No more waiting to live

I originally intended on blogging daily, but I was waiting for some inspiration.  It didn’t come, and when it did, I was too busy to write about it.  But, isn’t this always the case?  So, even though I’m coming in with no inspiration, I’m still going to fulfill my promise to be at least a little more proactive against my zero-blogging activity.

This week has been a bit of a manic mess.  Our neighbor, who almost certainly suffers from OCD and misophonia (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/health/06annoy.html?_r=0), keeps trying to kick us out for watching movies in our apartment.  It’s sad, too, how susceptible I am to giving into these kinds of people.  I’m reprimanded, unfairly, but then begin to self-reflect, and start convincing myself that maybe I really did do something wrong.  At one point, I thought maybe I deserved it, that I needed to get my life back together, leave our beautiful apartment to live by myself in a tiny room in a tiny house in a tiny city that’s way cheaper than Portland–just to suffer awhile and think.  I envisioned my relationship crumbling, me going through some sort of pre-midlife crisis, reassessing and uprooting everything.  Then I started to think, but really, Emily, you’re going to accept getting kicked out for wrongful reasons simply because you live with constant shame about completely unrelated behaviors?  Talk about low self-esteem.  Thankfully, with the support of my loved ones and my more confident self, I fought the termination notice, and it was pretty easy to reverse their decision.  And now I have my place, and my entire life isn’t completely unraveling simply because I accept responsibility for things I didn’t do, but feel, at some deep level, like I deserve.  Ultimately, being assertive and selfish is empowering.

Empowering is the theme these days.  When you start to stand up for yourself, be real about yourself, accept yourself, and not act out of shame, you realize how sad you were before.  How deeply engrained these people-pleasing behaviors were and try continually to be.  How much these people-pleasing behaviors led to the dulling of the self, erasing your individuality and all that makes you special.  For so many years now, I’ve been a shell of what I could be, all because I fear upsetting others (a common problem for most of humanity, I think).  I think I used to be OK with it because I had this deep feeling that this life was just one of many tries I’d get at this whole living thing.  But as I get older, that feeling gets less deep and more and more vapid.  This may be my only shot, and I’ve been spending my whole time waiting to live.  I can’t enjoy myself until I get a job, I can’t enjoy myself until I have a fulfilling relationship, I can’t enjoy myself until I have a perfect body.  Fully letting go and being present had become conditional for me, conditional upon these unrealistic expectations I’ve placed on who I should be, not who I am.  But now that I’m feeling that maybe this really, truly, is my only moment, my only chance, I’m starting to foster a very freeing f&*k it attitude.  Focus on things that matter.  Focus on things that you really want.  Abandon hope of making everyone else happy (or, realize that pursuing that hope means everyone else is happy but yourself).  And be who you need to be.  It’s cutthroat and almost feels manic, but I honestly feel so much happier already.  Because if I die tomorrow, at least they won’t be able to say I was waiting to live.

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