There comes a time when you stop trying to be cool.
I’ve reached it. I’m not saying that I don’t prefer to be liked and admired, because annoyingly I do. However, I will say that I have thoroughly exhausted all efforts towards pretending to be something I am not in order to please the masses. I‘ve always tried to fit in, even with my harshest critic.
Who might that be? Me, of course.
I’m over it. I’m taking a bow, exiting the stage and taking on a new role for the second act of my life. I realize that I am still the same person, but I have learned how to be me without the conditions. I don’t have to hide my realities in self-defeating attempts to decrease my burden on the world. On the contrary, the world needs to hear my story.
I always allowed my inner world to be determined by the outer world. I felt a huge responsibility to live up to people’s expectations. I sabotaged any opportunities that required me to expose my unexplored true self. I told myself that I wasn’t good enough and something was wrong with me. And I smiled and put on a happy face.
Life hurts when you live this way.
It’s a wonder that I held on to this false image for so long. Still, the representation was more attractive than its shadow, and certainly more familiar. In other words, I chose the pain because it was all I knew. Think about the mentality of someone who is abused. I believed that my life was so painful because I deserved it. I thought that with enough determination, I could overcome my flawed identity and finally be worthy of happiness and success in life.
I don’t know where I got the idea that happiness has to be earned.
No one ever taught me that the key to happiness and success in life is simply being true to myself. It’s free. It doesn’t depend on external factors. It comes naturally. Fortunately, learning this privileged information allows me to let everyone off the hook. Feel free to like me. Don’t like me. Approve or disapprove. What, me worry? We all have our choices to make. In this much anticipated second act, I choose to heal, and I choose to speak from my heart about the peaks and valleys of my self-discovery. I embrace this posture not only for my own benefit, but for anyone else that my words touch who might be suffering from self-denial and hopelessness.
You are not alone.