Becoming myself

Anna - Bakersfield, California
Entered on July 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Sometimes, what is meant to “build up your character” can actually build up a wall and confine you to a horrible little cell.

Growing up I was always told by my rotational parents that I was going to do amazing things, be influential in the world, Change the world, write books, marry a wealthy yachtsman, and be important! They instilled in me that I would “make it” if I could be “successful”.

All these well-intended commissions made me feel so pressured – I stagnated under the weight of fear, fearing that if I screwed up this thing or that thing, that all theses great things would not happen, I would let the world down. I was afraid that if I did not fulfill a part of my destiny, I therefore could not fulfill any of my Destinies. This made me cower back from confrontation or the chance to fail. I was so afraid of failing so many things, that I just wouldn’t try. I would spend as much time on my own as possible to think things through and analyze what I should or shouldn’t reveal my efforts in. I was even afraid of failing in conversation and appearing stupid or un-informed. I grew up traveling the world but was afraid to speak up about anything – I would try so hard to listen and at the same time conjure up something magnificent to say, something that would show off my intellect and exposure to world events and desired ‘level head-ed-ness’. I couldn’t do it. I thought that everyone hated me, that I was always out of place everywhere. I reached the point where I threw it all in whomevers faces and basically said, “Screw everything, if I can’t do anything perfectly, I’m not going to do anything at all”. That is how I felt, even though I may have been walking around with a smile.

Now, I have just walked away.

I have reached a new place; one that I always knew was here but I was afraid that by coming here I would be forsaking the place I had to be.

I have stepped off the shiny and slippery fake marble path.

I am walking on the path I was meant to – all those years I saw the path and dismissed it as the wrong path because of the weeds.

Turns out they weren’t weeds.

They are beautiful wild flowers, blooming where they were planted and appropriate to the season.

I love who I am and I need not prove myself to anyone.

I am defining my own success and am taken aback by the pleasure of life as it reveals itself to me, not as I pre-demand it to be.

I’m not in control of defining the great and amazing things, and I no longer believe that anyone is. Great and amazing things, I now understand, are every single breath and heartbeat and expressing of love.

Success is simply being alive and honoring the holiness and uniqueness of life.