I guess you could say it first happened a few nights ago when I realized that the first step to really allowing oneself to live their own life is to stop the inner argument. This may seem like an easy step, but, while most of us realize this is a step, I don't believe that it hits us profoundly enough to realize what an impact it has on us...and over us. There is constantly an inner argument that we have with ourselves. It's nothing that's abnormal (at least I hope not). It's that little voice that tells us we have something wrong with our body when the rest of the world doesn't see it. It's that voice that tells us we shouldn't be eating one more cookie because that's what's going to push us over our limit. It's that voice that tells us that if we wear white socks with black shoes, no one is going to ever look at us the same again (let alone forgive us). Whatever it is that your voice tells you, it's there, and it governs so much of our lives.
Stopping that voice is not easy. It's an argument that you play out every single day. The worst thing is, it's not one argument like the kind you may be having with your best friend right now, it's about a million arguments every single day. Okeh, so I exaggerate, but you know what I mean. Sometimes these arguments are necessary. The ones that guilt us into not taking that drink when we know we can't. The ones that tell us that today isn't the day to pick up that cigarette again. Those are the good arguments. You can have those. But it's the needless ones that are ridiculous. The ones that we have with ourselves for 20 minutes after someone says something rude to you on the train and you play them out in your head over and over and over telling yourself what you SHOULD have said. We're all guilt of it, and we all do it. The thing is, we need to stop it.
Let's face it. In today's world, you have to work hard to just make an honest day's living. That kind of work is strenuous enough without your mind battling itself over eating that last bit of cake or not. Or, even worse, beating yourself up for actually having eaten it...that fight goes on much longer. So, that's the first thought that I had...stop the inner battle.
I had that thought the other night, as I've said, and for the past few nights (really culminating this night) I've realized how much that inner fight has ruled my life. From the time I was quite young, I can remember having that battle with myself. I began to allow it to let me feel inferior to other people, so it started to determine how I acted around others. I became quite introverted (I was not so much as I child that way). My imagination began to slip away...OH, yes, I still imagined things, but instead of creative, wonderful things, I began to assume I could imagine what others were saying about me. There has been, for quite some time, issues with my self-esteem and appearance. They are nearly gone now, and I work on them daily, but my inner conflict allowed these problems to escalate. They began to tell me how to run my life. How to conduct myself in public. How to "behave". While all these things have some merit, and while I do like the way that I can be polished and finessed in the way I work and the way I am socially, it's also something that, for so many years, I couldn't shut off.
I remember going to my brother's baseball games. Instead of just being there with the family to enjoy the game, I'd always be half irritated about having to be there. Now, you see, I wasn't irritated really about having to be there...as I learned many years later through introspection. I was irritated that I wouldn't allow myself to fully enjoy what was happening. While tons of others were yelling around me and cheering people on or yelling at the ump for a bad call, I was staying calm and collected. I had to have this persona about me. While I thought this was the best way not to be noticed and not to look crazy, looking back on it, I'm sure it made me stick out like a sore thumb. Baseball is about cheering on the players and telling the ump that he's made a lousy call. That's the spirit of the game. And sometimes, just a few times, I would actually yell for my brother and support him that way. It felt good. Yet, my inner arguments kept telling me that people were probably looking at me and asking "what is Will doing now?". This coming from my family members and people around. Never once did it enter my mind that maybe they'd actually be relieved to see me lightening up a bit.
Well, this type of inner argument has carried through my life. Whenever I'm attempting to make a change, I worry that people around me are going to see it and make a big deal about it...this, of course, would push me back into my little world. Why? I don't know. When people make a deal about anything, it sort of makes you really self-conscious of it all. And, if you aren't ready to deal with that, then you really have a hard time dealing with it. The truth of the matter, however, is that people usually aren't that concerned about changes people make. I mean, yes, sometimes people have a hard time dealing, but those who are your friends are going to stick beside you come what may. They may think you've gone off the deep end if you make sudden large changes, but, as long as you aren't putting yourself in danger, they will probably enjoy the ride with you. That's what friends do.
I'm getting really long winded about something that I'm not even sure where I'm taking it to. All I know is that the past few nights that I've stayed up way too late (which has caused me to sleep for the majority of the daytime), I've realized a lot. (I do my best thinking, and always have, around 4am). We only have one life to live. It's ours. It's not theirs. It's not your neighbor's. It's not your best friend's. It belongs to us and only us. My life is mine. It's there to do with as you want. It's there for me to make of it whatever I desire. Yours is there for you to do the same. You can live it your way, or you can live it their way...that, too, is your choice.
It's not an easy move to make to change it all. Anyway, you'd probably not want to change all of anything. But, I know that there are some large parts of my life that I'm living in a manner which is not befitting to me. Those are the parts I seek to change. Those are the wall that I must tear down (or, at least, put in windows). I know that many people don't read my blog. So, it's not like I'm talking to the masses here. But, if somewhere down the road, it seems as if I've change my viewpoint, or taken a different path, go with it. I could change it again sometime later, and I could end up (let's hope not) back where I started. But, as with everything in life, this is a journey, and it is a journey which must be taken...
Here's to plotting the map!