Warning that this post is going to be all over the place. I just need to get some thoughts out.
In the last month, I’ve faced a lot of big changes. My grandma’s partner, who has been like a grandpa to me since I was young, passed away and though we saw it coming, I’ve never lost a close family member before and wasn’t really sure how to handle that emotion. I moved out of an apartment with two roommates I knew well and loved and my own room into the kitchen of my friends’ house on an air mattress. My parents sold the house I grew up in and now live in an apartment I have yet to even see. My manager at work, who I loved and was a huge supporter in both my professional and personal life, got a great job in Seattle and left the agency. My sister is moving to Austin, TX with her boyfriend in 2 months and I bought a one-way ticket to Peru.
Last week I was starting to wonder why I felt so off. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but it finally occurred to me that I’ve become completely ungrounded. This safe, comfortable, predictable world I’ve always known has shifted, and it’s a very unsettling feeling. And for someone who is energetically sensitive, it’s a lot to handle. I’ve been keeping myself busy with trips away and social engagements, but I’ve really just been avoiding dealing with change.
Change is good though. I mean even when it’s bad, it’s there for a reason. We are forced to change because our old ways aren’t serving us. I’ve felt stuck in a rut for a long time. I’ve had this nagging feeling that I’m meant to do something more, that I’m supposed to have a profound impact on the world. And I’ve ignored it for a long time and played small – to stay safe, to avoid rejection and discomfort, and most of all, to avoid failing. But lately I’ve been getting a lot of interesting affirmations from people. I’ve been told a lot recently how inspiring I am to talk to, how I should make a living out of talking to people and helping them understand themselves and their problems. And really, there’s nothing like it. I’ve been so much more open to sharing my views on the world and my observations of others with people and it has been met with nothing but positive feedback that affirms what I believe to be my position in the world. That and I’ve never had so many compliments on who I am as a person before. I think the last few vacations I’ve taken just allowed me to let loose and be 100% myself, and people have responded well to that. Hearing that I’m fun, charismatic, the life of the party, infectiously energetic – these are qualities I always believed I had deep down, but was honestly starting to doubt.
And here’s the thing. The reason I’ve gotten down on myself in the past is due to this need to be accepted and affirmed by others. So while these compliments are awesome and totally great to hear, I can’t get in the habit of taking them to heart to determine my self-worth. I need to believe it at my core so that even when the haters pop up, I won’t waver. I’m on a high right now because of all the positivity coming at me, but I have to remember that I always have the capability to be the best version of myself.
That said, “the best version of myself” is everchanging. And thank God for that because sometimes I feel like a hot mess. Right now, dancing with strangers, being goofy, engaging in spontaneous adventures and inspiring others with my love for the world is that “best self.” But I have to push myself to keep growing and evolving. There are so many areas for improvement. I still get caught up in petty drama, get down on myself for not being/doing this or that, and I don’t always spend my time in ways that are constructive. But I’m 20-effing-4 years old. I am who I am and I’m exactly where I need to be. All I need to strive for is to be the best version of me right now, and keep my heart and mind open for opportunities to evolve.
The second point I want to make is about acceptance of others. We are all guilty of wanting to change people. Doesn’t matter if they are family, our best friend, or a complete stranger who is doing something we don’t agree with. We think everyone should think like we do. I’ve been guilty of this with people I know. Wanting them to be different in one way or another because I don’t understand why they do the things they do. I’ve been quick to judge and slow to change those perceptions. But again, I’ve recently been awakened to this. Often, our first, second, twelfth, twentieth judgements are wrong. How well do we really know most people, who they want to be, what makes them tick, what they’ve been through. We don’t. And yet those things are the driving factors for all of our actions. We don’t need to understand people. Sure, it helps, but like them or not, we have to accept them. We haven’t had their experience and they haven’t had ours. When I opened my mind to people I’d initially judged, I came out with some amazing friendships I never would have been privileged enough to have otherwise. It’s truly an amazing thing.
And the last little piece of this – the haters. Like I said earlier, each of us has had a completely different experience in life. We have triggers, and when those triggers are hit, we don’t always act in ways that align with our loving purpose. Happens ALL THE TIME. I consider myself a loving, accepting, eternal optimist, but honestly, I get annoyed with people all the time. And then I become a hater. But when I react that way, it’s not really me talking…it’s just that some trigger was hit and I reacted – it’s because of me and my beliefs, not because someone else was wrong. That said, I’m learning (slowly) I can’t let haters bring me down. Because even if they hate me or what I’m doing, it’s really not even about me, even if it seems that way. My job is to be true to who I am and live my purpose in the world despite what anyone says. Fear of rejection will always keep me small, and I’ve honestly let it for so long. But I see that pattern in myself, which I believe is the first step to changing it.
So, I leave you with this. Embrace change, even if its uncomfortable. Accept that others aren’t ever going to live to your “standards,” so instead of lashing out, try to love them or at least respect those differences. And don’t let the haters bring you down, cause homie, it ain’t about you. Let your light shine. ❤