Accept who you are. Be who you want to be.
Updated: Oct 28
“Who am I?” Have you ever asked yourself this question? I did one day five years ago when I hit the emotional bottom so hard it woke me up from my almost ten years sleep. That day I didn’t recognize myself. I saw a sad old woman. I was 25. I felt empty. I felt angry! I was angry at life, angry at my partner, my child, my job, myself and the world. I was crushed. I was lost. I had no idea how I got there, and I had no idea where to go.
I used to know better before. I enjoyed everything I did. I was good at everything I tried. Then, probably somewhere early in my adolescent life, something happened. I was still great at almost anything, but I stopped being happy. What happened?
It was the time that I needed to focus on myself. I needed to decide who I was and what I wanted to do. Instead, I focused on everyone else. Being the child everyone liked, I knew I could meet almost every expectation. So I guess that’s what I did. I started meeting everyone’s expectations: my parents’, my teachers’, my friends’, my boyfriends’, everyone. I needed to listen to and please myself. I screamed inside. I could do whatever I wanted. Instead, I listened to and pleased everyone else.
After a while I didn’t even know what I wanted. I was lost. I didn’t know who I was anymore. A mess. All expectations were met, everyone was pleased, yet, I wasn’t happy. I was never happy. I was impatient. I had to do “just this one more thing” before I was happy. Happy never came.
Before I knew, life turned into a boring and exhausting day to day struggle with anxiety, even depression. I didn’t know if and why I was unhappy. And, I thought, I couldn’t talk about it. To anyone. How could I? Everything was fine! Only it wasn’t. I wasn’t happy. I felt trapped. Life was dragging me around, putting me in situations, conversations and places I didn’t want. I felt imprisoned by my own life. How could that be?
Тhat day five years ago I was angry, I thought, because life didn’t turn out as it should have. Something wasn’t right. I did everything I was supposed to. I did everything right, everything as expected… Yet, I wasn’t treated the way I deserved. By anyone. I suffered. Inside I screamed. Outside I was a still wall. That wasn’t me. I crushed.
I learned later that it was me that hasn’t been fair to myself. I haven’t been honest with myself and I too treated myself badly. I didn’t listen to myself, I didn’t honor my wishes, I told myself my idea was stupid… I forgot who I was and what I wanted. I silenced every honest and self serving thought I ever had. All to meet the expectations everyone else put on me. Expectations I put on myself, thinking they are mine. I was trapped by a belief system that trained me to fail. A belief system built by other’s people beliefs, a society that pushes you in the wrong direction, education that teaches you not to learn, and mates that laugh at you and wait for you to fail… Well, I never failed. I never lived. I was on autopilot. I got it all wrong.
One little thought. One little question at one single moment that day, made a wormhole to a parallel universe: “Does it have to be like this?” I thought, and all the other options started popping up, floating and dancing around me. It is a multiverse! I could have been anything and anywhere I wanted. Instead I was trapped into my little box. All those great opportunities I said no to. I couldn’t breathe. All that could’ve been. I was suffocating. I held myself under the water for a long time. I woke up. I decided to change my life that day. I didn’t know how, but I had to do it.
I started by trying to answer one simple question: “Who am I?” – The answer was so complicated…
I was all I never wanted to be.
I was a denial.
I was countless excuses and misfortunes.
No. I won’t let it hold me down anymore.
A different question popped up: Who do I want to be? Many simple answers to this question. All of them beautiful and not one is a sad story full of excuses. The answer seemed like a plan! A plan made of acceptance, learning and taking action.
First, I had to accept that who I was is who (or what) I’ve become.
Not what I wanted.
Not what I imagined.
Not what I hoped.
Accept that I didn’t like who I was. To be more precise, I hated who I had become. I didn’t know all of this that day, but I knew I had to do something about it. I learned a lot since.
Change takes a lot of learning. Learning who you want to be and how to become that person.
It takes questioning your own beliefs and admitting that you were wrong. It takes a lot of mindfulness, observing and correcting your behavior.
A decision is not enough. Change needs a lot of hard work and even more learning.
It takes making choices, choosing instead of letting the choices choose you.
It takes making better, bolder and scarier choices. Making the choices the person you want to be would take. It takes courage.
It takes standing up when you fall down. It takes turning the autopilot off and changing old habits.
It takes time.
Every day I made a different choice I got one step closer to the person I want to be. A day doesn’t go by without me asking myself who I am. And every day I remind myself of the person I want to be. One day I will be that person.
For now, I am healthier and happier then ever before!
I make choices that make me happy.
I am brave.
I make choices that make people around me happy.
I like who I am. I have the best time and I am surrounded by the best people I could ask for! I look forward to every opportunity life throws at me.
That, for now, is the person I want to be.