The first time I ever put on a pair of glasses, it felt divine. Unearthly. There was a new spark to how I saw everything around me. Letters had a sharper edge to them. Textures were suddenly boisterous. Colours had a bit of swagger to them. The corners of my eyes came alive with the finest of detail. Even my lazy eye awoke from its coma. It was as if I was seeing everything for the first time, because nothing up until that point had been real.
This was my first ever reality check.
Reality checks are a lot like the perfect lens. Without them, things look vague and hazy to me. I find myself filled with a deep mistrust of my surroundings because nothing is truly as it seems. It’s all blurred lines and grey areas. I don’t enjoy living that way. It’s a breeding ground for stress and anxiety.
I want to be clear on the things I can change and certain about those that I can’t. I want to know what makes me happy so I can draw a distinct line between it and what doesn’t. I want my boundaries to be so well defined that those who exploit me have a hard time finding a way in.
I can only do this if my perspective on life is guided by things as they truly are. If I have a willingness to be honest with myself, even when it hurts. As I grow older, I realise that it’s not me who’s hurting. It’s my ego. So, like a set of lenses, I keep a list of reminders for gut checking my ego. They are conversations that I’ve had to repeatedly have with myself whenever I feel lost in a cloud.
These are the lenses through which I want to continue looking at life…
It’s okay to believe that you’re special, but that will never entitle you to special treatment.
When I first lost my job, I bragged about my resume always speaking for itself. That I never needed a CV to find work. Hundreds of rejections later, I realised that sometimes people just don’t need you and there isn’t anything you can do about it. No matter how highly I thought of myself, it could not change what someone else’s preference was.
The day you figure everything out never comes.
I am still struggling with things that my previous self would find shocking for a 30 year old. I still get jealous when someone other than me makes her laugh. I still attach my self worth to what I do. I still want things I don’t need. I still find it hard not to judge people who don’t believe in the same things as I do. I’m still petty.
The only difference now, is that I’m aware that these things are going on inside me and that my actions don’t have to reflect them.
It’s possible to make the right choices and still feel lost.
I can control nothing outside my own actions. Despite saving, living within my means and accounting for every shilling that I spend, I still go through times when my financial future looks grim. This is not a measure of whether I’ve made the right decisions, it is the reality that not everything is within my control and not everything is my fault.
I can question my own thoughts. Just because I so desperately want something to be true, doesn’t mean that it is.
I thought love was something you win until I met someone who just wasn’t into me no matter what show I put on for her. I wanted to believe that eventually everything I did would win her over. I wanted to believe that she was ‘the one’. That I just needed to make her see it. I wanted things to not be as they were, but rather as I desired them to be. That was until I asked myself a simple question…
‘Why do you need to convince someone to love you?’
Nobody Cares. Everyone’s priority is themselves.
I’m the one who has to spend the rest of my life with myself. Every waking moment of it. I’m the one who has to forgive myself. I am also the one who has to believe in myself. No one else will.
The same is true for those who judge me. They have themselves to live with.
You are going to disappoint a lot of people, but along the way you will find yourself.
We hurt our parents deeply when we told them we had no intention of ever having children. The alternative was for us to live a life we were not going to enjoy. To make sacrifices we were not ready to make. To take on responsibilities which didn’t give us the same fulfillment others got. We couldn’t all be happy. Either they would be disappointed or we would be happy.
We chose us.
The world owes you nothing.
No matter how much life beats me up, I never get points for suffering. It isn’t fair that the people whose job it is to empower me think only of themselves. It isn’t fair that we are not born into the same privileges. It isn’t fair that second chances are never a guarantee. It isn’t fair that my hard work may not be enough.
All that may be true, but I still have a choice to make between waiting for justice and being proactive. I choose to always be in motion, even when the world around me is stagnant.
There is more happiness in creating things than in finding them.
In a year that has pushed me to the brink of breaking, I have a created a piece of heaven that is my blog. Nothing can touch me when I’m writing. It has sheltered me from self sabotage and reintroduced me to myself. I have given my love to words and they have rewarded me with friends, both old and new. I have touched lives I never knew existed.
The greatest gift of all, however, is that writing has taught me how to show up for myself. There is no teacher, no supervisor, no judge and no jury. It’s just me.
As I look ahead to a life that I hope is full of self love and discovery, may I never loose sight of what’s real. I may never be able to win every battle, but a clear perspective always gives me a fighting chance.