For so long, I lived in a cage built from the ideals, values, and constructs that society told me were important. Tradition and culture were expected to seep into every corner of my life and navigate my decisions. Many things expected of me weren’t what I personally wanted or felt I needed in my life but I went along with it. I was submissive and obedient.
It wasn’t until I let my carefully constructed world crash down that I saw the truth. I let go of expectations and people pleasing habits. I stepped off the path drawn out for me. I was about ready to admit defeat because I wasn’t on par with what society thought anymore. I expected the feelings of shame and failure were inevitable. And I felt something that caught me off guard.
A breath of fresh air.
In the process of losing everything I was told “mattered” in life, I gained something more important. A taste of true freedom. Peace.
I walked away from a life defined by others. I lost friends and family. I lost my identity. I lost the cosy illusions that I had settle into believing. It was disconcerting at first.
But those losses made me the person I am today.
I also lost the stress and unhappiness that had been lurking in dark corners of my life previously. The constant battle with Imposter Syndrome became a part of my past. I lost the immense weight that I didn’t even know I was shouldering.
Today, I am better than I could have ever been before. I’d rather stand for something and make a couple enemies along the way than be liked by everyone but stand for nothing. What a wonderful life it is when I could start living for myself.
Nathaniel Hawthorne – Scarlet Letter