This post is something I’ve written and rewritten 100 times. I have such a clear idea of how I feel, but putting it into words has proven to be difficult.
So bear with me and hear me out – I’ve been very introspective since moving away, and I’ve been thinking and questioning a lot of things that I thought I knew and I thought I believed.
The biggest conclusion that I’ve drawn?
People aren’t living for themselves.
And I don’t say that as an accusation – it’s more of something I’m just wanting to put out there. People live to meet expectations that have been set for them, and more or less most people are living according to the same formula.
To take you back to where this thought process began: I get asked a lot about my leaving college and if I intend on going back. Depending on who is asking I answer in two very different ways:
- If it’s an adult or someone who I think holds some perceived authority over me – I lie. I give a non-committal answer about needing to explore my options and of course one day I’ll go back for my degree, probably next spring!
- If it’s anyone else I just explain to them that I felt stuck in college – being there was impeding my growth. I needed to chase bigger dreams. Will I go back? Probably, maybe, but I don’t know when and under what circumstances.
When it came to leaving school – I knew with 100% of my soul that I did not want to go back this semester, and that going back would have been more emotionally and mentally taxing than I may have been able to handle.
Yet actually deciding to leave was one of the hardest choices I’ve made.
Not because I thought that I’d regret it – I knew I wouldn’t. And I wasn’t worried about my future – I’ll be fine.
What I was worried about was how other people would react to a decision that ultimately didn’t impact them in the slightest.
And looking back on that I realized it’s a pretty messed up way to live life.
After gaining that perspective, I feel like I’ve been freed. If you’ve been around for a while, I got pretty open and raw about my experiences with mental health, and just a few months later I’ve had a complete 180.
The realization that I have control over my life and how I act and react to situations and that I don’t have to make my decisions based on others has been very freeing.
Now, yes I am so much happier than I had been, but I’ll be honest and say that moving to New York hasn’t been completely carefree and easy.
It was and still is emotionally taxing – I’m missing watching my favorite little guy grow up, I can count on my fingers how many times I’ll see my family in the next six months, I wasn’t there to give my grandpa a big hug when his scans finally came back clean, and now Chris and I are long distance – again.
With all of that said – my new realization makes me feel empowered. Knowing that I can (and have!) make decisions for myself without worrying about the opinions of others I can confidently say that I won’t let my mental health get to a dark place again, and I will be able to better take care of myself.
Whenever I start writing these deeper, heavier posts I sit down with the intention of telling you steps A, B, and C to start living for yourself – but I realized I can’t do that. Instead I just ask that you start asking yourself who you are making your decisions for.
On a vaguely similar note – I’ve spent the last month being very introspective – I’ve been thinking about what has made me into who I am, and I’d love recommendations for blogs that cover more spiritual/self-care topics. Thanks!