can*), will only be able to do so if you don't know and embrace yourself in entirety: the aspects you believe to be wonderful as well as those elements that you would like to improve. Be the best YOU that you can be, while knowing that you will fall short of your goals at times. Be patient with yourself. You are not a machine, you are something far, far greater than that: you are a human being.
In the history of the world, there has never been another human being just like you, and after you have passed on, there will never be another 'you' to come. You are special, but so is everyone else. Be kind to all.
Because you are unique, the world has no idea who you are until you show them. They can guess, and they will try to force you to fit into a box with a little handle that makes you easy to carry and trot out whenever they need you to do something that suits 'them,' but YOU are best served by living truthfully and rejecting anything that is incongruous with, not what you believe to be true according to your intellect, but incongruous with what you know to be true in your spirit.
The world has no idea what to do with you because the world has never seen anything like you before. don't blame the world for its ignorance, we are all ignorant of a great many things, and we do what we know to do. When we know better, we do better.
Know this: If you count on others to tell you who you are, you will only ever become what others allow you to be. You will never grow in to the fullness of whomever you were meant to be, and the world will never receive the gifts that only you can provide.
Also know this: No matter what decisions you've made or been subject to before this moment, as long as you breathe, you can choose your next move. Equipped with that knowledge, decide today:
Who will you become?
*"A [hu]man can be destroyed, but not defeated." --Ernest Hemingway, "The Old Man and the Sea
(This post was originally published on December 26, 2009 - still relevant today...)