Some people will get mad at you for not being who they want you to be. One of the biggest forms of self-betrayal is living your life by their rules instead of your own. Your task is simple: be kind, be real, be humble, keep growing, and unapologetically live your best life.
How many times have you uttered to yourself, “but what will so and so say?” We put so much importance on what others will say if we do something that it can actually stop us from doing that very thing. For me, it comes down to wanting to live my life for me, not my friends, not my family, not even my partner, but for me! When I put myself in front of anyone else, some might say that is selfish, when really I think it’s selfless. I’m learning to live my life with me as a priority which means when I want to do something, when I feel a certain way, and when I make a choice, I’m not waiting to rub someone the wrong way. I’m not waiting for permission! I’ve spent a lot of time dressing, thinking, and acting how other people expect me to. While my partner is no doubt my best friend, she doesn’t try to stop me from being me (hello red flag) nor does she prioritize me above herself. In that way, we both can be successful apart and thrive when we come together.
When I got married at 25, I worried what people would say. When I started my divorce at 26 I knew people would talk. When I got into and out of relationships relatively quickly I could feel the assumptions of others.
But, from where I’m sitting now at 28 with a woman who loves me, goals I am achieving every day, a successful job, and space to travel, I truly feel like I’m so happy I just keep being me, even as the me of today evolves tomorrow. No one can live your life for you. If you feel like something is right in your bones, then go for it. If you know your love with another human is that kind of story-book-all-encompassing-they-are-my-person love, then don’t let a day go by where you’re not investing in that relationship. If you gut is humming “leave” loud and steady don’t turn the volume on mute just because someone else thinks things will turn up or the person making you feel some kind of way tells you this is it, this is good. You know what good is even if you’ve been conditioned to settle for less. Heck, you need great!
I would always hear folks say, don’t settle, when you know you know and not entirely know what they meant. I spent my 20’s bopping around from people, states, and jobs. I never felt settled, I never felt that tug to stay. I judged myself first, so that when other people’s judgement hit me, the blow felt lessened. I was the first to laugh at myself or be self-deprecating about my actions.
It makes me so sad to think that trying on other people’s lives or longing for them because of shiny social media was an actual way that I spent days of my life. When I sit back right now and think, this is my life, I get teary eyed. If I think about what other’s might think when they look through my metaphorical window, I get scared.
For me, 99% of my fear is from what other stories look like that either aren’t my own or aren’t this specific one I am living in.
What if I could just remove my fear? What if I didn’t dig deeper into each feeling, but showed up for the present moment, allowing the good to linger, and the bad to not be an ending, but a reason for growth and encouragement?
I always hesitate when things begin to feel “too good” because I feel like that other shoe is about to drop, however when I give myself moments of really leaning into the now, my exhale comes so big and fast. Carrying around fear is a really heavy burden–backbreaking in fact.
We are conditioned to believe from years of “proving the point,” (i.e. years that we can say, “well, look at X it happened!”), that life is a series of seemingly random events. We have no control. That second part is true, but there is nothing random about life.
Think about the last 24-hours.
Think about all of the interactions you had. Maybe, you’ll chalk them up to a coincidence, but what if you looked at them as if they were moments meant to reassure you that this is your right path? Even if they are miniscule–a mustard seed–of a moment where you came back home to yourself! Identify these moments, not so that you can spend time taking them apart, but so that you can be reminded that life is a miracle–it’s a messy, muddled, motivating miracle. Don’t get lost in any part for too long. Try to stay in the center.
Today, I fly to see my partner and ya’ll the feelings are so big at times I don’t know where to put them. This is a person I trust implicitly. This is a relationship that I choose daily to show up for differently because I didn’t just choose this human, the miracle was, we chose each other. Did I reach out? Yes. But we both picked up our threads and started to weave them together. Each moment we engage, each time we spend apart, all of the conversations, new situations, never-before-spoken words, exist in this beautiful tapestry knit between us, but watched over by the person we both put as number one, Him.
I would love to preach that I don’t feel fear and I don’t seek reassurance, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I can say that my doubts are very limited and I now can acknowledge the times when I act out of fear as something that is dictated by my past instead of my present.
Where are you right now? How can you reclaim your present moment? What do your naysayers say?
Try to not give them power right now. Just for a moment, mute those voices that tell you, you’re not good enough, this is too good, or whatever else thrums a familiar pulse of disease.
Welcome in moments of: this is how it should be, this is how good it can really be, this is mine!