“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

It took me thirty-two years to realize that I am doing life ‘wrong’. Maybe not wrong from your point of view, but wrong from my perspective.

I have lived life attempting to be who I thought everyone else wanted me to be. Someone who didn’t cause trouble and who was agreeable. You get to a point where you don’t even realize you are doing it anymore. I wear so many hats and so many faces. I have mastered my various masks over the years as well.

I am my own worst critic. There is not a single person on this earth that can be harder on me than I am on myself. I have always had this horrible habit of holding myself to ridiculously high standards. Mostly so others would like me. Ultimately, I have always felt like a failure. Except I’m not and I see that now.

I have always done things my own way and in my own time. I got pregnant before I was married. Twice. I have always had this vision in my head of what a mom SHOULD be like. What an aunt/sister/cousin SHOULD be like. What a wife SHOULD be like. You know what? It’s all shit. Every last bit of it. Why in the world would I want to fit into this perfect little mold that I have tried to for so long? It has been exhausting. I drink more than my siblings and because we had an alcoholic father, then I am in the wrong. I was a Girl Scout leader, so not only was drinking wrong, but I also had to carry myself in a certain manner or else why would these parents trust their girls with me? Cussing? Forget about it… you are NOT allowed to cuss in front of your kids. You are NOT allowed to show your kids that you have a temper. You are NOT allowed to express to your husband how bloated you feel after changing clothes for the third time before going out on a date. You are ABSOLUTELY not allowed to tell anyone you have felt depressed and cut yourself. I needed to show everyone that I had my act together and that I could handle anything life threw my way. Except behind closed doors, I was drowning.

Over the past year I have realized that I need to give myself a break. I have realized I need to learn to love myself. I have realized that just because I do things differently than someone else, it doesn’t mean I am wrong. I have realized that it is okay to feel depressed so long as I don’t allow it to take over. I need to allow myself time to acknowledge and feel the turmoil inside. When I begin feeling overwhelmed, I need to take a step back and recharge.

Life is always changing. I thought I knew who I was until my mom passed away and I was left feeling so broken and confused. A piece of me did die with her that morning, but now I feel myself growing. I feel myself more aware than I have ever been. Of my wants, my needs, my feelings, my thoughts. I have decided to shed myself of this unrealistic, ridiculous higher standard I have given myself and start living for myself.

 

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