If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already passed the stage when you first realise that everything has changed: people, work, and your life. At many points, this realisation hits again and makes you wonder, ‘Did I really miss out? Did I lose something precious in my life?’ Then, there comes a playback of memories from every phase of your life; from the childhood you cherished and crazy school days, to the adventures of university and the shift into work life. You take into consideration the opportunities you passed up, and you think about how things would be different if you had taken them. You wonder if the decisions you made to get you to this point were the right ones, or if you could have chosen your path better. And through it all, you note the way you’ve changed over time, or pretended to change, and why—who for? For what purpose?
You miss BEING YOURSELF. And with that realisation, you tell yourself, perhaps not for the first time, that you should enjoy the way you are and accept your flaws: embrace them and smile at them wholeheartedly. The fault is not on your end. These undesirable changes that you have only noticed in hindsight occurred from being around people whom you met accidentally in life, but who you now realise were not worth changing for. Back then, you didn’t feel like you had any choice but to change for them, in order to have some peace of mind and be accepted by others according to their standards. Perhaps you’re still changing for other people today. With time and experience you realise that you didn’t owe them anything nor were they an integral part of your life. For them you changed, compromised your identity and lost some of your self-respect, but five years down the line they are not there for you anymore.
You did everything you could to make them happy, yet if you could only see that you actually battled different inner personalities to be the one they liked, the one they wanted, and the one they expected, you’d realise it was never really worth it. Discard they, replace it with you and read it aloud. Feel yourself, your conscience, your strength. Feel your greatness, simplicity, and worth. You can teach yourself to take any aspect of what makes you the person you are, and visualise it on your own terms and not through the perceptions of others. You can eventually feel placidness in mind and heart, instead of the constant worry of what other people think. Learn to let go of everything and be yourself. Exhilarate in the joyfulness of having your own identity, live in the present and breathe. You own your self-respect; make an effort to maintain it. When you start to stand up for yourself against the haters, there stops being room for them to put you down.
Words by Nisha Subhanje