Choosing to better yourself is the best thing that you could do to show how much you love yourself. However, be prepared because in the process of doing so, a lot of people will not be with you as you explore yourself even deeper.
We frequently drown ourselves in a pool of self-doubt and disappointment. It feels like time is crippling down on you as you bear the weight of those eyes that seemingly monitor your every move. And every time you stumble, every time you think you made a mess of yourself, you would hear laughter so maddening that it literally shapes you into a ball of insecurities. And because you drown in those thoughts, you suffocate.
All those thoughts pry you open, and you feel as if you were so powerless that you actually allow them to happen to you. And as you allow those chaotic events to unfold before your very eyes, your chest feels a lot heavier.
You get angry at yourself for not being the person you thought you would be. You loathe yourself for not being able to meet the expectations of your friends and family. You continuously compare yourself to other people, questioning why they were able to have everything so controlled and serene while you were seemingly destined to go through a path filled with such remorse.
These thoughts shook you to the bone to the point of wanting to put an end to it all, just to stop all the pain and misery.
But you didn’t.
And that’s the time you finally got tired of every little piece of misfortune in your life.
Regardless of everything you have been through, despite the height of what you used to look at as your “legacy,” you decided to leave it all behind for the sake of starting fresh. At first, you hesitated over abandoning these merits. But as a pioneer in misery, you already know how it feels like to lose something that was once yours.
You made a very comprehensive reflection. All you ever did was please everyone while not being pleased yourself, and you decided to change that.
You wanted to become someone you can look into the mirror every waking day and be filled with pride. So you started engaging yourself into choices that was filled with risks, choices that puts you in the most vulnerable position.The only difference is that this time, ironically, you do not feel shame because you were finally doing something that you think is good based on your own judgment and power.
And yes, you never escaped some friends who would compare their lives with you. They never even left, never even changed. But this time, you were able to look at them in the eye and proudly tell them the reasons for your choices. That turned you into someone who broke free from the shackles of judgment, and taught you how to water down that judgment through sheer principle.
Yes, you started to have your own principles, your rules to live by and die for. It is freeing to feel that you are control of everything you say and do, and the best part is, it as all yours.
This time, the choices you make were yours and yours alone. Yes, you would still hit a couple of bumps along the road. But since they were your choices, you treated every single failure, every single piece of disappointment as experience. You became less fragile as days went by, and now, you can tolerate having to fall over multiple times with full grace because you know that every time it happens, you would simply stand up, recollect yourself, and continue your pursuit to happiness.
This time, all of your thoughts were centered on you.
And this time, you won’t have to be sorry for everything that you do because for the first time in your life, you decided to build your own path and willed it into existence.
The opinions of other people should not affect you because all of them will never understand how your conscience works – only you have the power to do that. Yes, they will be disappointed and yes, you might (and will) lose some connections along the way. But at the very least, you now know how to tell you’ve outgrown people. You now know how it feels to be mature and kinder because you swore on your conscience that you will never be another critic to the wonders of life’s majesty. All of this is necessary because you are in the process of growing.
You start to understand that pride will have a very important role in your life because you were already capable of defending your choices against those who instill malice.
And ultimately, you became a better version of yourself, brave enough to jump into an abyss of the unknown and emerge stronger than you were before. You mustered up all the courage to go all-in in the gamble for happiness and meaning.
And finally, despite being continuously bruised and damaged, you did not worry anymore.
Because finally, you were healing.
Because finally, no matter what it takes, you know what steps to take in order to be liberated and be happy.
And you won’t have to apologize for any of it.
Editor’s Note: This essay was first published in Essays Against Mediocrity.
About the Author
John Thimoty Romero is a licensed professional teacher, a graduate of Philippine Normal University – Manila last 2017 as Bachelor of Secondary Education – Major in English. Upon his graduation, he received the Gawad Graciano Lopez – Jaena Co-Curricular Award for Campus Journalism.
He is the founder of Essays Against Mediocrity, a website dedicated to support independent authors, poets, and other content creators.