Pride

It’s been a crazy busy month. October is the best. I’ve dated a bit. I’ve celebrated 32 years of life. I’ve eaten a lot (per ushe). I’ve gone home to Cali to witness a beautiful marriage. I’ve hopped on a plane to Arizona to celebrate a friend’s 30 years of life. And I’ve really been immersed in phase 3 of my New York life. I’ve been here for almost 4 months now. Holy shit, did that time fly.

So yes, I have a lot to share in terms of fun events that I will get to in following posts but first I want to open up a bit to you all.

I’ve been told as of late that my people are proud of me. It’s a beautiful thing really. But it’s garnered mixed emotions and got me thinking.

Is it weird that other people’s sentiments of feeling pride in what I’ve accomplished elicits some negative feeling in me? I don’t know why but it’s the same feeling I get when I hear the word ‘potential’. To me that word always meant I wasn’t good enough. It became somewhat of a ‘bad’ word to me. Offensive.  ‘Potential’ felt like people had an idea of where I should be; but in one way or another that idea was unattainable for me; thus resulting in their disappointment. Behind that idea it was assumed that I should try harder to live my life by their standard of what they thought my ‘potential’ was.

Offensive.

I’ve always been pretty independent. My mom said she had me potty trained by 1 and I started walking super early. I always wandered off and did my thing but made friends fairly easily and willingly shared what I had with others. When I was old enough I liked to be the one to interact with cashiers at stores and pay for items sans my parents although they always supervised. I always wanted to be a ‘big girl’.

As I got older my independence strengthened. I started getting regular paychecks and opened my own checking account when I was 14. I took my first solo plane ride as a freshman in high school. For years I had 2-3 jobs at once because I loved that money provided me even more independence. I paid for my first car and my own insurance.  I’ve lived on my own since I was 19. Even prior to that I supported myself in ways outside of providing my own shelter. I went on a contiki euro trip myself with the intention of having new adventures with new friends on the trip. I’ve done weekend road trips by myself to clear my head and gain perspective. I have no problems eating dinner or having a drink at the bar alone.

This is just who I am. I’m independent and super self sufficient.

Frankly, I learned to be this way because I didn’t get the emotional, not just financial, support I needed growing up. I’m not saddened by it. At least not any more. It is what it is. It has helped mold me into someone I am extremely  proud of today. It gave me an edge most people don’t learn so young, if at all.

But isn’t that funny. I can have pride in myself and be prideful about things but when someone feels the same sentiment I’m a bit weary.

This lil voice of insecurity becomes put off when people say they’re proud of me. I know. But it truly elicits the wrong type of feelings. Instead of gratitude, love, and self pride I become a little self conscious and anxious. It goes back to the feeling of not being good enough. That people are now surprised; because I made something of that ‘potential’ they thought I had but didn’t think I could possibly have the follow through on.

How fucked up is that?

My loved ones say they’re proud and I then feel small in some way. It all goes back to feeling like I never had a voice. I assume that people who are now ‘proud’ of me are surprised I’ve come this far when a part of me feels like shouldn’t they already know who I am by now and what I’m capable of? I feel like i’ve already proven to people who I am so in some sick twisted way when they say they are proud of me I feel like they’re getting to know me for the first time.

This folks is psychology at it’s finest. I really need to work on accepting a compliment; I need to take it for the intent that it is given. When my loved ones tell me they’re proud of me they truly are proud of me. That’s it. It comes from a loving place not one of condescension. Me questioning their statement comes from a past insecurity which stems from deep rooted fears that I grew into because of family and environment. That shit has nothing to do with how my friends feel about me. And that shit is not what I’m about now.

I’ve always had a hard time accepting compliments. It’s because I always gave myself a hard time. The hardest time really. I grew up feeling small and invaluable. That my feelings and words meant nothing. I didn’t have a voice. I guess that’s why I love to write so much. It allows me a voice when verbally I never had one. Even now, sometimes when I speak up in group settings I don’t always feel heard. It still stings. But what is stinging is that insecure little girl I used to be.

The thing is I’m very cognizant of who I am as a person. In all my 32 years I’ve reached a place where I feel like not only do I know who I am; but that I’ve truly met myself for the first time. All my passions, my strengths, my weaknesses and my potential.  It’s as if I looked in the mirror and what looked back wasn’t my face but my story. All of it. And I understood all the intricacies of the plot line and the character complexities and varying layers.

Lately it’s been all about becoming the version of me I had in me this whole time. There’s so much I want to do and so much I want to learn. So much I am still learning and I’m really enjoying watching the story unfold. I really am one for a good story.

All this shit right here? It’s called self empowerment. Nothing gets me off more than wanting to be the best me I can introduce to you.

So thank you to all of you who have been proud of me and told me so. I am pretty fucking proud of me too.

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