You should never let other people determine your happiness. It’s extremely dangerous not to be in charge of your own happiness.
I let other people control my happiness for years. I gave everyone power they didn’t deserve, or want. Someone could say a single thing and I would spiral back into a big black hole. Most of the time they didn’t even mean to hurt my feelings, but once you start being unstable, after a while, everything will knock you over. I took everything as a personal attack and every conversation left me feeling sad and alone. It’s like they say: ‘If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.’
You need to find out who you are during the current time of your life and be confident in that. Don’t be defined by what you think other people want you to be. If you try to live up to other people’s ideas of who you are you’ll spend your entire life trying to be someone you’re not.
“You see, the reality of it all is: most of the time people don’t really care.”
You see, the reality of it all is: most of the time people don’t really care. We all go through life, especially our younger years, thinking that other people are constantly looking at and judging us. They’re not. Let’s face it, they may do so for a few seconds, a couple minutes tops, but pretty soon they’ll go back to their own life. They won’t think ‘oh she/he did that and that, that’s so weird’. They’ll probably think this ‘she did that and that, maybe I should be more like that, do I do that too?, maybe I should do more of this’. Part of being human is our tendency to be completely self-centered. I don’t think that’s wrong, nor am I writing this to shame anyone, I’m simply writing this to remind people of this fact. It’s human nature. Realizing that no one really cares how you live your life can be such a comforting thing.
Here’s my example: for years I tried to be what I thought my friends wanted me to be, what my family wanted me to be, what my mom, dad or sister wanted me to be. The thing is, they were my own made up ideas of who I thought they wanted me to be. Big surprise: they were completely wrong. Most people around you that truly love you only want one thing: for you to be safe, happy and healthy. That’s it.
So be that. Be safe, happy and healthy in your own way. And keep in mind that that may change over time. Recently I’ve been reading a lot about Taoism. The one thing that speaks to me most, so far, is the rejection of the idea that people need to find themselves at one point in their lives so they’re set until the end. Ancient Chinese philosophers believe that the world is constantly changing and so are we. So, we can’t figure out how to define ourselves and stick with that. We can only know who we are in the moment, after that, we change again. You can’t know who you will be in a month, but you can enjoy every moment of getting there.
“We can’t figure out how to define ourselves and stick with that. We can only know who we are in the moment, after that, we change again.”
It can be difficult to accept that we change. Sometimes you suddenly realize that you’re no longer who you were years ago. I tend to have this when I have conversations with people who still think I am the girl I was five years ago. I’ve always hated trying to be someone that I’ve outgrown. So I don’t try to be that older version of me, anymore. I am who I am right now. If it’s hard for other people to adjust, that’s their problem, not mine.
Some years ago I was the dark kid. I wore black all the time and I was depressed. Later I became the nerd with the flowery dresses. Now I can be defined as the hippy girl. I’m vegan, I do yoga and I carry crystals with me because even if they don’t work, they won’t do any harm. I’ve learned to never let myself stick to a temporal state that I’m in. We are constantly changing, and that’s good.
So whoever you are right now, embrace it. Be yourself completely and don’t apologize. If other people can’t accept you because they don’t agree with a certain part of you, that’s their problem, not yours. Be yourself, be happy, be healthy and make sure you spread the joyful feeling you get from being no one but yourself.