Every time I do something for myself without asking for permission or worrying about someone else’s response, it feels like taking my socks and bra off at the end of a long day (seriously one of the best feelings ever). It’s like pulling out all the bobby pins and letting my hair breathe. It’s like running barefoot through a field. Is that enough visuals?
I am done pleasing others. I am done censoring myself, adjusting myself, and adapting to others expectations. I don’t want to worry about anticipated responses or criticism. I don’t want to tiptoe to avoid hurt feelings. I don’t want likes or praise or pity or validation.
I don’t want to be a cookie-cutter version of myself.
I have never really been the girl to care about social media likes or opinions of me that come from those who do not really know me. But lately, I’ve been experiencing writers block. I’ve found myself struggling with what to say and how to say it, even on my first drafts. I kept wondering how much of the truth I should tell and how precisely I should phrase it. How many people should look at it before I share it. It’s prevented progress of any kind. As I get older and make new friends and lose old ones and watch circumstances change, writing has become more and more of a stable outlet for me. And I want to use it as my platform, weapon, friend, and therapy.
This is not to say that I will never ever care what people think of my work or I will never ever care how others perceive me. I’m human, after all. But I won’t live my life according to it. Because permission prevents us from going. Permission is how we analyze. Even a “yes” could have us thinking, Okay they said “yes” but did they mean it? Was there an underlying tone in that yes? Permission stops us from having regrets. And I don’t believe in no regrets. I have tons of regrets. I think everybody does. I think we need regrets to learn and grow. We need to realize when we fucked up or should have done things differently. Regrets are how we become our own validators.
I’ve changed the way I formed my relationships when I get older. I’ve learned who to lean on for advice, who to lean on for feedback, and who to lean on for critique. I’ve learned to not accept advice, feedback, and critique that I did not ask for. I’ve learned that I can say yes, no, maybe, and I don’t know. That I do things at my own pace. In my own way. In my own rhythm. I’ve learned to listen to my heart and my gut and my body. To trust that I am intelligent and intellectual and passionate and determined and strong enough to make good decisions and bad mistakes for myself.
I want to be free. To be liberated. I want to be the girl who sings loudly and loves deeply. The girl who cries when she needs to cry. Who swears when she needs to swear. Who is her own fan. Who speaks her truth even when she’s afraid. Who delivers her thoughts before she’s fully processed them. Who admits her confusion. Her struggle. Her journey. Her questions. Who loves her life because with every blemish, a petal blooms. Because the people who don’t care truly have the most fun. I will not compromise my voice, my dreams, my instincts, my passions, or my heart for anyone else.
Imma do me.