Life is about taking chances. Small chances, big chances, life-changing chances. It doesn’t matter. You can’t expect to change your life if you’re not willing to take risks. I have learned that all too well by not taking enough. Because I was afraid. But at this point; what do I have to lose? Not my life, so, why the hell not?
I am traveling cross-country, living in an RV full-time. Chance of a lifetime. Yet, I find myself feeling like I’m not challenging myself enough.
I spent my entire life, up until this point, fearing rejection or feeling like I wasn’t good enough. It hindered me. It made me feel self-conscious. Anxious about saying or doing the wrong thing, shy because I had said and done the wrong thing too many times. I stopped taking chances. I stopped taking risks. I stopped saying how I felt. I stopped putting myself out there. And I regret it.
Someone asked me the other day, “What is your biggest regret?” I thought about it for a few minutes and responded, “Not breaking up with my ex earlier.” I dated him for three years. About a year-and-a-half in, I realized I didn’t love him. Not only did I not love him, I never loved him. I just thought I did because he was handsome and successful.
It was a difficult realization, and it hurt because of course I loved him, just not as a partner. As a friend. But I stuck it out because in my mind, I preferred suffering through an unhealthy relationship rather than feeling alone. Realistically, I wasn’t confident enough in myself to walk away. And in my mind, I thought if I spent enough time with him, I would learn to love him. I told myself that love was a choice. You make the choice to love one another every single day. But it’s not a choice. You can’t help who you love and you can’t help who you don’t love.
But to be honest with you all, and with myself, I think my biggest regret was not speaking up. High school was an absolutely horrendous time for me. It’s hard to compare my experience to others because it’s not often someone is open about being bullied. And if they are, how can you compare your trauma to anyone else’s? So what I experienced might not seem like a big deal to others, but to me, it felt like the end of the world. Literally, contemplated ending my life a handful of times and it wasn’t until this year, five years later, that I felt like I could tell my mom that.
I tried talking about it once a couple of years ago. I forget the name of the app, but basically, it let people ask me things or say things anonymously and I had talked a little about how I was bullied on one of my social media pages. Someone, who obviously knew what was going on in high school, responded saying that “victimization is a mental illness and you need to stop victimizing yourself because it wasn’t that bad.” Well, to whoever said that, if you ever read this, it was that bad. You go through what I went through and then tell me it wasn’t that bad. *Insert eye roll here*
Moral of, it made me question what actually happened to me. Was it that bad or was I just making it up in my head? Did I really feel how I felt because of what happened to me or would I have felt like that regardless of external circumstances? Was I really just being sensitive? Questions I still ponder to this day. I won’t ever downplay what happened to me. And I won’t ever take back how I felt. I won’t ever apologize for the horrible, mean, insensitive, terrible things I finally said to them when I decided to stand up for myself. I might thank them, though, for bringing out the strength in me I never knew I had and showing me that I am so much more than they made me believe I was.
But, I will never forgive them either.
I let people dictate how I should act. I let my looks dictate what group of people I was supposed to hangout with, what types of clothes I was supposed to wear, what boys I was supposed to date. When in reality, I hated every single person I surrounded myself with because they took advantage of me. Treated me like a punching bag. Used me as their own entertainment when they got bored. Made me question my life because they thought it was funny. Let me know how making someone want to commit suicide is funny. Really, if you know, my e-mail is on the contact page. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Makes you uncomfortable, right? Imagine now, how uncomfortable it makes people who actually feel this way speak out. Something to think about.
Let me tell you something I’ve learned about society. It has a hold on us, a mold created in the hands of those who have the power, saying that we need to act a certain way. We need to have certain things to feel validated. We need to think and act like this because that’s the only way we’ll fit in and be accepted. I’m sorry if there are children reading this, but fuck that. Enough of that. Enough of letting people hold us back and control us because we are too afraid to stand up for what we believe in or we’re too afraid to speak our minds. If someone doesn’t agree with you, that’s their problem. It doesn’t impact you.
One mold does not work for everyone and I can tell you it doesn’t work for me either. For a while, I was embarrassed by that. I found myself questioning what was wrong with me when in reality, it was who I chose to surround myself with. It was never me.
Sure, there are parts of me that people absolutely hate. But those are the same parts that others will absolutely love. I can’t control that. But what I can control is how I choose to move forward with that knowledge. I can try to change who I am to be more accepted or I can put more energy into accepting those parts of me and finding others who accept those parts of me as well.
So, take the chance. Tell the boy you love him. Ask her on a date. Apply to the CEO position. Eat the damn hamburger. Stop and smell the fucking roses. I don’t care what you do, but challenge yourself. Challenge yourself every single day and don’t stop until you’re satisfied with who you are as a person.’
I promise, you’ll get there. And you’ll be happy you took the risk.