For far too many years I put others before me. Their feelings, their wishes, what I thought was best for them, what I thought was supposed to be. It’s all on me. It’s all technically been my choice.
I have also spent far too many years trying to please everyone. Is it the same thing? Not quite, I don’t think.
I spent too much time trying to make things perfect. Or what I thought was perfect or supposed to be. I know it wasn’t perfect or what was supposed to be because my children, when they were old enough, stopped me. It wasn’t perfect for them and they knew it wasn’t perfect for me.
So began my journey towards choosing me! Doing what was right for me! And in turn what was best for my family.
What was so confusing was I constantly taught my kids to follow their hearts, be true to themselves, bet strong, fight for what’s right, don’t let people walk all over you, be kind, surround yourself with people who value you. As they got older, they saw through the people we were investing our time in. They wondered why we sheltered them from seeing the real people we were spending time with. When they turned 18, even those people didn’t keep up appearances anymore.
It has been a slow process. It is still in process. It started with Christmas. I love Christmas, actually wish I could celebrate year round! I always thought that the most important thing was spending time with family on Christmas. To some degree that is true. I tried build bonds with extended family. Made them and their holidays the priority. It was a sacrifice of not creating our own traditions, in our own home, with our own family. I still thought it was the right thing to do. The story could be so lengthy. OY! It turned out, the people we were investing in, weren’t truly invested in us. When I asked to have Christmas at our house, the answer was no. It took many more years for my kids to finally tell me what they wanted. They wanted to stay home for Christmas, even if that meant it was just the five of us. They wanted the magic to last all day. They wanted to stay in our warm, happy, loving home and celebrate together. We had all the love!
From there, I got stronger and stronger. It isn’t my job to make my parents happy. It isn’t my job to keep in touch with every single person I am related to by blood or marriage. It isn’t my job to “represent the whole family” in my Christmas card because “I’m so good at sending them out.” It’s not fecking rocket science! Buy a card, sign your name, address the envelope, slap on a stamp–BOOM–you’re amazing too! It’s NOT MY JOB! And it’s not yours either!
Now we have backlash because I was the glue. I did it all. People aren’t even sure what or who to be mad at–because why look in the mirror. We have a whole lotta people who don’t stay in touch now. They get angry because they know it’s not my job, but they liked it when it was so easy.
Now my little family is growing and we are making our own traditions and sharing with others if they want to participate. I invite the right people now. The ones who show up, because they know the gathering is so important to me.
So, be true to YOU!
Stay tuned for Choose You part 2 and probably 3, 4, & 5!! 😉