"Change does not fail to occur because of insincerity. The heart patient is not insincere about his wish to keep living, even as he reaches for another cigarette. Change fails to occur because we mean both things. It fails to occur because we are a living contradiction."
--Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
I have been experiencing quite the internal revolution lately.
I have known my entire life who I am and at the same time, for the better percentage of said life, I have denied who I am in an attempt to fit in. I have tried searching for the cause of this behavior, what it is that made me feel the need to try to live up to everyone else's expectations, but I have now decided I don't care. It doesn't matter what motivated me. All that matters now is that motivation is gone.
I have been liberated. By myself. I have finally lifted the restraints I placed on my inner being, the ones that had engraved on them, "Girl, you must be who they want you to be."
I will be who I want me to be.
Who is that?
She is ME. A friendly, caring person who loves deeply and passionately. An unabashed woman who is so self-aware that others think she has something to hide. Someone who is completely and totally honest. I saw someone say the other day, "Asking a question is consent to hear the answer." This is what I believe. If you don't want to know what I think, don't ask me the question; because I will tell you what I think and if I'm in the mood, I'll tell you everything I think. Like it or don't. I don't live my life to please you--I live my life to please ME.
And that's how it should be. We are born into this world and we are granted only one life to live. Why should we proceed through it living it the way someone else thinks we ought to? But that's what we're taught, isn't it? From birth, we're taught that our responsibility is to please first our parents, then our teachers, then our bosses and always all of society.
I have kids, three of them, and I tell them all the time that what I want for them is their happiness. I don't care whether happiness to them is being the next Bill Gates or that guy on the corner sleeping in a cardboard box, so long as they are truly happy--I will feel I have succeeded as a parent.
I tell my kids this all the time and yet I haven't been getting it for myself.
Children learn by observation, not by what you tell them. So what have I been teaching my kids all this time?
*sigh* NO MORE.
Like it or don't, this is ME.