All of us have a journey to self discovery. For most of us it is a long, hard, and sometimes stressful road full of highs, lows and even heartbreak. But once you’ve gotten to the destination it feels amazing. Being yourself and not afraid to show it is the greatest feeling in the world.
When I was in high school, I was very insecure. I didn’t have many friends because I never went to school and when I did go I just floated along. I didn’t make an effort and I was too shy or embarrassed or I don’t know what to show my true personality. I felt that I needed to be accepted, even by people I didn’t even really care for. It did not make for a great high school experience. I feel if I would have had the courage to truly be myself maybe I would have went to school and tried harder.
Then high school was finally over! What a relief. I barely graduated. Not because I was stupid but because I never went. I would have been a straight A student if I actually would have gone. Boy did I blow my chances at getting into college straight out of high school!
That Forth of July after high school was so much fun. I ended up hanging out with my best friends and went to a party with them instead of hanging out with family. My mother was not pleased with that, in fact it started a fight. But I needed to start growing up and experiencing the world since I had been so sheltered as well. (Looking back I think the fact that my mom wouldn’t let me hang out with boys in high school had an effect on me so I just didn’t try since I already knew the answer would have been no!)
Well that night I met some amazing people! It went from being the three of us to the six of us! I made some really good friends that I spent almost everyday that summer with. I had my first drink with them, went on random drives at night, stayed up late laughing and talking, and even experienced my first real kiss.
A problem came real quick. My mother disapproved and took away my car, grounded me, did just about anything to keep me from my friends. I am not sure what she thought we were doing but really we were just having fun. In fact, we always hung out at my friends house and her mom was there every night. She would have rather had us drinking under her roof safe then somewhere else where we may have to drive.
So that summer I was on my way to self discovery. But at every turn, at every revelation, my mother interfered. She laughed at the way I chose to dress, wouldn’t leave the house sometimes because of things I wore. I might add it was nothing provocative or inappropriate. Definitely horrible fashion choices like cut off sweats and jazz pants but that was it. So a major blow to my self esteem.
I finally had to move out. I found a roommate and with the help of my grandparents got my first apartment. Once I moved out my mother and I had a better relationship. Still not perfect, but a lot better.
Towards the end of that summer, we all started to separate. I was still best friends with the two friends from high school though. As we grew apart and started going our separate ways I was starting to learn who I really am.
I got my first boyfriend (a late bloomer I know), had a few other firsts, including my first real heartbreak. I wouldn’t change that time for the world though. I learned a lot, especially about myself.
After my break up, I almost immediately got into another relationship. I was stuck in it for 2 years on and off. It was the worse experience in my life. You know how you hear about the girls that get stuck in the abusive relationships and you ask why don’t they just get out? Well that was me. Fortunately it was mainly emotionally abusive with only a few spats of physical abuse.
I was in a situation that I was ashamed of. I never told anyone during it. I even lost my best friends because I didn’t want them around because I knew that they would notice. I was lost. I was scared. I did not know what to do. And most of all I was ashamed. I was held captive for over 2 years because I was ashamed of what people would have thought.
The relationship did teach me to be strong. And a few good things came out of it. I got my two kitties (who are my world), a new friend (even though she was the other women), and through that new friend I met my husband.
After I met my husband, I started a fight and just got rid of my terrible ex. I still was not strong enough at that point to just call it quits, and I needed a fake fight to end it. But the point is I ended it. It was a big step.
Meeting my husband was great. I was at a place where I becoming my own person. He is so much different than my ex, and in all good ways. It was just what I needed. I was being a better person than before, I had my friends back, and I was gain my confidence back.
We are going on 2 years of marriage now, and almost 4 years since we first met. Between moving to Colorado for school, planning a wedding from so far away, moving back to California to get married, not getting into school that year, having a full time job, helping my husband pass his RICA (a test you need to take to teach elementary school in California), not getting into school again, moving back to Colorado so I could go to school, and changing my major a zillion times, I feel that I have lost myself. I have been going through the motions and am just not me anymore.
I realized that I have so much to make other people happy. I was going to school to be a Computer Engineer for my grandparents, I have been acting a certain way because I feel it is what is expected of me, I have basically been living my life for everyone else around me and not myself. Even my wedding was more of what my grandma wanted and not really what I wanted (but it was gorgeous and still a perfect day)!
Recently, I have wanted to change that. The first step was changing my major to Journalism. I will admit I picked it on a whim because they offered the most design classes that I could get through quickly since I would like a Bachelor’s degree! It will have taken me 7 1/2 years total to get that degree! That is what happens when you live your life for someone else. I think I was self-consciously putting road blocks up so I wouldn’t be stuck with a Computer Engineering degree and unhappy with my job.
This is my day. This is the day that I am deciding to stop letting myself go and just letting life pass me by.
I have big plans and plans that are all my own. I know there will be obstacles, and I know it will be a hard long journey but it will be worth it because it will be my journey. It will be my life.
I already for see a few problems. With my new major, I have a new dream. I am debating if I want to do fashion PR, fashion or food magazine writing, or eventually a fashion magazine editor. Big dreams I know. But I am done settling for anything less then what my heart desires. The problem is that New York is the best place for my new dream and my husband does not want to go there. Luckily I have a year and a half left in school so we have time to discuss our possibilities and future. And he has followed me to Colorado twice. He really is great!
I will say this. I am determined, and I am no longer going to live my life for someone else. We only get one life, and I don’t want to waste mine. I am tired of living my life with regrets.
Today is the day I start LIVING!