“The only person you have to live with for the rest of your life is you.”
Spoken in passing by a short-lived friend, these words have stuck with me since the moment they were uttered.
Growing up as a dancer has developed me into somewhat of a verbalized-approval kind of girl. In order to know that I am doing something well, I need that teacher to tell me “Good, Lexie,” or “That’s it!” Satisfaction and ease comes with knowing that someone else recognizes my hard work. Years and years of being trained to hear these words in the classroom have groomed me to expect the same in my personal life. Freshman year of college is notoriously difficult, and my year was no exception. During that period of major trial, reaffirming words from my professors seemed few and far between. My happiness depended solely on the words of others. Why wasn’t I feeling better when I did well in dance class? Why didn’t complimentary words from professors and peers help me feel any better about myself?
It wasn’t until that summer that I began to understand what I was missing. Now I know. I was missing out on the wonderful parts of myself.
At that point, 18 years into my life, I never understood how important it was to spend time with me. How could I possibly live a “happy” life off of the approval of others when I didn’t even know if I approved of myself? How could I expect people to want to be around me when I didn’t even want to be around me?
Three months between freshman and sophomore year of college changed my perspective. I was able to pinpoint the source of my insecurity, and begin to harness it as an essential and beautiful part of my being. Ashamed as I was to admit it, anxiety is a part of who I am. Though I have learned to manage it, I deal with anxiety on a deep level. I am adventurous, particular, a leader, a perfectionist. I am full of faith and believe in the Lord God as my savior. Lexie Thrash is a creative individual with many flaws but also a plethora of talents. I am confident in all facets of me.
Today, when I hear “Good, Lexie” in a dance class, I am still reassured. Now with my ability to appreciate who I am on my own terms, those comments are not the basis of my happiness. My happiness comes from inside of who I am. It radiates from my being. I still get scared. I still deal with anxiety. But I choose to see those parts as essential puzzle pieces to my ever-growing and developing picture. It sounds odd to put it writing, but I now know that my best friend need always be myself (and my God).
I guess my lesson is this: After taking time to learn who you are and accepting all parts of yourself, you will be on your way to a more wholesome, fulfilling life. The only person you need to live with is YOU.
Today, I will leave you with this. Do you like the person you are today? Are you proud of every facet of yourself? It’s ok if your answer is “maybe” or “not really.” It’s not an easy feat, nor is it a journey that happens quickly. I am still learning each day to accept who I am. What I do know is that I am a beautiful, wonderful child of God. I am HUMAN. I am flawed, but I am my own best friend. That is the greatest lesson I have ever learned.
-Lesson by Lexie Thrash-
Lexie Thrash is a senior at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, working towards dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and the Integrated Advertising nd Corporate Communication (IACC) concentration of Media Arts and Design. She is an aspiring performing and visual artist. When she isn’t dancing and designing, Lexie loves to spend her spare time collecting Snapple caps, learning to play the guitar, and visiting the beach. She has studied abroad in London, England through the JMU Dance Department, and is currently in Los Angeles with the School of Media Arts and Design for the Summer 2015 semester. With dreams of experiencing many different cultures throughout her lifetime, Lexie plans to spend a year traveling the world upon graduation
from college, and potentially relocate to New York City, NY. You can read more about her adventures in her blog, www.dancerdesigner.wordpress.com.