I am 57 years old and still learning about myself every single day. I remember when my father-in-law was going through a painful procedure while he was struggling with cancer, I think it was called Pleurodesis. The basics of the procedure are that the doctor draws excess fluid out of the chest cavity and then they inject a talc drug into the area theoretically to cause the two layers of the pleura to stick together, which should prevent the future buildup of fluid between them. I said should……. We could hear him in the hallway, it was very painful for him and when I talked to him immediately afterwards he said it was the most painful thing he had ever had done (and he was a tough old bird) and I piped in that he never gave birth with no drugs or epidurals because that was pretty f’ing painful and he said and I quote “well, you aren’t too smart then are you? You did it 2 more times”. Touche’ Poppa. So, this brings me to now, my 57th year on this earth and the things I am still learning, ever so slowly I might add.
I’m slowly learning that I can still love myself even if someone else doesn’t. I’m slowly learning that I don’t need to work so hard in order to win the approval of someone else. I’m slowly learning that if they do not like me, that is none of my business. Just because my brain knows this though, doesn’t mean I still am not bothered by it because I am, but I’ve always said that I am a work in progress. I am a people pleaser and I want everyone to like me but I’m slowly figuring out that what someone else thinks about me rarely has anything to do with me at all, and I’m slowly learning it’s not my job to change their mind. I direct my own movie and if someone else decides to do that for me, I can’t control it which is a hard lesson for a self-proclaimed control freak.
I’m slowly learning to walk my own path without worrying so much about what someone else might think. I’m slowly learning to pursue my own passions and interests for my own sense of joy, and not because it’s the path someone else thinks I should take. I will be honest though, I’m a slow learner because I need a reminder every day from either myself or from the people I love. I’m slowly learning that not everyone will understand my journey and it may take me a while to get to my destination and although I know there will be bumps and detours that others may question, it is okay, I know I will get there eventually.
I’m slowly learning that other people do not define me and that their narrative about me might or might not be true. I’m slowly learning that people will think what they want about me, and I don’t have to agree with them or try to sway their opinion of me. I’m slowly learning to resist the urge to make them see me in another light although it’s in my very genetic makeup to argue this. There is a great quote I am trying to remember “Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you”.
I’m slowly learning that there’s always going to be someone who disapproves of me or who doesn’t like me. I’m slowly understanding there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t understand me, and I’m slowly understanding it’s okay if they don’t want to try, that’s on them not me and I need to just let that sh&% go. At the end of the day people will love me and people will hate me, and none of that will have anything to do with me.
I’m slowly learning that life became a lot easier when I gave myself back the control to live my life in a way that makes sense to me and no one else and life is a lot easier when I have given people back their own life to live the way they want to. It sure has taken a lot of the pressure off me and has allowed me the possibility to be who I want to be.
I’m slowly learning that I am in control of how I feel about myself. I’m slowly learning that I shouldn’t depend so much on others to make me feel good about myself. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and that is ok.
I’m slowly learning that other people are not in my life to save me, that is my job and mine alone. I’m slowly learning that no one can fix me, no can save me, and it’s not their job to do so. I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to depend on myself every now and then and that I need to be my own advocate.
I’m going to sign off today with a quote from the late Kobe Bryant that in my opinion, sums up my life in a nutshell: “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”