I used to be caught up in that trap myself.
Years ago (with husband number 1 and in the line of work I was in) I became so obsessed about how I looked, how I acted, making sure I fit in with the expectations of everyone else around me – that I somehow lost ME. Every time I would even start letting loose and being my quirky self I would get reprimanded by comments like “stop acting so silly” or “that’s just dumb” and was even being told how to wear my hair, for Pete’s sake.
I became lethargic and dead inside. It made me withdraw and afraid to be myself. I was completely dull and boring. My ex would always say, “Why don’t you ever have anything to say anymore?” The answer was obvious. I had plenty to say, but didn’t say it for fear of being called stupid or sophomoric.
It wasn’t until after my divorce and with a friend’s help, that I started coming out of that mindset. He would always tell me, “Susan, why do you care what they think? Do they pay your bills? Tell ’em to just go to hell. If they don’t like it, they can kiss your #$%.”
Slowly but surely, I started coming alive. And what a relief. To not worry about whether or not someone was going to like me, hate my image or whatever. I found balance – and it was very invigorating. First thing I did was cut my hair, take it back to its original color, started wearing flip-flops, T-Shirts and jeans and getting the stick out of my rear end (so to speak). I had been uptight way too long.
I used to have a friend that said to me “I would love to just have my own parade. I would be the only one in it – riding on a float and doing nothing but giving the finger to everyone along the way, those on the sidelines.” I could just picture that 🙂 And I will never forget that illustration.
Sometimes we live our lives trying to be something that we’re not. Whether it’s to impress others, be what they want us to be,(sometimes it’s our mate and quite possibly our parents), or feeling the pressure to keep up with the neighborhood biatches.
But it’s so important, and quite healthy, to be liberated from that trap. To be able to be yourself. To be a little quirky and goofy if you choose to be.
So, if you don’t like me – I hate it for ya. You sure are missing out!
I gotta be me – and that ain’t all bad.