I have lived my whole life trying to not disappoint others. Now, this is a hard goal to achieve. Disappointment is difficult for me to handle; I feel like a failure. One of the things I absolutely hate doing is having other people, especially family, upset with me. That’s how I have lived my whole life.
But today, I learned something. And I’m going to share it.
Everyone has things that are expected of them: college, career, family, financial obligations, and, for some, church attendance. There will always be something that you’re supposed to do. Parents want their children to learn, to be successful, and to be happy.
Let me share a story.
At 18 years old I graduated high school early. I headed off to college in April of 2012 while my friends stayed and enjoyed track meets, sleeping in, and other friends. From this point, I did everything expected of me. I went to every class, I worked at 4 a.m. every morning, the major I chose would assist me in a career. The Student of the Semester award belonged to me.
Everything I chose to do didn’t suit me.
My moods swung from high to low. I sat idly as the semester blew past me. I didn’t know what distinguished me from anyone else in my class. Here’s why I am different.
I am a thinker. I am energetic. I am confident. I love foreign languages, reading, writing in my journal, and playing with my puppy.
I am me.
That also explains the difference between you and me.
I am not the person others expect me to be. I cannot model my personality, my lifestyle, and my interests after another person. I am not the normal college girl. The normal college girl isn’t what I want to be. I want to be the girl who tries new things, who gives everything her all. The person I’m most afraid of disappointing now, is myself.
This quote inspired me: “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” This was written in the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.
Nobody enjoys trying to be somebody they’re not. There’s a phrase that says, “No one can take your place.” There can never be a better you, than you. Nobody looks identical to you; even identical twins have slight differences. Nobody has the same sense of humor, same taste, or same interests. I tried merging other people’s interests into my own. I never understood why it refused to work.
The most important thing you can do, as an individual, is to produce happiness and satisfaction to yourself, while also doing what is best for others.