30 is gonna be the start of: leaving when I want to leave, staying in when I want to stay in, and not giving a reason why.
I struggle with FOMO—chalk it up to my anxiety, but I always feel like I have to be where the people are…where have I heard that phrase before?
In some ways worst, I also feel compelled to stick it out to the bitter end. My body screams at me all night—the aches, the pains, the knot in my back—and yet my mind keeps me in place, smiling and nodding and holding an empty bottle of beer just so I know what to do with my damn hands. The more I look inward, the more I realize how much of it stems from the playground in elementary school, because what doesn’t stem from some childhood experience/trauma/memory? The sight of the kids murmuring to each other as they queue up for four-square; or the pod of desks just next to yours speaking just loud enough for you to hear your name. It paranoid me; it made me feel like I had to know why they were talking about me; it made me want to be close to them no matter what.
And like most of our childhood trauma and experiences, we carry that with us wherever we go through life. We bend it and form it to fit what our lives will become because we believe it to be integral. We believe it to be our identity. And that’s what I did and who I believe myself to be—someone who has to be a part of the coolest group (by my standards) and be a part of something from beginning to end because if I’m there for the entire thing, then I will absolutely know that I am liked and I am worthy.
Now that line struck me in therapy: “if I’m there…[then] I am worthy.” All my life, I had tied my worth to those around me. I had become so fixated on what they thought of me that I became what I thought they wanted me to be—which is a game of mental gymnastics I didn’t realize I was capable of.
Why should I tie my worth to those around me? Why should I feel like who I am is dependent on who I’m with? Most importantly, why should I care what others say about me?
I can’t control that. What I can control is me.
I can control how I react to other’s perceptions.
I can control when I arrive and leave a damn party.
I can control my life.
I’m worthy because I deem myself to be and that is enough. So I’m changing this starting now because I don’t want to keep living my life in the same way I have been for the last two decades. I want this new decade to be different. I want my life to be different, because I can’t keep lookin for my worth where it isn’t. And so—
I solemnly swear to make decisions that are true to myself. So help me.