For most of us, intense pressure would make us question everything about ourselves. By that, I mean EVERYTHING! Going through one last night due to a bad day in law school, I was bombarded by my own mind with everything I did wrong in the past and with every achievement I had that was so insignificant to other people. They were all recurring to me like a nightmare – the voices of the people who made me feel diminutive over my own self, the feeling of wanting to shrink inside a shell and disappear into a steam out of embarrassment, the faces of people who broke me. It made me think: “Why am I always so weak?” “Why can’t people understand?” “Why can’t I cope up?” Bottom line the thought was: “Why am I always not enough?”
“Hold up,” I thought, “do you need to be?” And I answered quite immediately, “No.”
The thing is, you can never blame other people for how you end up in life. I knew that and what I did in response was always point the blame back to myself. And for everyone who’s thinking that’s good – you’re dead wrong. If my memory serves me right, I believe it was in the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People where I read that only when you blame no one, not even yourself, is when you really achieved maturity. How does that work? When you make a mistake, acknowledge it and move on. That’s it. When you linger in the moment of blaming yourself, that’s actually emotional abuse. The worst part is, you’re doing it on your own consent.
No one is perfect so don’t blame yourself for not being one.
I have made mistakes. I was not enough. But why would I torture myself over what I did years ago when I know in myself I’m not the same person anymore? I’ve reached the point of my life where I’m starting to realize what I love about myself and what I don’t. I might be a late bloomer but I work with what I have. Life isn’t a race, let others conquer life in their own phase and I’ll conquer mine on my own. Achieving success is both admirable for people who acquired it in a young age and even in a late age anyway.
So, do you know what is that I yearn to celebrate? My life of imperfection.
I haven’t offered my best for the past twenty years and I take that as a good thing. Because once you reach the ‘best’ you can only go downhill from there. And hell, I don’t intend to go downhill from my 20s! But it doesn’t give me the excuse to stay as is, because I know I want to be the best version of myself. Who wouldn’t?
I know it must be a terrible excuse for anyone I have ever injured over the past, and I’m not trying to pass it as one. In fact, I’m more than willing to make it up and apologize again. But none of that would work if they don’t let me. And by ‘let’ I hope people get that that is an openness thing in emotions, not just situational chances. So if you are reading this and I’ve injured you in any way, I beg you to tell me and give me a chance to reconcile. I would love nothing more.
But if there are things I would not apologize for – I would not apologize for being me. My attitudes change, my way of speaking and clothing change, my views in life will and definitely change as it always does, but I will not let my mistakes and insufficiencies define who I am anymore. Today I celebrate the very few things that makes me Gladys.
- I am idealistic – sue me. I am toning it down to be more realistic but I will never get rid of it. Being ideal is what makes me strive to be better. It’s what makes me hope, for humanity’s sake, that what is occurring at the very moment is not the best version of humanity. Because if it is, then we’re seriously screwed.
- I am sensitive – I definitely feel a lot but at least I’m not heartless. I’m working on controlling my emotions to handle situations better, but I will never get rid of something so beautiful – the ability to feel so much. It’s what gives me passion, it’s what’s enabling me to love the best way I can, it’s what’s making me see the possibilities of goodness in people, it’s what enables me to not judge people based on everything else other than how they treat other people.
- I ‘love’ too much (whatever that means) – and I will never apologize for that. Much like in the nature of truth: half the truth is still a lie. So is love. If love is given in half, it is not love at all. For I believe that if you have to moderate and put conditions on how you love, that is most certainly not love. * It is only appropriate to love the way you want to be loved.
What people fail to understand is that having one characteristic and/or personality will ALWAYS have an advantage and disadvantage. You can never have one without the other. It is yin and yang. What they also fail to give is the credit that some people are trying to live their lives conquering the ‘disadvantage’ parts of their personalities. If you only wish to see the best versions of people while wanting them to understand your worst, that’s just unfair if not hypocritical.
So yeah, I will always go up and down over and over and over again. If people around me are having a hard time coping up with that, I am having a harder time coping up with that. I am just as human as you are and none of us came in this world with a rule book on how to be ourselves. We just figure it out along the way and I’m in the processing of figuring out mine.
Here is twenty years of me, world.
* For people reading this, I leave the credit to you that you know what pure love is and you are able to distinguish the difference between stupidity and love. It is a very subjective idea.
PS: Thank you Ms. Bianca Sparacino from ThoughtCatalog for this inspiration. You fired up my heart and my pen!