Dear World: The Past Is The Past


            On the morning of October 7th, I spontaneously decided to stray from my regular morning routine of painfully waking up, going to my 7:50 class, and then going back to bed immediately. However, on October 7th, I happened to make the crazy decision to go to Jamba Juice after class. Crazy, I know, but they don't call me “Too Hype Tori” for nothing. 

            On this wild adventure to obtain a delicious (yet nutritious) smoothie, I happened to see a sign advertising a weird thing called, “Dear World”. Since I was full of spontaneity that morning, I decided to look into the campaign. According to it’s website, “Dear World is an interactive, award-winning portrait project that unites people through pictures in their distinct message-on-skin style. Their work has been published in over 30 countries and have been featured on the Today Show, CNN, PBS and in the New York Times, Washington Post and Inc. magazine.” 

            So this weird thing was legit. 

            I decided to go out on a limb and participate in this photo taking opportunity. But what story would I share? Sure, I had stories. I actually had so many stories that I thought my friends secretly hated me for constantly bombarding them with my past. However, for some reason I was stuck on this. 

            How could I summarize one story into a few written words on my body? I am not one to believe in clairvoyants, but this felt like a task only voodoo practitioners could perform. 

            Being the music junkie I am, I went to Spotify for inspiration. I went through almost 200 clips of songs within two hours before I finally picked a quote from, “Two Fingers” by Jake Bugg (have a listen!). This was a song that I had heard too many times, but never really put much thought into analyzing it. 

            The quote that stood out to me in this song was, “so I hold two fingers up to yesterday.” Personally, it serves a reminder that the past is the past. It asks us to continually move on, remembering to let go of what happened yesterday. That sounds crazy, but then again, I am “Too Hype Tori”, so it’s to be expected. 

            This is where my story comes into play. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn this lesson from the song until my senior year of high school. For the first three and a half years of high school, I was asleep. I functioned like a normal human being, but I never truly enjoyed it or felt like I was worth the experiences I was offered. Like many of my peers, I had extremely low self esteem, but in my case, I had not one idea on how to handle it. My mind resorted to many unhealthy options including an eating disorder and intense self-harm. Halfway through senior year, I had a near death experience that caused me to truly wake up from my sleep-walking. I’ll let your imagination wonder, but it was really bad.  

            Before this happened, I was unsure of where I wanted to go to college or even if I wanted to go to college. I couldn't see past the mistakes I had made weeks or even months before. I was stuck on a overly-thought-out past that only I remembered, and everyone else had forgotten. I had everything I needed and more, but living just wasn't fun. It wasn't until life was almost taken from me that I realized how selfish I was for ever wishing I wasn’t living.

            Now, I know that my story isn't as detailed as it should be or a reader would want it to be. But truthfully, I don't think I’m ready to share its entirety yet. However, I wouldn't have even been inspired to share parts of my story if it weren't for the Dear World Campaign. There is something liberating about writing a quote that gets you through every day on your body for the world to see. Everybody has a story, and everybody has a yesterday. Thankfully, I have learned that bad stories are okay to have, because it means that they are part of yesterday.

            So, Dear World, yesterday is important, no doubt. But yesterday doesn't define who I am today. So, I hold two fingers up to yesterday. I got out, I got out, I’m alive, and I’m here to stay.