subject line: get it all out of my life August 15, 2017 by Hannah Brencher Portland, Oregon i’ve taken a lot of things out of my life this past year. i stopped wearing makeup. i stopped needing to drink. i stopped wasting my life away scrolling through an Instagram feed full of inauthentic pictures and people that i really don’t care about. i stopped hanging out with the wrong people just because i felt obligated to. i stopped being the wrong person just because i felt obligated to. and the thing is, sure, i’m still learning how to stop more things. ideally, i want to stop making excuses for myself. i want to stop being afraid. i want to stop overthinking everything. but i’m getting somewhere. i’m making my moves. and lately i’ve been coming to this small but mighty realization: who ever said that i have to be there, now? i’ve got goals and i’ve got dreams, and no, i haven’t gotten to all of them yet, but if i did, what would i have left to drive me? the key is that i’m moving. i’m taking the steps to be a better me. i’m slowly caring less and less what other people think. i’m resting in the powerful fact that i know who the hell i am and no one can change that. no one needs to tell me how to live, or who i am supposed to be. that’s for me to figure out. there will always be a silver lining. as lonely as it seems to be, i won’t ever really be alone. because if i have the gift of knowing who i am and never letting it waver, will i ever truly be alone? i just want to be that girl, you know? the one who doesn’t give a shit anymore. the one who never changes depending on who she’s with or where in the world she is. and if that means cutting almost everything out of my life that society tries to tell me is NECESSARY, well then so be it. get it out of my life. i don’t need all the shit that America tells me i need to be a normal, twenty-two-year-old woman. because why should we ever be striving to be “normal”, anyways? who ever said that was best? i didn’t. i say weird is best. i say brave is best. i say the girls who are confident enough to run around screaming who they are in everything they do are best. and so i’m here to tell you that i don’t need makeup, or alcohol, or Instagram to be myself. because none of that shit defines me. i’m sick and tired of watching beautiful women around me feel like they wouldn’t be themselves without these things. i want to scream, at myself and at you: WE DON’T NEED THIS. let’s get rid of it all and just be who God created us to be. raw, authentic, phenomenal.