I want to read and learn all I can, write thoughtfully and truthfully, live according to reason and ever more mature wisdom, and savor every wonderful little gift of life.
For most of my life, I made myself as likeable as I could. I aimed to please and to keep the peace. I agreed with everyone, I stayed mostly quiet and unremarkable, and I never said anything original, controversial, or otherwise remarkable. I feared the unknown of what might happen if I made people upset with me.
But then I grew up.
Now I know that I can’t please everyone, and that if people don’t like me or if they get mad at me, it may sting, but I’ll be okay. I’m stronger now.
So I’m learning to claim my own voice and speak out. I’m also pursuing my very own dreams and passions. I don’t know the future, but I know the now—and I like it.
I’m not the only one who’s been on this particular journey:
“O friend[s], I have lived with you after appearances hitherto. Henceforward I am the truth’s…. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you…. I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save [your] sensibility.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-reliance”