Man. I don’t even know where to start.
My emotions have been all over the place lately.
For the first time in my entire life, I’m having to face myself. And it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do.
I lied to myself so it would ease the pain life brought me. I lied to myself blaming the people around me for everything that happened to me. Blamed them for me being the way I was.
I always, always would allow the people around me to make the decisions for our situation. When it came to friends who were toxic for me, for example, I would wait for them to do something drastic to deteriorate our friendship, that way I wouldn’t feel bad for leaving them. When it came to relationships, I would put his happiness under a spotlight, even if that meant at my expense or if the relationship was toxic overall. What kind of person does this? Someone who is lost..
I think the reason why I’ve been so lost in the past, is because of this. I never had a CLEAR, SOLIDIFIED idea and image of the woman I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to get degrees. I knew I wanted to be successful. I knew I wanted to be someone’s wife one day. But I never knew or even attempted to want to know the woman I want to be in the future. It’s waaaaaaay deeper than getting good grades or fantasizing about a wedding. It’s the character, the passions, the drive, the personality, the energy, and so much more.
Because that picture was so blurry, I didn’t have a direct path. So, at times, I would feel like I’m on the right path. Other times I’d feel like I was just lost. All together though, I was a completely lost cause.
After situations with old friends or things not working out with a significant other, I would blame them for doing me wrong. It made me feel better, knowing I wasn’t the one who made the decision. In my head, I did that so they would see that it was their loss, and never mine.
I was so wrong for this. I would allow toxic relationships and friendships to continue for too long, or give chances over and over and over again. It wasn’t their fault that they were toxic – most toxicity stems from something that they can’t handle in the first place (genetics, deep-rooted issues, etc.). Even though they may have done me wrong, I still had to face the harsh reality that I was the one who opened that door for them to hurt me again, not them.
This is what I mean about facing myself. I realized patterns in my life. I’m only human, and I know I will make mistakes, but when I do make those mistakes, I’m learning to not place blame on anyone else but myself.
For example, I opened the door for someone who is so, so toxic for me just recently. I allowed my emotions to make the decisions for me, instead of using my head. This was absolutely God testing me. I may have failed by opening that door again, but the way I was able to shake the situation was closing it one. Last. Time.
For once in my life, I faced the situation head-on. Why am I here? Why am I still hurting? Who did this? Me. I did. I took responsibility, first and foremost. No one else but me put me in this position, so I need to get myself out. I made my bed, now I’m laying in it. Secondly, and more importantly, in order for me to close that door for good – I chose me. I chose me. I chose to prioritize and highlight my own happiness and well-being before anyone else’s. This was one of the hardest things for me to do, but doing it is going to benefit me more than ever before.
Leaving people who are toxic for you is so much harder than you think. They come in need of your help and love. They come with warm hugs and “I love you’s.” They come as people you’re closest to. But this was God putting a mirror right in front of me like, “So, what are you going to do about this situation at hand?”
I may have taken a few steps backwards, but I’m happy to say I’m moving forward now. I am human, and I make mistakes. I’m learning that in the midst of toxicity and the harsh realities that are placed right in front of you, you have to choose you. Make decisions that make YOU happy, even if that means it won’t satisfy everyone around you, and even if that means cutting out toxicity out of your life for good.
At the end of the day, I won’t be able to please everyone. And sometimes choosing myself means making sure that MY mental health and MY happiness is taken care of before anything else.
So, here I am. Flawed like everyone else. I took some steps backwards in the process of bettering myself, and all it did was show me that I still have work that I need to not only do, but also focus on and prioritize even more than before. God placed obstacles right in front of my face so I could put my work for myself to the test. Although I may have gotten off to a rocky start, I know I’m making the right decisions for me from now on.
And from now on, I choose me. I choose to face this 22-year-old, curly-headed, flawed woman I am straight-forward and directly. I choose to place my happiness first in my life, that way I will be strong enough to leave toxic relationships at the right time – and to not allow ANY of my happiness to be determined by anyone but myself. I choose to perfect and clear this image of the woman I want to be, so I can create a clear path. I choose to use every bump in the road to help me rather than bring me a few steps backwards. I choose to always, ALWAYS keep it real with myself no matter how hard it is. And lastly, I choose to let God’s tests to guide me towards Him, and also allow Him to guide my path of ultimately finding myself.
Everything in your life is the way it is because of the decisions you made and because of the way you’ve reacted to life around you. What I’ve learned, & the best advice I’ve come to learn to cope with this….is choosing you.
“If you want to be happy, be.” Leo Tolsoy
-Keilani M Afalava