When 2017 came to an end, I made several goals. One of them was to become spiritually, mentally and physically healthier. I had no idea what this journey would entail, but I’ll tell you that it has been so rewarding at times, frustrating at times, lonely from time to time. Finding out who you are, who you want to be and where you want to go is no easy task, but it’s the most important journey I’ve ever been on.
I took time away from people, even my closest friends and family that live near by to find the answers I was looking for. I didn’t don’t if a new job is what I needed. I didn’t know if I wanted new friends. I didn’t know if moving across country would help. I just felt lost, in a way. However, the answer was so much easier than I thought, it was right inside me the whole time. I hadn’t focused nearly enough time to finding a solution; I was focused on my problems. I just needed to clarify who I am and than that helped me figure out what I wanted and how to get that.
Being yourself is risky, you may face rejection. Being yourself is vulnerable; And being vulnerable is scary. Is it possible though that it’s worst living a lifestyle, trying to keep up & impress people that you probably (deep-down) don’t care about impressing? This is how I was feeling when I decided I wanted to embark on this journey. From high school pressures, to the quick growing-up you to do in college, to the insecurities that parenting brings, to the workplace conflict you encounter while trying to find common interests with people you otherwise wouldn’t know how to get along with… It’s not the easiest road to navigate.
But in the long-run, I think we owe it to our-self to live the way we want to live; unfiltered. You’re capable of being your best self, and it took me 26 years to realize this myself. You know you’re capable of taking the risk and staying focused on the good that is to come outweighs those fears of risking, trying and than failing. Even if some people don’t understand, you can find a way to pursue the life and work and friends you’ve always wanted. The cliche term, “We only live once” is overused, but it’s so true. Personally, I didn’t want to waste another minute trying to fit in with people, impress people, or live for them more than I was living for myself. I learned this by a lot of self-reflection, by bringing myself out of a deep depression that helped me realize what’s truly important in life.
I’m weird. I’ve learned to own it! I refused to live another day on what I call, “surviving and not merely living”. I wasn’t happy and when people asked why? I had no specific answer. I could ramble on amount the people that annoyed me that day, the things that didn’t go my way, the dreams I hadn’t accomplished yet, but I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. I had plenty of friends, a job I had to work incredibly hard to prove myself at and a fabulous family who loved me, especially my husband who has been my rock and better half during all my ups and downs. Of course, I can go to the gym more. I could probably get my nails done, hair done and shop more to feel ‘better on the outside’ and boost confidence. I could probably go out and party more like everyone else my age is doing. Than there is good ol’ depression. I use to blame my sad and bad days on my depression. Although I won’t downplay that Major Depressive Disorder plays a daily role in my life, I constantly battle the negative self talk that plays in my head like a broken tape recorded. However, that wasn’t the issue either. I found my answer after I took time away from the world and dedicated it to myself. The things I mentioned aren’t who I am, they don’t truly bring the happiness that I want and need. So, I dug deep into who I wanted to be, qualities I aspired to have and made tough decisions (and goals) of creating a life that didn’t include everyone and everything I had in it before. That doesn’t make me selfish I realized, it makes me determined. Determined to live my one and only life the way I wanted and on my terms. I no longer fear rejection, after all– you can’t make everyone happy. I no longer feared living up to societies expectations– because that’s too much for one to bare no matter who you are. I was excited when I came to terms that I owed nobody anything. I didn’t need to say sorry if I was simply saying how I felt in a respectful way. I can show confidence, self-esteem and self-love in a respectful way too. Life has a funny way of putting itself in perspective when you realize the small things, the little things, matter most. At least, to me they do.
And if your like me where you’ve lived a life full of trials, trauma and hardships from the age of 5; than you have to work extra hard to find these answers yourself. I started doing this by unlearning the lessons that had been taught to me.
Whatever cards life gave you, whether you think they are fair or not; Please don’t give up. You are worth it. NOBODY is like you and nobody can do the great things you can bring into this world. It doesn’t matter where you are coming from, it matters where you are going to go. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, it matters what you do from here and only you can turn those thoughts into actions.
In hopes that someone reading this will find time to search for the answers that will bring them the self-worth they’re lacking but deserve, know you aren’t alone. If you suffer from anxiety, be easy on yourself. Some days are just going to be tough, end of story. But those days will end and tomorrow is always a new day. Just remember, tomorrow isn’t promised and it’s important you make the most of the moments you’re living in right now. That’s the mantra that gets me through those days.
If you’re doubting your abilities to put the work in and go after what you want, you have it in you– it might just be deeply buried, but it’s there. Comparing yourself doesn’t make this journey any easier. If everyone was the same, how boring would it be? If you aren’t the type that likes to go out every weekend, that’s great. There are plenty of people who do enjoy that and you don’t have to be one. If you aren’t the type that likes to be the “life of the party” in a group setting, that doesn’t make you any less confident, worthy or less of a person. You are unique in your own ways and you have habits that those people might not. The truth is, the last thing you want is to be bitter, but the second-last thing you want is regret. To avoid regret, you have to make active decisions. I think moving forward is better than remaining stationary.
I’ve made small steps, one day at a time; reflecting on who I want to be, what are important values I see in other people that I want to posses and what are values I don’t want & how can I work on eliminating them. You’ll fall sometimes only to pick yourself back up. Being kind to yourself in everyday life is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
I’ll end with the a few things that I’ve found to
be crucial in this journey of finding who I am:
- Invest in yourself. Do things you like to do. I personally find more fun hanging out with a small group of loved ones, doing the little things in life that mean the most to me. I fill my days with meaningful actions and activities.
- Reflect on what you are using Social Media for. I’m guilty of using social media as a way of showing off the best parts of my life, but with that came a subconscious reality I realized: I felt like I was having to prove to my ‘social media friends’ my life was great & I was fun or doing cool things. How silly right? It served absolutely no purpose in my journey. I now post every once in a while and it’s almost always to save my pictures so I can print and use them later. For me, when I stopped using Social Media everyday and started focusing on the present moment, people and things right in front of me… I noticed a huge difference in my quality of life.
- Find the truth and exception when an inner critic or outer critic attacks. If someone you’ve chosen to be in your inner circle gives you feedback, it’s important to reflect and see where they’re coming from. The best friends aren’t afraid to help you better self. If it’s work related, it’s important to at least consider feedback. It’s not always going to be true, but perhaps your actions were misunderstood and responsibility on your own does need to be taken. We don’t gain anything from a little pain, right? I feel that we live in a world where so many people don’t spend enough time working on themselves and those people are usually the first to critique the truly happy. Listen to the critics, and choose wisely what you can apply and what you can’t simply let go. It’s a sad fact in today’s society, but not everyone wants to see you happy or has your best interest in the world. I don’t think that is naive to think, it’s just the truth unfortunately. However, it doesn’t mean it has to affect you. I’m sure you still have too many people to count who you mean the world too.
- Be Kind to Yourself & Others: The world is filled with enough people trying to rain on your parade. Learn to de-stress when you need to, learn what you can from mistakes instead of beating yourself about it and be kind towards others. In a world full of such diverse people and personalities; acceptance is key. Being kind can make a world of difference to strangers, friends or anyone you run into. After all, we are all on this journey called: L.I.F.E. Accepting others for their differences, holding back judgement, ultimately just treating people the way you want to be treated shows more about yourself and who you are.Don’t forget, By reminding yourself of great benefits such as:
better life results, more perseverance, higher self-esteem, more inner happiness and stillness, more positive relationships with yourself and other people it becomes easier to stay kind to yourself through life’s natural ups and downs. What more can you ask for?
Go out there and conquer the world, friends.
Just the way you were BORN to.