I have always been a pretty self-conscious person. Not in the way that I constantly need reassurance, but more that I always thought I had to earn the right to exist. And in my head, that meant fulfilling every expectation someone had of me. For a big part, I defined myself through how well I was able to do that. I’m not casting blame on anyone though, everything that happens to me is 100% my fault. Also, the highest expectations anyone has of me are definitely my own.
For a long, long time, I was able to breeze through life while fulfilling every role I had to take on without much of a challenge. And that became the ONE THING I was proud of. And it worked splendidly, while I was able to function. The tricky thing is, that if you define your worth through how well you fulfill others’ expectations, you also do it when you’re not able to fulfill them. Or if you think you can’t. And that is how I came to see myself as a failure. Just a general, in all aspects of my life, failure. So I became obsessed with wanting to feel valued again. I did everything anyone wanted me to do. Still, it wasn’t enough. So I did more. And more. And more. You get the gist.
At some point, I looked at my life and didn’t recognise a thing. None of the things I did were actually something I enjoyed. But worst of all, I couldn’t even remember things I actually enjoyed. I had been so focused on being someone everyone else wanted me to be, that I had completely lost sight of things I wanted to be for myself.
Now apparently, I am exceptionally bad at recognizing where my limits are, cause by the time I realised I was only focused on everybody else, I was already empty inside. Now this sounds so cliché, but I don’t know how else to put it. I felt like I only consisted of the mask I wore for the outside world, but there was nothing left behind that mask. Hollow is the word I’d use to describe the feeling.
So how do you figure out what you want to be in life, when you feel like a shadow of your former self and you’re not even sure there’s anything left to call a persosnality? Answer is, you don’t.
Or at least I don’t. I can’t. I am just trying to slowly, with many wrong turns, get to know myself again and remember what I love. I’m trying to focus on the future instead of the past, on becoming the person I want to be and not sabotage myself while doing that.
I wish I could give you an easy solution, but I’m just making this up as I go along. So we’ll see how it goes… but I’m sure the way will be fun, at least for you!