I will never let myself be used, mocked, and disrespected anymore. I am my own person and I deserve to be treated right.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 3, 2020. It has since been updated.
For as long as I can remember, I've always been the kind of person who likes to make people happy. It's just who I am and I don't plan on changing that. I consider it to be my biggest virtue... but I'm aware that it's also one of my biggest flaws. I tend to make sure everyone else is satisfied and I prioritize myself last. Not just that, I have the habit of giving everyone the benefit of the doubt and that has led to my heart being shattered so many times. My happiness just never occurred to them.
But not anymore. Now, I just can't let myself be broken like that. I realized a little too late that I was surrounded by toxic people who just wanted to use and manipulate me. I'm done. Better late than never.
I can feel this shift inside me. It's taking the people-pleaser part of me and turning me into someone who understands the need to take care of herself first. It's like I'm shedding the mask that I showed to the world and finally being who I really am. And I'm okay with it. It's given me a chance to learn more about myself, something I never did before because I was catering to everyone else. It's time to cleanse myself - in my mind and in my life.
Along the way, I realized a few truths about myself:
People don't care about things the way I do. I may have always been the one to initiate new things or invest my effort into something that meant something, but it hit me that not everyone cares as much.
I cared way too much about what others thought of me. What's so wrong about wanting to be liked? Nothing. But it took over my life. I wanted, no, needed approval because I thought that if I didn't get it, I would be cast aside.
I constantly compared myself to others. I always wanted to be the next so-and-so. At the time, I didn't realize that I was special and unique in my own way. I failed to see that I was just as amazing as the person I was comparing myself to.
I worried too much. I completely missed out on all the good things in my life because I worried about problems that I couldn't control. I worried that people wouldn't like me if I was a certain way. I worried that there was always going to be someone better than me.
But now, I just don't care about any of this. I just don't have the patience for it anymore.
My life is mine to live and no one can dictate who I should or should not be. It's time to distance myself from all the toxic people and surround myself with people who I know love me truly. Whether it's family, friends, or strangers, I refuse to let them bring me down. It's time for me to chase my own dreams and not care about what others think of my ideas. It's time for me to stand up for myself and not let anyone think that they can use me as a puppet. It's time for me to live in the now.
I know my worth and I won't settle for anything less. I deserve to be respected as a person. I've given my heart and soul for a lot of people who actually didn't deserve it. I also know that as I grow older, my loved ones are getting older too. I want to focus on appreciating them and letting them know how much they mean to me.
I'm not perfect and I like it that way. I can finally let out the pent-up years of frustration and pain and be okay with it. I'm finally owning myself. It took time and a ton of effort, but I made it.
If you're anything like me, don't worry. You'll get there too. Because you too have been through so much in life, yet you manage to stand tall every day. Your strength is right there in front of you. So are all the people who genuinely applaud it. That spark inside you is what carries you through every battle and will continue to do so.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.