Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Do You!

I never considered myself to be someone who cared too much about what other people thought of me. I wouldn't conform to social "norms" and always followed whatever path I thought most appropriate for me. I'd say this is true from something as small as ignoring fashion trends and going for what's comfortable to not being afraid to stand up for what I believe to be right in a difficult situation. I would've told you I was independent and an individual and what others thought of me just didn't matter at all.

I was wrong. Very very wrong.

It wasn't until I went through some of the most difficult times of my life that I started to realize that I did in fact care about what other people thought of me. What a shocking revelation to have after the age 30! It was in coming through the darkest moments of my life that I realized I had been living for everyone else for a really long time.

I wouldn't say I did things to impact others' impression of me, but I did always strive to  put others first. I always came second. Whether it was in want or need, I would put anyone for whom I cared ahead of myself. I realized that decisions I made weren't always what I wanted and that I'd often "take one for the team" to make whomever happy. I would give up what I really wanted or needed just to bring a smile to someone else's face. I never minded doing it and I guess that's why I never thought of it as caring what others thought.

In being selfless for so long, it came as quite a shock to people when I finally put myself first and stood up for what I wanted. But, I knew what I was doing and I knew it was right for me. I truly didn't care what anyone else thought. The truth is, this is my life and I get to live it however I want. Whether that means making a million mistakes or doing everything "by the book," I get to decide what's right for me.

There are people who judged me for it for more harshly than I think is appropriate or even necessary. Does it make me upset? Everyday. Does it make me question my decision to stick to what I wanted? Never. Are there moments of pause when I wonder if I really did make the "right" decision? Of course. Are there times when I get sad and feel like life is a little more out of control than it had been? Absolutely. But then I step back and remind myself that it was right at that time and I have no regrets.

So, for anyone reading this that is afraid to finally stand up to the world and be true to yourself, I say DO IT and do it TODAY. It's not going to be easy. It's going to take courage and conviction. It might feel like you're losing control. It could hurt and you're definitely to going to cry. But DO IT. You deserve it. And, if it winds up that you're wrong and you are making a mistake, at least you tried and you should never regret that.

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