Friday, April 29, 2011

Be Yourself--you owe it to the people around you.

So It's been almost a year since I returned from Bolivia and quite an experience. Today I took the last final exam of my first year at college. I've faced this last year of living in the states as a challenge, and I think I've met it well. A year in Bolivia opened my eyes to a new me, and I spent this year developing that new me. The most important thing I have come to believe is that happiness is good, and I want it in my life. Sure, I tend to worry people when I sit on the floor laughing at nothing, but I am ultimately happy most of the time--and that suits me just fine.
This year I have started using my brain more and my heart less--or, rather, I've found a happy balance between the two. I think a lot--probably too much. And I've become a lot quieter.
Anyway, I've been waiting to write my first post of this blog. And, after some recent events, I finally found some worthy starting material. Here goes:

Lesson learned: Be yourself--you owe it not only to yourself, but also to everyone that comes in contact with you.

The following is a letter I recently wrote to a few people in my life that I trust with anything:
I think in my life, though I can't really know, I could be faced with a big decision. And whatever decision I make is a decision I may always change at any moment, so there is nothing final about it. But it just feels like a big decision. I have one big decision, and two choices/options to take:

I have the choice to open up to people past a certain point, and I have the choice to NOT open up to people past a certain point.

I think for the last 20 years, I have chosen to NOT connect with people past a certain point. And now I am faced with the realization that if I ever want to experience love or anything new, I have to do some things I have been unwilling to do so far in my life. I would have to open myself entirely to another's judgement. And I think recently I learned how fucking terrifying that is for me. And the fact that it terrifies me tells me that I need to work on it, because it is unlike me to be so terrified. I brave the storm and deal with my demons typically.
So back to my choice. Do I open up and accept judgement? I spent the last 20 years married to myself and my thoughts. I try to live without judging people, and I try to love people that judge me. I am not saying I do a good job, but I try and I believe my efforts are done with a sound heart and mind. In my efforts to live a peaceful, calm life, I have become very slow-paced and relaxed in my daily decision-making. I have become very thoughtful. I have become very calm. I have also become very very happy. I smile soooooo much and find joy in so many trivial things. I've been very happy. And I haven't often been very sad or mad. AND THAT WORRIES ME NOW.
In opposition to Brene Brown, I believed that I can be very happy while simultaneously numbing sadness. Until now, I thought I had managed to do just that. But now I realize I have done so at a cost--at the cost of opening up entirely to anyone. And I imagine there must be GREAT joy to be had in doing such a thing--along with great sadness. So in a round about way, there exists the chance that I have truly been numbing myself of happiness in my unwillingness to experience opening up to someone....and I think that chance is probably very very likely.
So I now see an opportunity, and I get to gamble. I can choose to open up, and risk experiencing the emotions of misery and sadness and hardship while simultaneously experiencing total happiness and joy and beauty. In a way, it would be like divorcing myself and my thoughts--divorcing myself in an attempt to experience something outside of my perfect little box. And experiences are all I ever claim to want in the first place!
I can also choose to remain the same--to continue a quiet, slow life of peace. And I definitely like my life right now. If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't be living this way. But now I see choices. And curiosity has me wondering.
I received some great feedback and positive thoughts after that email. And I've spent some time thinking about it. I realized that I made a big deal out of nothing--something I tend to do quite often. :) But from that thinking I realized that I was not being myself with someone. And that was silly. Not only did I make things awkward for myself, but I really made things confusing and awkward for that someone--and that is an unkind and rude thing to do. I wasn't living life as I preach it.
So for now, I am trying to be myself. It is my right for myself, and my duty to others. I am in control of my life. I can say yes. I can say no. I have choices. And I intend to exercise my right to make those choices now.

I'm really such a silly girl. But I'm happy. Go forth and be yourselves!

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