Now that I found my individual happiness, it’s hard for me to give up time with myself. I find myself happiest when I experience, learn or grow on my own. No therapist giving me guidance, no parents confident in a future I can't see for myself, no friends I HAVE to lean on. I get through hard times on my own and build confidence in whatever’s to come. I find a new passion for myself and it’s MY thing to enjoy. However, it is learning from other people that sparks learning about myself.
Growing up I was always making friends. Anywhere I went I flew around like the social butterfly I was, making “playdates”, hiring restaurant and sales associates as babysitters for myself, sharing personal information to strangers right off the bat because I was open, I was friendly, and I was in need of distraction.
My obsession with my TV shows was my go-to distraction from my own life. When Marissa Cooper died in Ryan Atwood’s arms, those were my friends to grieve. When Elena didn’t choose Damon, that was my heart being broken. I didn’t see life for myself so I invested my time in other lives, even those made up characters for fictional storylines.
I was constantly searching for ways to avoid being alone. I’d make plans for after school. When it was time for that friend to leave I already had plans set up for after. Being alone was sitting with my thoughts, the clouds shadowing any idea of a life worth living. I felt trapped just breathing when I couldn't see the point to live. I had fun with my friends. We went out, we stayed in, we ordered food, we watched movies. I had company, visitors to what felt like a personal prison, for short breaks at a time. If I kept scheduling those visits then I wouldn’t have to be alone in the cell, trapped in the storm no one could really experience with me.
I didn't realize at the time that as I was meeting all these new people and forming close relationships with friends and family, I was becoming who I am today. Although it seemed like a distraction at the time, I pride myself on being a good friend, sister, daughter, niece, cousin, etc. I learned what qualities I value and which were painful for me to be around. I am a person who shows up for the people I care about. I respect good intentions, selfless acts, consideration of other people's unknown battles, a sense of humor that can be playful but stops if someone's feelings are being hurt. I look out for the people I care about and I care about the people who I respect.
I’ll always have myself, so to have earned myself confidence and admiration was to earn myself good company wherever I go. I have a lot of people to thank for the person I have formed into. It was always within me, it just takes time to learn who you are and realize you never stop growing.
If you’re having trouble finding yourself, start acting like the person you want to be. That is you at your core values and if you believe it, you can attain it.
Whether you’ve been the person to judge yourself too critically, or the person who is so lost from themselves you can’t even connect with an identity, you will find yourself if you decide to look.
Betrayed someone and feel guilty about it? You are the person who strives to be loyal. You are loyal at heart. Try not to hurt yourself worse for past actions. You aren't disloyal, you made a mistake and with that you learned what you value. Envy that stranger's patience at the cash register while the person in front of her makes a scene? You respect patience. Patience just takes practice. You can be the person you strive to be, you just have to believe the truth, it is already within you.
With practice and observing growth and positive change within, it will become easier and easier to form into the person you already are. The qualities you envy, the values you may have trouble sticking to, all of the traits important to you are important to you because they come from YOUR heart. You can be whoever you want to be because the person YOU want to be comes from YOUR aspirations and YOUR goals.