All of my life I have let other people decide for me what comes next. I have been nothing but a board game full of possibilities I will never get the chance to explore for myself. While all of you have been busy picking up my pieces and altering my plan to better suit yours, I have been sitting, watching the sand in the hourglass run out as yet another opportunity slips away.
People have a funny way of making you believe that they have your best intentions in mind. I can’t even put a number to the amount of times someone has assured me I am making the right decision, all while having their fingers crossed behind their backs as they know that the only decision that was made was the one most suitable for them. I am not sure if it is a personality flaw of my own to always let these types of people into my life or if this is just how the majority of the world operates, but I am truly beginning to see just how toxic these types of relationships can be. It does not matter if they are romantic or with friends, toxic is toxic regardless of the type of situation you are in. Sometimes the people who are closest to us are actually the ones who are behind the worst of our pain. What makes those relationships even more painful is the fact that we inherently want to protect those whom we love, so we often cast aside our own feelings in order to salvage theirs. And therein lies the problem.
I have always valued other people’s feelings over my own. I am the first to sacrifice my own comfort in order for someone else to have theirs. I am not ashamed to be such a giving person because I genuinely do believe that the world needs more people who are able to care so selflessly, but there comes a point when you realize that you have lived your entire life for someone else. Once people get so used to you caving in to their wants and needs, they often cannot process the rare moments when you actually use the word “no.” For years, I have sat through conversations I did not want to be a part of or stopped myself from saying what I really wanted to for the sake of letting someone else carry on as they like to. I have learned who I can speak to about certain topics and what situations I can be a part of with some people and not others, and I feel like my life has become a constant game of who am I going to set off next when I make a decision that is not what they wanted?
But what about what you wanted?
It is so sad to see other people living their lives in the shadows of those whom they fear, yet I have been refusing to recognize how present that sadness is in my own life. You are entitled to your own unique opinions and to being able to make decisions based on what is right for you, and we all deserve to be able to do this without receiving harsh judgement from those who are supposed to be our biggest supporters. I no longer want to surround myself with people who do not understand my anxiety or my need to just be alone sometimes; I have always respected what it is that you need to live your life to the fullest, so when will you start allowing me the same freedom?
I think that we often place the people we love up on pedestals, thus creating outlandish expectations for them that deep down, we know that no person is capable of upholding. We are all guilty of expecting people to be who they are not in some capacity, but it is when it reaches an extreme level of not being able to accept them as they truly are that we begin to cause terrible hurt in our relationships. Every day, I find myself growing and changing into the person I was always meant to be and thus realizing that not everyone is going to be able to keep up with my growth. Just like some romantic relationships are not meant to last forever, some friendships are only here to guide us through certain parts of our lives. A break-up of any type is never easy, but often times the most difficult things in life are what we need the most. Please do not be afraid to speak up about what it is that you need because you should not have to live your life in fear of what everyone else is going to say about your choices.
I have come to a point where I am beginning to realize that I may not be the typical “millennial girl” and because of that I often have a difficult time connecting with other people my age. I often shame myself for not wanting to party or travel or live as spontaneously as I can afford to, but it is time to start being kinder to myself. Until you respect yourself and the way you know you want to live your life, you really cannot expect others to do the same. If someone really cares about you, they will never pressure you to do things you are not comfortable with or shame you for choosing a different path. Just because I have chosen to live my life differently than yours does not mean that either of us is wrong. When there are so many ways we can choose to carry on, how could we ever get mad at someone for where they decide to go? If we were not all meant to be different, life would not provide us with so many paths to explore.
Live your life for you, and you will find that the right people will be there by your side, regardless of whether or not you have become who it is that they wanted you to be. Loving someone means letting go of your expectations for them and simply allowing them to just be. You are allowed to bloom in a field all your own, even if no one else understands you.