Live for you, not for others

Get your cup of coffee in hand, it’s story time. I’ve lived a very complex life, not hard but also not a bed of roses. All my life I’ve been the “perfect kid”. I’m 23 by the way. I don’t party, don’t drink and smoke. Don’t do much risk taking either. Always been an A student, did things by the book and always carried the tittle of “perfect kid”. I was always told that I’m going to excell and do great in life, get my family out of poverty and become an example to my siblings. All my life I had that, that’s what was expected of me and I guess I did alright given the circumstances. I was always told what to do. I never allowed myself to make mistakes because I didn’t want to hurt anyone.

For a long time I did what was expected of me and not what I wanted. I followed rules, stayed in school and became the ‘perfect daughter’. I guess it’s not all bad but somewhere I forgot how to be myself. In all that, I stopped living my life and lived a life everyone wanted. I did everything to make everyone happy and in doing so, I forsake my own happiness. I forgot about me. Going through all that I lost bits of myself and I became everything everyone wanted and needed but I didn’t become me. I didn’t become what I wanted and what I needed myself to be. I built a prison for myself and its been very hard trying to escape. If I do manage to escape then what do I escape to? Who do I become?

Does that sound familiar? You’ve lived your life the way everyone expects you to, you’ve become a puppet and you can’t control your own strings because you don’t know how. You don’t know where to start or how to even start because you don’t know yourself anymore. You don’t know your needs and it’s hard because the image you’ve had of yourself and the facade you’ve lived all your life is slowly crumbling and you don’t know what to do. That’s where I am. If that’s where you are then you are not alone. It’s hard finding your way and trying to do things for yourself because you don’t want to dissapoint anyone but the sad reality is that you are disappointing yourself.

Why is it so hard to just be yourself? Is it because you don’t know who you are, is it because you are scared of what you might be or is it because you don’t want to dissapoint your loved ones? It’s hard to carry all that as a person. Trust me I understand. It’s hard living a double life, a lie because you end up blaming others and resenting them for your choices. “If my dad didn’t force me to study this then I would’ve studied what I wanted, If my mom didn’t force me to get married then I would’ve focused on my career, if I hadn’t listened to my sister and put the family first then this wouldn’t have happened”, does that sound familiar? Sad truth is that it happened and you have to deal with it.

Here’s a crazy idea, speak out. Speak for yourself. Be true to who you are. Allow yourself to go on a journey where you will be able to look at the direction your life is taking and reflect on it. Try to find yourself. It’s not easy trust me. I’m going through it now and I can’t clearly see the path but living a life filled with regret and resenting those around me isn’t the life I’m willing to live. Finding your voice, finding yourself and doing what you love is very important in life. If you can’t speak out for yourself, you don’t know who you are and your life is filled with misery then you are doomed. It’s not an easy journey to take, the one of self discovery but it’s one we should all take to have a happy life.

Moral of the post
You only live once, so live your life the best way you want to, the best way you know how. Don’t live to please people at the expense of your happiness but make sure that you come first. You matter, your dreams and opinions matter and so they should be heard. If you let people take your voice away from you, they will end up taking all of you and you will end up living a life filled with anger and regret. Don’t live for anyone. Live for yourself.

Remember, Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.

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Stuff it, I’m jumping without a parachute and I’m starting over.

I poured myself a cup of coffee and wondered how to start this post. So here goes: I began this blog back in varsity thinking I was a good writer and the world needed to hear what I had to say. I love writing and I’m passionate about it and in my eyes that qualified me as a good writer, boy was I wrong. The truth is I am not a good writer, I am learning to become a writer and if I become a good one then awesome and if I become a great one, even better. Honestly when I began this blog I had dreams of readers flocking to my site and reading the little nuggets of wisdom I had to offer. Isn’t that what we all want though, an audience. Someone to hear or read what we have to say, someone who trusts in what we say and believes in us. I also wanted that but I wasn’t patient enough and I was doing something very wrong.

The truth is I wasn’t being myself, I was trying to be a political analyst, a spokesperson and everything else but myself. I wasn’t using my voice. I was trying to be different, astute and I wanted to become something I was not. I realise now that by trying to be someone else I killed myself and my love for writing so I stopped blogging. After less than 10 posts I stopped blogging. I had to get back to the drawing board, I had to find myself and what I stood for. What I wanted to give to the world out there and that’s when I realised that I needed to resurrect my blog. I needed to start over as me.

I had to change my approach. I had to give birth to a blog that is mine. A blog that resembled me and what I stand for. I had to give it my voice, give it a new life.
It’s like having a baby in a way. You want that child to succeed, to be adored by the masses, to be understood, to be the best. You want that child to resemble you, to have your qualities. Your smile, your brown eyes because you identify yourself in that child and you want the world to see that that’s your baby. In the same way, I want my blog to have my personality, my mind, simplicity and yet be engaging. I just want people to read it and identify the realness. So I had to start over, better this time.

We all get that moment when we realise that we need to just stop and start over. To find ourselves first and our place in the universe before we can venture off into any project. The method in Hollywood movies it to take your napsack, run away from it all, find a secluded place (usually a village or a jungle, I don’t know why the jungle but hey it works for some), find others on the same journey as you, share stories of life and sing Kumbaya till the Sun rises but the truth is that doesn’t work for everyone. You don’t have to run away to find yourself. Sometimes you can just switch your phone off (hha and how will you read my blog?), I’m kidding, switch it off or not, be alone for sometime, stare at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself questions, be true to yourself, try to find who you are and just take that one step to a journey of self discovery and if need be, start over.

Don’t forget your past, there are some very valuable lessons there and some scary skeletons that you have to face but that’s the whole idea, face your past and you will face yourself. However saying that you should not forget your past doesn’t mean you should hang onto it and re-live it. The past is there to teach not to hold you back and hold you hostage in your future.
That’s the reason I didn’t remove my previous posts. They are a part of my journey into this cyber world. They serve as a teacher and a reminder that sometimes a formula that works for others might not work for you. What’s good for the goose might not be good for the gander.

I realise that starting over is not easy. There can be certain things holding you back on life. It can be fear of letting go of what you are used to or just fear of the unknown. We get held back by our circumstances, what will people say, what will I do now? We marry all negativity and harbour the ‘What if’ syndrome and we don’t realise that by doing so we hinder ourselves from living to our fullest potential. What if I’m not good enough, what if someone has already written about this, what if I don’t get an audience, what if, what if, what if? However here is the thing, what if I am good enough, what if I succeed and I become a better writer and grow as a human being. Sometimes the only thing standing in our way is the man in the mirror. We need to believe in ourselves so much that we are not afraid to start, to fail or to let go.

I won’t lie I’m scared of falling again or failing or even losing myself as I go along but that’s just the thing about starting a new journey, it be blogging or starting afresh as a single woman or even being a first time mother. Nothing is guaranteed and life doesn’t come with a manual but as we go along we learn. We stumble, we fall, we hurt, we let go, we fail or we achieve greatness, the idea is to just keep moving on and keep starting. We learn that in failure there are lessons, in success we gather the methods and structures of how to continue and when we fall we get back up and we believe ourselves to be stronger.

There is no manual on how to be the best writer, if there was trust me all bloggers would have the Pulitzer prize in writing. There is no manual on how to become the best there ever was. It’s the same way in life, there is no manual on how to be the perfect human being. There is the bible, the Qur’an, other religious books and self help books on how to be good and noble but there isn’t a proven method on how to be perfect. We would have no sinners at all , we would be perfect but the truth is we are all human and somewhere along the road we lose ourselves and we fall. It’s just the way life is. I fell and now I’m getting back up again.
This is my start and I might stumble or fall somewhere down the line or learn and become good at writing, the idea is to keep moving on.

So with my cold cup of coffee, as I stare at this screen and wonder if this is good enough to post, I hope someone somewhere will also say “stuff it, I’m jumping without a parachute and I’m starting over”. See a new day as a blank page and write your own story but for you to do that you have to start somewhere. So when I post this and venture again into this world with my eyes shut, I hope that you will also start something. Here goes everything…