I never thought I’d be an Andie Anderson from How to lose a guy in 10 days and take the time to sit down and write a ‘How to’. But hey, here I am. Grab a cuppa won’t you.
This is a topic that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while but as usual, could never really find a way to articulate the goings on in my head.
Like, do you ever just sit and think the most philosophical shit in your head. Then when it comes to expressing it out loud, you just end up sounding like Brick “I love lamp” Tamland from Anchorman?
You see, living my life for other people is something I really struggle with. I try my damn hardest to fight it. And 9/10 times I’m pretty successful! But just like the creepy shadow monster from Stranger Things, it still seems to lurk over me. And eventually, I get sucked back in…
Blazer | Topshop
Trousers | Topshop
Shoes | Topshop
Bag | Zara
Sunglasses | Ray Ban
To set the scene for you, I am your typical ‘Yes!’ girl.
I hate letting people down and I love to please others. I also wasn’t blessed with the skill to bullshit my way out of something on-the-spot unfortunately. But the more I say yes, the more I worry about what other people may think if I suddenly say no. As a result – I end up doing shit I really don’t wanna do.
I spoke about losing myself at the beginning of the year and thankfully (but annoyingly) it’s taken me until now to realise that I was feeling this way because I’ve been spending way too much time trying to mold myself into whatever people wanted me to be.
I smile/grimace through rudeness and ignorance to avoid the “angry black girl” notion. Say yes to nights out fully knowing that the second I’m out I almost immediately want my sofa, a blanket and a glass of wine the size of my head. I’d go above and beyond just to make other people feel comfortable in awkward situations and silence my opinions in fear of causing “drama”.
And OK, this isn’t exactly the worst trait in the world. But it also means that the majority of the time I bottle things up. I don’t say how I truly feel and forget about my needs just to avoid the embarrassment or confrontation.
But there lies the problem.
The more time I spend masking my emotions and acting how people want me to be, I end up losing myself. And when you lose yourself you begin to create an unhealthy obsession with validation.
You forget what makes you happy and what you want from life. Which eventually feels like you’re losing control.
Going off this month alone, I’ve said yes to way too many things I haven’t enjoyed or put my heart into. I’ve taken on other people’s problems, which has lead to those problems becoming my own. When I’ve felt mistreated or had my feelings hurt I’ve never spoken up.
Consequently, the more I don’t speak up for myself, the harder it becomes to explain (out loud) how I’m feeling. I get stuck in an apprehensive shell and I’m afraid to reveal my true feelings for fear of judgement or worse – ridicule.
Let me tell you something that I will now always remind myself of; Life is WAY too short to be living it for other people.
And just like Noah from The Notebook, it’s time to forget what your friends, family or whomever it may concern want and take a moment to ask yourself – what. do. you. want?
Living for yourself is a choice. It takes discovering yourself and getting to know your needs.
It takes a level of mental strength to rise above the opinions of others, I know this all too well. But we have the ability, strength and free-will to be whoever we want to be.
We must choose to love ourselves and have the confidence and security to not allow anybody to dictate what goes on in our life.
We have to start disconnecting ourselves from the opinions of others and start listening to our intuition. Speak up. Set boundaries and realise that the people who make you feel shitty do not deserve your time or energy.
So I guess this blog post is a reminder. A reminder for anyone going through an identity crisis; no one can give you self-esteem. You must grant it to yourself.
It’s time to let go of the embarrassment or shame that we may feel and live our best, authentic life.
Because above all, if you’re not living for you, you’re just existing. So live life for yourself.