I've always been very concerned with what other people thought of me. My mom raised me that I am an amazing young woman and I should be proud of that but I was one of those people that ALWAYS found a flaw in myself. When I was younger, I wasn't as good at dance as my cousin. When I got a bit older, I didn't have as many boyfriends as my friends. With my chest came a larger stomach as well. Then my awkward awkward, let me repeat AWKWARD middle school/high school years...
I was never unpopular. I always had friends and something to do but part of me always felt inadequate. It may have been that most of my friends were sports players (soccer, specifically and well-- I hate running) or SUPER smart, and I was always just mediocre. I didn't stand out as anything and eventually I decided I liked that. I did well in school, but I wasn't the best. I had a group of friends, but I wasn't the most popular girl in school. Comfortable but without too much pressure.
I some how found a new sense of pressure in college. I HAD to have labels and bags and be a part of everything. I suddenly had to have a 4.0 and I have no idea why. Looking back, I don't know. Nothing made me try and be better but I pushed myself harder than I ever had. It led to my deterioration.
I was so hard on myself everyday that I finally cracked. The day is still fuzzy and I push it out of my head because I never want to remember how unhappy and low I let myself get. there was never a reason for it. My life was wonderful. I went to college, I had friends, I was super involved in school and I really had very few cares. So why was I so unhappy and why did I have to be "better" all the time?
In a MUCH smaller scale, I feel like that now. I'm not concerned about attempting what I did before but I feel the same emotional exhaustion. This time however, I am something.
I'm a wife. Soon to be a mother. A full time Master's student. A full time employee. Mom to two puppies. A substitute teacher. And so much more. I am ALWAYS busy. Of course I'm stressed. But I guess now instead of being better I just thought I'd be more. I thought I'd be more than just a student with waitressing job. And more than just a two bedroom apartment in New Bedford. Why do I push myself to be so much? Why is it so important to me to be a teacher and have a house and not feel like the world is pushing against me most of the time?
I'm very happy being who I am. Yes, I wish I had more or had accomplished more but for once it doesn't make me question who I am as a person. Is that growing up? Is that self-esteem? Or is it just the realization that most of the things you expect to happen as a child, don't happen when you get older? How do you discern between pushing yourself and being too hard on yourself?
I have dreams and goals and I know one day I will get them but right now I feel emotionally exhausted. And the best part is, for once I don't care that people can see me at less than 100%. I'm ok struggling. Its stressful and it drives me crazy but I don't care that other people know that I'm strapped for money and that I live in a disgusting city. I don't care that people know that I work at a restaurant and haven't found my true career yet. I don't care what you think of me.
My mom loves me, my husband loves me, I have siblings who love and look up to me and honestly, I like being me. It may have taken me just shy of 25 years to accomplish, but I am truly happy with who I am and now I just need to work on what I'm becoming.
To quote someone who has it figured out more than me:
"Gosh, I don't think that I've ever been stressed out. Why would I be? I've got practically no responsibilities, my job's a breeze and I've got a KILLER rack."