“I am not my authenticity”

All too often I find myself adapting and molding. Changing to fit whatever the person I’m with wants. Saying what they want to hear, acting how they want me to act, I don’t even notice I’m doing it anymore. I take on extra responsibilities so people know they can count on me and to make others happy. I always push myself to go above and beyond and strive to be perfect so I will meet others’ expectations and now I’m starting to burn out. Even when this photo was posted I found myself asking friends and loved ones “oh you saw it! Did you like it??” Seeking some kind of validation.

I feel like a chameleon, changing colors to fit with whoever I’m around, but at some point you start forgetting what color you truly are. I have to stop striving to please others, stop apologizing for every little thing I do that I think might upset or offend or inconvenience someone else. I have to stop putting on a face. Too many of my actions are determined and guided by what I think others want to see of me. I derive too much of my own happiness from this external gratification of pleasing. I remember nearly breaking down on the phone to my dad last semester when he told me I had to stop basing my own satisfaction off pleasing others. I started to cry as I tried to figure out what else could make me happy or how else to validate myself. I couldn’t imagine what could make me satisfied other than impressing my colleagues and superiors, meeting my family’s expectations, or making my friends happy. I have to start being authentic, I have to start being myself and finding and doing what truly brings me joy. I’m not my authenticity, I’m not my struggle to please myself instead others, I am simply me, or at least I’m going to start trying to be.

To my friends and family that have tried to show me I don’t have to be as strong as I pretend to be, thank you for loving me even when I don’t always let you in.