Sanity and happiness: why I quit chasing the rabbit.
June 13, 2017
I do not care!! There I said it. Ok, I care a little bit, ok a lot but for totally different things now. To get the reasons behind this explosive rant I am about to go on, I will start from somewhat the beginning.
So, I am naturally an anxious person. I worry, I overthink overthinking, I plan life five years in advance and I get bothered with change way more than I should. I care what people think, I struggle with letting go and I stress a lot. That coupled with an overachieving attitude, a fear of failure and imperfection, a need for control, a need to be right and life can lead someone down the rabbit hole. And no, I did not find wonderland there. What I found was depression, insomnia, self-loathing, low self-esteem, toxic relationships, fear, suicidal tendencies and a constant need for validation. I also found a nice dose of dissatisfaction because every time I achieved a goal, I was onto the next one that someone seemed to think I really needed. I struggled like this for 10 years and mind you, I am in my early twenties so yeah, It’s been a bumpy ride you could say.
How I realized I had to stop,well it was a series of unfortunate events actually that helped me realize this. I was in anguish at college, everyone else was having the time of their lives and I was stressed, broken and crushed. I was a nightmare at home in the sense that I yelled, was rude, spent half the time complaining and the other screaming. I hated myself, I hated life, I was caught shoplifting, I was grounded indefintely and my privileges were taken away. So here I am with no phone,no laptop, no friends and my immediate thought is to go back to school, get a job and get out of here and be successful. Because success is define by a degree, money, a ‘hot’ body and a couple of properties, right?
So anyways, my parents told me that I was not going to school, at all; not until I figured out what I wanted and I broke down and saw my life as I was letting it be. So here I was, bored out of my mind and convinced that I had lost it all in life. 2017 begun and I suddenly saw the light. I went to my university to check on my courses because my parents were agreeable to the idea and I found it in disarray. Their system was messed, there were rumors of bankruptcy and I thought to myself, I do not want to stick around and see if the ship sinks, let me just jump out. So I went on to see if I could move schools but the school I wanted needed all the fees upfront and it was January so yeah. Just about then, my parents went to this Home schooler’s conference and they came back with some ‘new’ ideas. They told me to write down all the things I would love to do and I did. Surprise! what I was doing in college and had been doing the last 10 years, was not there. And they told me that I should spend their money and my time pursuing what I really wanted. I was overjoyed, then perplexed then stressed. Here I was with parents who were ok with me skipping ‘school’ to go learn what I love. But here was me, so conditioned by the system to be unhappy that I couldn’t even be happy with it. I figured schooling must involve exams, bullying, self-hate, grading, stress and pain then you go on to do a job you kinda like but grow to hate and only keep doing it to get promoted or prove people wrong.
But I decided to take a leap and I started on my dreams; took the jump with no net to catch me. I was no longer doing my course because i got the grades for it, or I needed a job, or I wanted to be one of the few African women in my field or even to make my dad proud. I was doing it for me, my happiness.And thus started my revolution, I had to do things for me. Not because they were ‘cool’ or ‘expected’ or my boyfriend said so, or all the women are doing it and the cure started to flow in my veins and touch each part of my ailing form. I was no longer listening to humans to tell me ‘this is the way, go ye in it’ I was listening to God, who made me, to show me how to curve my own path out of the bush.
So yeah, we are back to where we started, I don’t care! I will do my hair how I want because it is my God given hair, not because you think it looks good or ‘professional’ or ‘trendy’. I will be whatever size I want as long as I am happy and healthy not because ‘butts are in’ or ‘skinny is in’ or ‘fit is the new skinny’. I will change jobs five times if I want why? Because I am human,not God, I am allowed to change my mind, I am allowed to grow and do something else. I will wear makeup and dress all nice because I want to, I feel good and it is my body. I will wear sweatpants not because I am ‘depressed’ but because they are mine and I can wear them when I want. I will get married young or never not because it’s ‘the right age’ or I was ‘out of time and options’. but because I love the man or never found someone I love enough.
I have been freed by the blood of Jesus to have life and life in abundance. There are only two rules: love God with all your heart,mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself. The only law is Love. I am not a slave to your system or thinking or life choices. I do not ‘have’ to do anything by any age. I do not ‘have’ to dress someway. There is nothing in this world I have to be chasing. It is exhausting constantly having to be better than someone, get ‘better’ grades in a subject I don’t like, get a ‘better body’ because what? Mine is a mistake? How can you claim to have freedom if you’re still a slave to someone else’s goals and standards? How are you OK with being told how and when to figure out who you are only to be forced into some ‘fashionable’ clothes and a ‘sexy’ body and ‘great’ job you don’t even care about? Don’t you want passion? Don’t you want joy and peace? Why live a life that makes everyone envious and happy but yourself? How are you free when you are still chasing a rabbit to a wonderland which isn’t one you created? Is that wonderland even there or is it a perfect illusion?
So yes,I don’t want anyone’s approval for my life or my choices. I’ve outgrown the need for validation and acceptance from others. I do not need your seal of approval. In the end, I won’t answer to you or anyone else but God so let me be. I want to be happy, to look forward to tomorrow and look back with pride. I want to do things that make my heart pump and soul dance. I want to live a life that only I understand. I do not have to adhere to your standards of beauty, strength or living. I do not have to go to school and get a degree to prove I am educated, I do not have to dress this way or that to prove I am proud of my body. I do not have to straighten my hair to be professional. I DO NOT HAVE TO!! So stop saying you are trying to help, or giving me tips on a better life because in the end all you want is to turn me into you, or into the fantasy you could never achieve.
I am God’s and I am my own before I am anyone else’s. I will not be belittled and put in a cage to fit your preconceived notions of who I am and should be. I will be who I am and I will continue to pursue happiness and life because in the end, all these other things will die.