THE THING THAT IS REALLY HARD, AND REALLY AMAZING,
IS GIVING UP ON BEING PERFECT
AND BEGINNING THE WORK OF BECOMING YOURSELF.
I always thought that being myself should be the easiest thing I ever do, and that there's something incredibly wrong with me that I struggle with it so much. I mean, come on! There's only one of me, there will only be one of me, ever. Doesn't that mean I pretty much make the rules for who I am?
Apparently, I did not get that memo. Or, if I did, I threw it away with lots of other important memos, including how to make a roast chicken and how to fold a fitted sheet. I always wanted something different. It wasn't a commentary or a judgement on anyone or anything else. I just wanted to be me, to feel good in my own skin.
But it's one thing to chafe against other people and their opinions. It's a whole other thing to chafe against yourself, to question and worry who you are as if your soul is nothing but a dog's chew toy. Why did I want to live somewhere else? Why didn't I want to do what most people did? Why did my thoughts and feelings seem at odds with so many of the people I knew? What was wrong with me?
Turns out, nothing. Nothing was - or is - wrong with me. Different does not equal wrong or bad or stupid. The problem is that a lot of people don't understand that. You can disagree with someone yet still respect and even support their choices.
But it really comes down to respecting ourselves and supporting our own choices. I don't know why it's not easy sometimes. I wish I had the answers (if you do, please share in the comments!) but I'm at least comforted to know I'm not alone in my struggles. It's not just me.