I used to waste so much time worrying about what other people thought of me that I forgot how to listen to myself and what I really wanted.
I often judged myself harshly, offering no forgiveness for mistakes. If I misspoke or made a spelling error in an Instagram post, there was little mercy. I would spiral, looking for subtle ways to punish myself for not being perfect. I existed for outward perceptions.
It was as if I lived a life curated for everyone else but me.
I needed people to think my life was great, even when it wasn’t. Those closest to me have seen the seismic shift. I think I was living outwardly to protect my raw, authentic self. If people couldn’t see who I really was, what I was really feeling, they couldn’t place their judgments on it. It was a self-preservation tactic that backfired.
Now I spend my time trying to do things I love with the supportive people that I care about. As much as I try to surround myself with loving, supportive, authentic people, it’s not always going to happen. People are going to get in your way and make you feel like you’re doing life wrong. You’re not.
I’ve come to realize that no one can tell you who to be or how to feel.
Being tuned in to what I want and what I need is paramount on this search for joy. I’m working hard to live for me and be who I am. Other people’s judgments hold no space and have no value in my authentic self.
Or yours for that matter.