I ran into someone I haven’t spoken to in over a year. We were good friends at one time, but too much got in the way. Actually, I see her frequently, I just can’t bring myself to say anything to her. Today, I chatted casually. I was an adult and handled the awkwardness like a pro. I chalk it up to being happy (well, as happy as I can be) for once in my life. I also feel that I’m comfortable enough to not care what she, or any of the other mean girls, thinks.
But in all honesty, at 36, I feel that I’ve never truly known myself until very recently. Even now I’m only scratching the surface. Ever since I can remember I’ve molded myself to my environment or rebelled against it, but no matter which I chose, I wasn’t authentic. My inauthenticity severely affected my past relationships including the one with the person I ran into today.
What I have a hard time understanding is that authenticity seems to come natural for most people. Not me. It’s not that I’m a follower, it’s just that I have such a hard time dealing with people that I just hide internally. I also had a dad who was never happy with anything I ever did. He would criticize an A-, taunt my band practice and make fun of me being just a bit off step from the other cheerleaders at halftime. I’ve lived my life fighting to live up to his unreasonable expectations.
I now live up to my own expectations. I feel that this has greatly helped me meet new people and make more friends. It’s also helped me choose a job that I was so afraid of before, but I knew I would love. So many people told me the environment would be bad and I knew this wasn’t the case with this company. I took a risk and although it’s only been three weeks, I know I made the right choice. And I’m learning that seeking advice from others is fine, but you have to be true to yourself to make the right decisions. While I may fail, at work, relationships or any number of things, it will be my failure and that makes me proud.
(sorry for the rambling post, I just felt compelled to write this on my iphone and didn’t edit)