I can remember times in my life when I wasn’t my own priority.
I can remember phases in my life where I had no true care for my own peace of mind. I had no priority for a healthy mentality or desire for constant rejuvenation. During these times I prioritized by putting other people’s needs before my own. And maybe that isn’t even entirely true. I put what I ASSUMED was what other people wanted, before my own needs.
This was out of selfishness. Selfishness for my own “fitting in somewhere”.
There was a constant war going on in my head between what I wanted versus the constant anticipation for what I believed was what other people wanted from me. And then I would act on the latter.
How silly to live a life this way. How silly to live a falsified life based solely on anticipation and satisfying unknown desires for people that aren’t even you.
This was an unhealthy way to live, especially because those unknown needs that I was attempting to emulate were so petty. Such stupid things. Like drinking that extra beer or taking that last shot because I thought it was what other people wanted. Walking to the boys apartment I was seeing, in the middle of the night with not nearly enough warm clothing on because I thought it was what he wanted.
I thought people would respect me more if I had a crazy story to tell the next morning over mimosas and hangover food.
Who was that person.
She wasn’t entirely me.
She was me.
Of course she was me.
But she was being me in the wrong way.
She was me because she loved the attention.
She loved to have people listening to her, thinking her life was full of unreal experiences.
She was me because she set herself up for moments that were worth a good story.
She was me because she was brave.
She was me because she could relate to anybody you put her in a room with.
She was me because she could push boundaries.
She was me because she was lovable.
She was me because she never met a person she didn’t like, or a person who didn’t like her.
Call her vain.
But she was me.
That is me.
People like me because I am afraid of not being liked.
I don’t judge the next person.
I try my best to interpret every soul.
I do my best to understand.
But I took it to extremes.
It became dangerous to try and please every person I met.
People liked me.
But it is exhausting and unfair.
And that is why I am not her anymore.
I am me.
I am a version of that girl.
But I am better than that now.
I am better now because while I am still that girl, I offer more.
I bring more to the table today.
Because today I have something I never truly honored before.
I have self respect.
I respect the shit out of myself.
I respect myself because I know exactly what it feels like to feel so belittled that you can’t get out of bed.
I respect myself because I have been so disrespected.
By my own self.
And by people I love.
And people that loved me.
I am better today because I know how important it is to be your own best friend.
I know what it is like to remind yourself everyday that you are worth overcoming every single obstacle and every single slap in the face.
Today, I respect myself because that feels like the best choice.
For myself, and for others.
Because I am still that girl.
I still crave attention.
I still crave an audience.
I don’t think that will ever change.
I crave waking up to share a story with the world.
I crave that feeling in my gut that makes me a little nervous to share my most raw feelings.
For a while I thought I craved the unknown.
But what I realize now is that the unknown is just an excuse to not go after what you truly want.
Loving the unknown was a cop out.
Traveling was a cop out.
Wanderlust is a cop out.
Living a life with constant anticipation is exciting.
But living a life with constant anticipation for the unknown is no different than never committing to a goal.
The unknown is fun.
The unknown is exciting.
The unknown is who I was for all my life.
Today I am still that girl I was.
But today I slap the unknown in the face.
And today I say yes to anything that makes me feel strong.
I say yes to opportunities that make me feel accomplished.
Today is the perfect day to make yourself feel important.
And today, I am no longer the unknown.
The truth is, nine out of ten people don’t want that last shot of tequila and they regret how sick they feel the next morning after drinking that last beer. I use this example because I think people can relate to it. Really that “beer” or that “shot” can be absolutely anything you want it to be. It can be “not going for a run because I’m afraid of what the people driving by me will think” or that extra sip of booze can be “saying yes to spending $300.00 on a Country Fest Ticket because I’m afraid of missing out on what my friends are doing or thinking that they will judge me if I don’t go”. That shot of tequila can be WHATEVER is stopping you from listening to your gut and whatever obstacle is in your way, stopping you from reaching your fullest potential that YOU were made to achieve. Because nobody is meant to reach the same goals and nobody is meant to live out the exact same dream.
That truth is we are all afraid to stand up for ourselves sometimes and say yes or no when we really want to. And the truth really is, that the more you own who YOU are, the more respect you’ll get. From yourself. And from others.
Choose wisely the attention you attract and choose more wisely the message you want to share. For me, it’s authenticity and I plan to own it.
Because I am here to support you.