About, My Happiness Project

Being Me

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I have been struggling lately with finding myself and being myself. I like to think I know what that is and what that looks like, but in reality I am not so sure. I know that we are ever-changing and the person who is typing this in this moment will not be the same person in the next moment. I struggle with finding the balance between what I am supposed to do and what I actually enjoy or want to do. I have noticed this pattern in my life as of late. I feel overwhelmed and exhausted, so I pare down my life to the essentials. Then I feel external pressure to do, be, have, act more. I call this my more more more instinct. I usually relent and give into this instinct and add things to my life. The types of things I add are usually of the unessential or mundane type, TV, movies, etc. I then am watching the thing or doing the thing and I realize I do not like this. I do not want to do this, why am I doing this? Sometimes I realize I am doing something because that is something the “old” me used to like to do, or was accustomed to doing is more likely. In this season of my life, I struggle between who I am supposed to be and who I actually am. One way this plays out is in gender roles, I think of the things I have somehow come to assume women like to do- get their nails done, watch romantic comedies, read romantic books, watch dramatic television, put on makeup, care about my outward appearance, or have a distinctive sense of style. I look at this list or just type out this list and I feel tired, exhausted. I am not that person, yes there are parts I am willing to ascribe to; I will put on a bit of makeup to feel more confident. I am currently working on finding a sense of style so as to make shopping and getting dressed in the morning easier. Most of the rest though, I have to let go. And yet as I say that I still struggle. I wonder if letting go of those things that I do not do or care about makes me somehow less of a woman, less feminine. I have to accept that in reality, I do not care about being very feminine, I feel like I should, but I don’t. I have been reading and listening to the work of Emily Freeman lately and I am coming to be wary of the shoulds. I find the shoulds indicating things I do not want to do but feel a compulsion towards. I know this letting go process will not be easy, or simple or concrete. I may get to another season where I feel the more more more impulse, but I am slowing down and learning to recognize that it is just an instinct and impulse, probably one of those given to me by evolution that is not helping me. I can see the instinct for what it is and let it go, knowing I have enough and I am enough just as I am. Not spending all my time trying to be the person society tells me to, not trying to be someone other than who I am. I am not saying that those things are inherently bad or not worth my time, but I know when I do them I feel like an impostor. I am tired of always being an impostor, I just want to be me. If you need permission to just be yourself, to let go of the shoulds, to let go of who society, or family, or friends or loved ones think you should be, permission granted. I think we would be better off if we stopped trying to evaluate our self worth based on others and instead accepted each other as we are, all our quirks and all. I have found living based on the more more more impulse to be unfulfilling and exhausting. I am tired of being tired and I want to instead feel alive and grateful for what I have. I want to live in a way that feels like me. I am not saying that I plan on living in a way that is stagnant, but rather do things that feel true in my soul, even if they make me nervous or afraid at times. I am embracing me, in all my changing glory and hoping that in this new month and in this new year I can find a way to make being myself the norm, to ignore the pressure of the world and just live my life in a way that is working towards my purpose in life, living my life intentionally.

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2 thoughts on “Being Me”

  1. You express the dilemma beautifully, Sarah. A friend just loaned me The Book of Joy while I’ve been home with the flu. I think you would also enjoy it. See if your library has it. There’s great wisdom in it.

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