Resolution number one for me was to be more assertive. What I mean by that is the fact that I have a tendency to let people push me around a little too much because I want to seem 'nice' and I want to make sure everyone is happy. This comes from a deep-seated fear that I will one day turn into my mother. I have always thought that being overly 'nice', easy-going and worrying about other peoples happiness is a way to fight turning into the crazy bitch that I know I have inside of me. I've been raised by society to be 'nice', because I'm female and no one will love me and/or marry me unless I'm a nice girl (ugh). So this has been drilled into my head since a young age by family members and pop culture alike as well as the fact that being 'selfish' is the worst thing in the world. What I'm realizing as I get older is that trying to make everyone else happy is an exhausting and futile endeavour that leads to my own unhappiness and ironically turns me into a crazy bitch. What I've noticed from examining previous friendships and relationships is a pattern that goes something like this: I put on a show at the beginning so that people will like me; I'm easy-going and let people get away with whatever they want (hence setting up our relationship to one another early on), then as we start to get closer I feel more comfortable being myself and then all of a sudden my needs aren't being met and it starts to get to me and I get angry/upset and in some instances I have a temper tantrum (the crazy bitch emerges) and enough of these instances happen to lead to the eventual alienation of my friend/boyfriend. This is a pattern I want to stop right now. So my solution is to start accepting and loving myself for the crazy bitch that I am. I'm going to become friends with the bitch inside me and become more assertive in all my relationships about my needs and wants and whether they are being met (or not) through constructive communication.
As an example, I used to live with my parents and my mother is a bit of a control freak and she tries her best to control what I do with my time and my life. This was easier for her when I lived there but now that I no longer live with her I'm noticing that I have a few other 'mother-hen' types in my life who also like to control my time. In the past I would become highly resentful of this fact and just stew and possibly vent to other people but with this resolution I'm determined to talk things out and put my foot down concerning my life and my time. I don't want to just replace my mother with another controlling person (which I've done in the past). No, I want my life and my time to be my own. I've been wondering lately what is it about me that attracts these type of people to me; the people who feel like I'm the type of person who is easily controlled and needs other people to lead me around by the nose? I'm an easy-going person about certain things but other things I'm very rigid. I think it has to do with the fact that I'm a social person and I love being around other people and I enjoy spending time with the people I care about. In this vein I end up putting myself and my life as secondary to other people because I want those people as part of my life and too often I have put my life on hold for the sake of socializing. Socializing has always been a top priority for me over many other important endeavours to the point where school, work and even important relationships have suffered in the past. I have a fear that if I put myself and my own endeavors as top priorities over socializing that I'll have no friends. It may seem childish but it's part of a greater fear of being alone and/or that I'm not good enough and/or unlovable that I believe everyone struggles with their whole life.
Now that I've unpacked the past and the possible reasons, what is the solution? The solution as I've devised is to make myself and my happiness a priority. As counterintuitive as this sounds, being more 'selfish' and more assertive and taking care of myself first will lead to a greater ability to share myself with others and take care them when needed. This will make me a better partner, friend, sister, aunt and daughter. Instead of hurting myself to make everyone else happy I'll take care of myself and the people who really care about me will be happy that I'm happy. This is a poignant topic for me right now because I've come up against a few important people in my life who it seems like are trying to fight me for control of my life, yes you heard that right: MY life. I think this stems from an inability on their own part to value themselves, their time and take control of their own lives that ultimately makes them unhappy. I believe these people feel powerless and out of control in their own lives and therefore react negatively to other people gaining control of their lives and that leads to attempts to sabotage the person who is getting their shit together and taking care of themselves. I need to start working a bit harder to guard myself from these kinds of negative influences in my life and if that means I need to start minimizing my time spent with them then unfortunately that is what I will have to do. I hope I can be an inspiration for these people to get control of their own lives and start making their own happiness a priority the way I intend to do. I really do wish this for these people, even though some may seem too far gone, I will still hold out hope until the very end.
In examining all my New Years resolutions for 2014 I realize that none of them are achievable without this very important first resolution. In looking at my past 'failures/mistakes' concerning resolutions and trying to take care of myself and make a better life it can all be boiled down to my inability to be assertive and make myself a priority. I think an important part of self-love and self-betterment is to make ME the number one priority in my life because I am enough and I am worthy of love and the best way to show the world this fact is to truly believe it and live it everyday. It won't always be easy but I've discovered a few fun techniques to help me in this endeavor; such as journaling and instagraming. In specific: I've started a 365 grateful campaign on instagram in which I post something I'm grateful for everyday on instagram in order to start loving the life I have and a way to increase my happiness now. I'm also going to start a journal in which I write 3 things I value in myself or 3 ways I've added value to the world everyday. I hope to inspire some of you reading this blog to maybe do the same or something similar. In what ways are you being more assertive in your life and taking back your power and living your life your way? As always, here's to YOUR uncommonly wealthy, healthy and happy life! :)