Why I Quit Living Life At 70%

woman in white and multicolored floral shirt standing and smiling on yellow sunflower field
Lauren Richmond / Unsplash

I found out at an early age I was too much for most people. I was too excited, too honest, too real, too much rawness and it made people uncomfortable. My being myself made men nervous, it made women uncomfortable, other kids suspicious, and it made my life hard. My being myself and living at 100% made life hard enough that I learned through one uncomfortable experience after the next to tone myself down. I learned to make my light shine a little less, make my voice a little softer, and to tame my inherent wildness so that I could be accepted and I would be liked instead of being held in suspicion or resented.

The result was decades of plain living in tones of grey like a cold January day void of color, laughter, and peace. Living at 70% was like watching someone play a part in a play that wasn’t very good, knowing you could do so much better. Living anything less than your true authentic self is like a vase of dead flowers, an empty cox of candy, or finding out a ring you thought was gold really isn’t. I let it happen because my being liked was more important to me than my being true to myself. And you know what else? It was so not worth it.

So, one day I woke up and I decided I didn’t want to play the 70% game anymore and it felt like someone turned on a light on in a very dark place like Spring finally arriving after the coldest, darkest winter I ever lived through. I felt fresh cold air fill my lungs instead of the stale smoke I had learned to breathe for so long. I felt like there were butterflies flying all around me and it felt so good. It was the exact same feeling as hugging someone you love that you haven’t seen in a long time. It felt like peace. It felt like home.

Now, I no longer worry if I offend someone because my words are too descriptive or my aura blinds their narrow-minded eyes. I also decided that my 100% wasn’t my truest nature either, and so 110% it is. It is raw and real and as authentic as a soul dares to be. I would rather live one whole day as my authentic self than a lifetime in muted colors in an effort to make others more comfortable or myself more acceptable. If another person has a problem with my 110%, then that is exactly what it is, their problem, because I have stars to count, soul connections to make and magical places to explore. I can breathe again, and I’m smiling. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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