Someone once told me that they wanted to do the things that they were most afraid of, not because they were crazy, but because they wanted to master their fear.
I have begun to realize that I am most afraid of truly being myself.
Now, let me put a qualifier on that. I am myself wherever I go. If you talk to me, if you are around me at any time, I will treat you just the same as I would anywhere else. I will be up front with you, and not double cross you, or try to be two different people. However, my true, inner self stays always locked away. The part of me that wants to dance under the stars, sing off-key to the radio, and tell you that you really shouldn't wear red and green plaid, ever.
The flaw that keeps me caged is my desire to be a people-pleaser.
It's not that I quit being myself. It's that when someone doesn't like me, or I feel like I am a disappointment, or if I fail (or feel like i failed), I don't handle it well at all. I over analyze my life, scrutinizing myself for my imperfections. I used to be my worst critic, but I'm working on that.
Someone told me recently that because I remembered bad events from my past, that meant I hadn't gotten over them. I disagree. If I only remembered the bad, that would be one thing. But I remember loads of good things too. I think that it is good that I remember what happened. I have come to a place where I can acknowledge the hurts of the past without giving them hold over my future. I also think that my over-analyzing may be a blessing in disguise. Why? Because I have thought through what happened in the past and I have seen how I could avoid those situations in the future. And guess what? I have been in similar situations and they have turned out far better than the time before.
Take my 8th grade year. It was a time of great pain for me, simply because I hadn't learned to tolerate teasing. Sometimes, though, the friendly jabs weren't so friendly. As an insecure 12-year old dealing with the confusing feelings of becoming an "adult," I withdrew into myself. Now, looking back on it, I realize that I have learned to shrug off the negative things people say about me. I've learned to stick up for myself so that I don't get trampled on. And though it took a while for me to come out of my shell initially, I have learned that the world is a much more fun place to be in if I'm not trapped behind walls of shyness and insecurity.
Something I'm always going to have to try to remember is that I'm not a finished product. I'm a work-in-progress...and so is everyone else. Listen, people will fail you. They will disappoint you and hurt your feelings. You will be let down. Including me. I can't exempt myself from that. I can't be perfect...and I've realized I can't keep bashing myself for being flawed!