The epiphany that has changed my life

Looking back at my old posts is both a laughable and cringe-worthy experience. It’s not always what I wrote or how I wrote it that is so bad — it’s what I did that is so bad.

Like, I look back and think, “How is that person really me?”

I run into this feeling of wanting to take down the posts, simply out of fear the person(s) involved will discover them, but I like being able to look back at who I used to be and compare it to who I am now. I’ve really grown and changed a lot, more so since I stopped trying to please others and prove to others what I can do and how great I am. Sometimes, I have to pull myself back from that longing to prove people wrong, but otherwise, I’m done with it.

I realized I’m a lot happier when I’m doing my own thing.

I used to live based off others’ approval. Anytime I wanted to do something, I’d ask if I could, or I’d take their comments into consideration in my decision. For example, if I wanted to dye my hair, I wouldn’t, because Mimi likes my hair “natural” and doesn’t want me to ruin it. I’d constantly let people put me into this mold I did not want to be in, and in doing that, I spoiled so many people around me into believing they truly have a say in what I do and can live vicariously through me.

I lost sight of myself and who I was. I bought a domain name because I truly felt it would help me find myself, but it didn’t help — it was just another $20 down the drain because I thought that I was the problem.

But I’m not the problem.

I was so interested in getting others’ approval and making sure they liked me at my own expense, but I was so, so wrong. I can’t make anyone like me or control the way someone sees me without compromising my own personality, hopes, dreams, self… I can’t change someone’s hatred for me into like without compromising who I am as a person.

It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks of me, because they’re not the ones having to live in this body, life and mind.

It’s been three years since I last saw my mother. The first was… sad. I didn’t understand how she could just… lose me — again. The second, I missed her, but I was enjoying life without the toxicity of her being in my life. This year, I’m realizing I’m fine. I think, had I not gone back to her after two years in 2009, I would have always wondered. I wouldn’t be okay with it now; I would think I still needed her, specifically, as a mother, but she isn’t a mother by definition. She doesn’t do motherly things unless it directly benefits her, and she’s deliberately tried to make my life a miserable hell.

My mom doesn’t have to like or love me, just as I don’t have to like or love her. It doesn’t make me a disrespectful or ungrateful daughter — it doesn’t make me selfish. I want her in my life. I want to be able to have her as a friend and confidant. But I can’t, so I also don’t want her in my life. I don’t need her.

Maybe I needed to grow up to see this, as well as experience other things that eventually gave me a new perspective on love, life and relationships, because I would not have been able to see it before, when I was a mostly closed-minded individual who thought everything was supposed to go just one way.

My college communications class taught me things were supposed to go one way — you had to look at people and into their eyes during conversation, you had to shake hands and allow hugs… you had to do all these things, but nothing I learned in that class, aside from the fact that everything is situational, has been useful to me outside of college. I only went for one semester, but like with grade school, I’ve learned more in the “real world” than I ever did from a chalkboard… or dry-erase board. The cookie-cutter communications class taught me that I had to shape others’ perspectives of me, and if people didn’t like me, then I was the problem. But I’m not the problem.

There are many other ways to communicate. I can communicate just fine via words and text and actions; I don’t need verbal communication, and I tend to go well without it. I don’t need someone to be physically affectionate towards me in order for me to understand how they feel about me. Others expect me to be physically affectionate, but I think it’s become this thing people expect and look for to understand. I think it handicaps them, because it makes them think lack of eye contact and/or fidgeting means someone is lying, among other things.

I’m not the problem, and it’s not my fault if someone doesn’t like me — it only matters if I like me. My communications class said otherwise, but if I dislike me, why should others like me? Why should I have to put my happiness on the line just to make someone else happy? I’m all for compromising, but this is the thing that has been eating away at me for too many years, and I’m just done. I’m exhausted from trying to convince others why they should like me and pretending to be something people will like.

I’m myself, and I personally think I’m pretty amazing. I’m living my life, and I should be the one to define it — not you, not my mom, not other family members, not anyone else but me.

I aim to legally change my first name by June 2016. I don’t care if anyone chooses to be upset because of their own selfish reasons. I need to do this for me; I need to be happy.

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Comments on this post

Kya’s gravatar

I am so glad that you know that about yourself and feel that way, because you are the one that matters to yourself and you can’t live in the ideals of other people or to please them. There are probably many people that never work this out, so it is great that you have been able to accept it. :*

Sara’s gravatar

I’m so proud of you. It’s silly, but this post made me cry. It’s such a wonderful declaration of freedom!

You’ve done it. You’re breaking the chains that used to keep you locked down. There was a reason you started blogging. It wasn’t for what others said to you; it was for what you needed to say to yourself.

I hope you put this post somewhere and read it over and over again….so, you’ll never let people determine how YOU feel about yourself again. Congratulations on finding the way to you. And yes, are so wonderfully amazing!!!

Liz’s gravatar

I’ve definitely come a long way, huh? I’m glad it took a while for me to get it, though, because I did learn other things, to, and I don’t do so well when people try to tell me what to do/teach me the lesson themselves… er, it depends on the lesson itself, I guess.

I labeled 2015 “The Year of Self-Love” for myself, so I’ve been trying to just focus on me lately and loving myself, and it does help to have little reminders that I’m important, too, and that I’m amazing, I’ve a right to my own life, etc.

Thanks for putting up with me for all these years/sticking around all this time! :*

Charlise’s gravatar

^^; You are definitely an amazing person and I’m so happy to have you as not only a cousin, but a friend.

Paula’s gravatar

That’s never an easy realisation to make but it’s always so very empowering. Well done to you for making it and being able to carry on growing stronger – I hope it continues 🙂

Michelle’s gravatar

I, too don’t need anyone’s approval, especially my parents. They aren’t fit to be parents as far as I am concerned, still knowing and accepting that is difficult, and it was because I always wanted my parents’ love, but now, I don’t care. It makes my life easier to deal with. And you do need to be happy, and you need to do things that make you happy, be damned if people don’t like it.

I’m so happy for you!