Closets Are for Clothes was created to serve as a platform for inspiring others to follow their hearts, to love bravely, and to live honestly; because more often than not, the world has told us something else. We’re here to show the world that there is nothing wrong with being yourself, what’s wrong is a society that feels entitled to decide who that is.
Because of our message, people often contact us in search of advice or guidance. Sadly, a lot of the messages we receive are from our youngest followers. Most of them are dealing with bullies at school, or are having trouble at home. As upsetting as it is to read those messages, it is a privilege to play a part in creating a space in which others feel comfortable confiding in. It is my greatest hope, to always feel like a safety net for anyone that is feeling unsafe.
More often than not, the ones who reach out seem to be feeling hopeless. A message that I will always remember came from very young girl. It was a Monday night and we were having a late night meeting. As I went through our direct messages on Instagram, I came across hers. It said “I feel like giving up.” My heart sank with the weight of her words.
Those five words created a wave of anxiety that washed over me, and for a moment I felt helpless. I was overwhelmed by what felt like a thousand different emotions at once. I was nervous, I was scared, I was upset that the world was so careless with her. She was only thirteen. She shouldn’t know this kind of defeat. In that moment of panic, I knew what I had to do.
So I did the one thing that I know best, I wrote to her. I didn’t have to scramble for the words, they just came. Maybe I told her every little thing that I wish someone would have told me. I told her all of the reasons why she needed to stay. I told her how much she had to look forward to. I reminded her of the all the simple pleasures in life. I promised that if she gave it some time, it would get easier. We talked back and forth until she felt better.
I tossed and turned all night. All I could think about was this girl, and how a few hours ago, she was considering giving up. I didn’t know who she was, but her life mattered to me. I wanted to know that she’d keep fighting. I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote.
“…and on the days you wake up thinking you are down for the count, stay. Know that your heavyweight heart is still beating the odds.”
I posted those words on Instagram late that night. In the morning I let her know that she was the inspiration behind it. She’s actually the inspiration behind this entire post. Oddly enough, it was one month ago today that I read her message. One month ago today, I made a friend for life.
We’ve talked regularly since then. You’ll be relieved to know that she’s doing much better. She’s working towards starting a Gay Straight Alliance in her school. A couple weeks ago she let us listen to an anti bullying speech that she gave in class. It gave me goose bumps. She’s a brilliant writer. Her bravery and ambition is inspiring.
This girl will forever hold a special place in my heart. I watched her rise from the darkness. She came out fists raised and swinging, all with the most beautiful smile on her face. She’s miraculous, really. There’s so much fight in her, I can see it. There’s not one doubt in my mind that she’s going to use that strength to make this world a better place. She already has.
It is voices like this we hear in the dark, urging us to shine our light a little brighter. We want you to know that we’re listening, and we aren’t giving up on you. There is so much to look forward to, as long as you choose to stay.
For the ones who have a hard time staying…
I understand that right now you feel entirely alone. You might feel as if you’re the only person in the world ever to endure such pain. Maybe you’ve been suffering quietly for quite some time. Maybe this time, you just don’t see a way out. Maybe that terrifies you. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you feel at peace, almost as though you’re standing so close to the edge that you can finally see the end. However you’re feeling, I am asking you to hold on. Hold on with everything that you have.
You are strong, you know. You wouldn’t still be here if you weren’t. Maybe lately you’ve been feeling anything but, and that’s okay. You just need to be reminded of all the incredible things that you’re capable of. Think of how resilient you’ve been. All these years, and you’ve never given up. From the first day you entered this world, you’ve been fighting for your life. You’re still undefeated.
You’re still here because here is where you belong. Your existence is irreplaceable. Without you, the world would be incomplete. You matter, your life matters. If you don’t feel like you matter to anybody else, know that you matter to me.
It takes guts to stay, I know that. But when the world pushes, you push back. It’s what you’ve always done. Look back at every moment you’ve spent on this earth. Think about every bad day that you pushed through, and how at the time you didn’t think you would. Remember that you did. You always did.
You’re having a hard time, but that’s all that it is- and it’s temporary. The beauty of life is that it’s ever changing. The way that you feel today will not be the way you feel forever.
In the effort to make you feel less alone, I’ll let you in on a secret that I’ve been keeping from nearly everyone. I’ve struggled with depression for my entire life. The first time I wrote a letter with every intention of leaving, I was eleven. It’s not something I feel comfortable talking about, but I’ve realized it’s an important part of my story.
Until today, I thought admitting that would mean to admit that I am weak. I’ve never wanted to paint myself as anything other than strong. To be honest, posting something this personal terrifies me. I just want you to know that you aren’t broken. The feelings you have are valid. They don’t make you any less powerful. To struggle means to put up a fight, and the greatest fight in this world is the fight for your life.
So I get it. I know what it is to feel hollow. I know how easy it can be to lose your way. I know how scary it is to no longer see yourself when you imagine the future. Never surrender. To surrender to the pain would be to surrender all hope for a better tomorrow.
The bad days won’t last forever. Soon there will be great days. They’ll be days where you fall madly in love with all beauty that exists in the world. They’ll be nights that you wish would never end. You’ll meet unforgettable people. You’ll make memories. You’ll take pictures. You’ll smile until your cheeks hurt. You’ll laugh until your sides split. You’ll kiss in the rain. You’ll dance alone in the kitchen while your waffles burn. You’ll steal somebody’s heart. You’ll give yours away. And one day, you will know that life is good.
Until then, do what it takes to stay. Find a creative outlet. When I’m feeling low, I write. Every once and a while it turns into something that I’m proud of. But most times, it’s terrible poetry that I laugh about later. If writing isn’t your thing, paint. Even if you’ve never held a brush in your life. Maybe you’ll create a masterpiece. Maybe you’ll paint something so hideous that it actually makes you smile. Keep it. Get in your car and drive with no destination, sing your heart out along the way. Find a field and scream. Binge on Ben and Jerry’s while watching cartoons. Give your mind a rest. Write a love letter to yourself. Remind yourself how strong you’ve been.
Remember everything I told you. Remember you’ve been here before. Don’t give up your chances. Life will get easier. You will be happy again. You belong here. Your life matters to me. If you need a friend, you’ve got one right here.
Closets Are For Clothes and we will never surrender.