Originally published on Milk.xyz
Out of my 20 years of living I have learned three vital things. The first thing I learned is that usually when people are accustomed to a particular set of beliefs, they deem things that they are not familiar with, as “wrong.” A lot of times, people fear stepping out of their preferred level of comfortability, and are afraid of living in their truth or finding happiness on their own. They then allow others to corrupt their truth. I have grown to learn that my truth can never be wrong because it’s specific to me. And how am I to tell someone else that their truth is wrong? It took a long time for me to realize stand in and be confident in my truth. To really embrace myself for who I am and free myself from the constraints of others. Stepping out of my comfort zone was challenging, but refreshing in more ways than one. I spent my entire youth going and growing through phases trying to maneuver my way through life in the eyes of others who really did not know the real me. I attempted to assimilate into groups thinking it would be easier if I could just blend in to fit like everyone else. I was pretending to be someone that I was not. All that made me realize that the things I thought I valued the most, didn’t matter much at all. But being myself, a concept that seems so simple, yet was so intangible in that moment, meant more than anything. I realized that I can never go wrong with just being myself because people gravitate towards that genuine, raw, and passionate energy.
The second thing I’ve learned is that short cuts do not exist when it comes to happiness. In order to truly be happy, one has to know themselves. Inside and outside. In the deepest of manners. When I decided at the age of 18 that I was going to find out who I really was and discover the things that truly make me who I am, I had to give it my all. I could not take any shortcuts to happiness and expect to be completely whole.
The third thing I’ve learned is that loving yourself is a constant, daily task. I have to wake up every single day and choose to love me for me. Love all of my flaws, shortcomings, and insecurities. My skin, my voice, my body, my talent, my truth. Everything God made me. Every day won’t be easy as the others, but I remind myself of the journey I’ve been on. I think about the burden of depression and anxiety that weighed on my life in the past and the strides that I’ve taken to choose to not let those things consume me. To see the progress I make day by day. Every day I choose to perfect my craft. Whether it's music or my body or something about my personality that I could improve, I do it. I will never completely change myself, but I want to be the absolute best version of me that I can be. I’ll never forget where I came from, but I never want to go back to the old me. I’ll continue to work on me and chase the happiness I deserve and hope to inspire others to live in their truths along the way.
Chris Wyldin is a trans artist & model.