2019...is going to be different.

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It’s ok to be who you are.

It stuns me how hard it is for me to remember this. But it’s true. So many hours of my day are lost thinking about how I should be something other than what I am…arguing with myself about what I should enjoy or spend my time on. Who I should spend my time with. Who I should be.

Rarely have I ever considered what it is that I want or who it is that I want to be. Who do I enjoy being? For that reason of never having practiced, it feels quite daunting every time I stop to try and figure that out. So I usually bail after a few minutes, finding it easier (simpler) to go on living my life according to what the world around me says. This is really, really exhausting though - and for good reason. Because the world is constantly sending mixed messages about what is important. I know many people have a problem getting stuck in an echo-chamber, hearing the same messages about what is important all the time…never being exposed to or considering different viewpoints. But sometimes I feel like I have the opposite problem. The values I grew up with, for example, are quite different from the values I come across in my every day adult life. When these clash, it feels like lightening in my soul. Which one do I choose? How can I bear to disappoint one of them?

I think I may be finally internalizing the concept that the most important opinion - the one that outweighs all others - is my own. Typing that still makes my stomach drop, however. It feels like a sin to say that. It feels so selfish. But I am so tired of failing constantly. And failure is really the only option when you are living your life according to others’ standards - standards that inevitably stand in opposition to one another.

I’m going to work really hard in 2019 to figure out who Heide is. To let the opinions of these different worlds inform my decisions about what I like and what is important to me, but not dictate them. I’m going to work on not being a good daughter so my parents will approve of me or a good wife so my husband will love me. I’m not going to be a good student so everyone will think I’m smart. I’m not going to not wear makeup or do my hair to avoid people thinking I’m superficial. I am going to be a good daughter because it brings me joy. And I’m going to be a good wife because I love my husband and enjoy making him smile. I’m going to be a good student because I enjoy learning, and I’m going to pour my work into the things that ignite excitement within me. I’m going to work for causes I believe in, not so people will say nice things about me, but because I believe in the deepest part of my soul that we are all here to help each other. And if I fail, perhaps failing myself will be really difficult. But at least I have an opportunity to succeed. At last, I’m going to do my damndest to do the things that I do…for no one else but me.