Dear Diary: A reminder to myself.

 A year (or so) ago I decided to pick one word for 2013 that would motivate me for the entire year. I picked the word ‘freedom.’ I wanted to (attempt to) free myself from my own expectations and from the expectations of people around me, or from the perceived expectations that I think other people have for me.

I know that I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I’m working on being a little less critical and a little more loving in my inner monologue. Or at least, that was my intention when I originally picked this word.

And a year later, I think I’ve improved, but I still have some work to do.

But this post isn’t a resolution recap (or at least it’s not supposed to be). Instead, I need to write down a reminder for myself.


freedom quote

Picture taken in Yosemite!

I need to remind myself that it’s okay to not exceed everyone’s expectations.

It’s fine and even acceptable that people are going to be mad at me for things I don’t do that I could have done.

Or things that I did do.

And not everyone needs an excuse or reason from me about why I did or did not act in a certain way. I am free to make decisions without justifying them to anyone but myself (and God. and usually the Husband.)

Because I’m not always going to make people happy, even though I’m a people-pleaser in many ways and love it when people think highly of me. (I wish I didn’t care as much as I do, but generally, I like being liked.)

There are times when people are going to be unfairly (in my opinion) disappointed in me, and I need to accept that they are allowed to feel the way they feel.

And they’re even allowed to act the way they act.

I cannot change what people do, I can only change my response towards them.

And I have the freedom (I need to remember) to not interact with people who consistently remind me of my imperfections.

Or who are unkind.

Because as much effort as I would love to pour into some people, it’s just not always worth it.

And I am free to love hard and breakup quickly.

This year has been an especially challenging year for me because I’ve disappointed myself. As you know, I lost my job 5 months ago and felt a bit lost as to what I wanted to be doing. Thankfully, I allowed myself the freedom of time to figure out what I wanted to do, and I really think and hope that I’m on the right path now.

I’m thankful that I wasn’t overly hard on myself in that transitional time, and I’m thankful that I have a supportive husband who allowed me to do what I wanted to do, for however long I wanted to do it.

So there have been successes on this journey to freedom!

I want to continue to remind myself that I’m going to make mistakes, lots of them, but I’m going to do a whole lot of things right, too. And I’m going to be a better person because of each experience, if I allow myself to learn from the good and bad times, and if I don’t waste time wishing that things were or had been different.

Because I am free to live exactly how I want to be, and I have my entire future ahead of me.

I am free to choose who to share this journey of life with. And so far, I’ve done a pretty darn good job of picking some key players (oh hey, Husband and little Monster and best friends and loved ones!)

I firmly believe that the only thing that can hold me back is myself.

Like most some people…

I fear failing.

I fear defeat.

I fear underwhelming people.

I fear disappointing people.

I fear not living up to expectations.

And this fear can be crippling, and I really believe it can prevent me from reaching my full potential.

Not that I have a lack of confidence, because that’s not it.

It’s just that I want, so badly, to do the ‘right’ thing all the time, I forget that doing the right thing for me is not always going to be what other people believe is the right thing.

There is no guidebook to life, I just have to make the best decisions I can at any given point. 

And not worry about every single consequence.

I have to live the best way I know how, so that me and my (small!) family are happy.

And I have to accept that living this way is enough.

Because acceptance is freedom, and that is still my word.



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