Not counting today, my birthday is in eight days. As far as I’m not concerned, it’s not different than any other birthday, except it marks that I’ve officially been a legal adult for one full year. The only big thing happening this year is my high school graduation.
Pretty much all of my life has been dictated for me. However, I’m not a kid anymore and the whole “you’re a kid and don’t have any say” is old. The only way I’d better not have any say in something is if there’s some future benefit or there’s a damn good reason behind it.
I came up with some rules for my life beyond this point, not just in reference to controlling my own life, but also to developing my own self-esteem. Really, if I’m going to hate myself for as long as I live, I may as well die.
- I will follow my own path. I won’t allow anyone to tell me what decisions I should make or how I should live my life. It’s my life and I can live it how I see fit.
- I will not be emotionally manipulated by others. I won’t allow anyone to make me feel guilty about a choice I made or try to talk me out of a decision I’m certain of that will only affect me. I will listen to their opinion and consider it if I want to, but I won’t allow someone to make that choice for me.
- I will stop comparing myself to others. As much as I preach people are different when it comes to subjects like intolerance, I don’t seem to think the same when it comes to my self-esteem. I’m different and I want to be. There will always be someone who’s better than me and I can’t change that. I’ll stop beating myself up because someone seems “better” than me. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. But I’m good enough.
- I will not hold grudges unless it’s truly unforgivable. I deem the following unforgivable: rape, murder, severe theft, assault, or any of the aforementioned being done to someone I care about. If none of those are the offense, I will not hold a grudge. I might not forgive either, but I will move on with my life because, really, I have better things to do than dwell on anger.
- I will rely on myself. That doesn’t mean I will distrust everyone. I will trust people like my friends and family. But I will not depend on them for support just to do it. I will try not to put myself in a situation where I can’t support myself, but if I ever find myself relying on someone somehow, such as living in a friend’s apartment, I will make it up to them unless they say otherwise.
- I will help someone if I want to. I love helping and I will help someone in need, but I will not be guilted into it. I’ll happily take in a friend or relative or donate to a charity, but not out of pressure. Out of my own desire and generosity.
- I will not allow myself to be taken advantage of. If I discover someone is taking advantage of me in any way and that person refuses to apologize or change, I will cut that person out of my life or maintain minimal contact if cutting them out isn’t possible.
- I will focus on myself. I tend to put my needs behind most people’s whether it’s necessary or not. Not because I’m trying to be a martyr, but because I try to be considerate. However, I recognize this can be a bad thing, so I’ve decided I’m not going to keep putting myself last. I will take care of myself, treat myself nicely and put my needs and desires ahead from time to time.
- I will learn from my mistakes. Nobody’s perfect and I’m no exception. If I make a mistake, I will learn how to prevent it from reoccurring.
- I will not be afraid of failure. I’m a perfectionist and that needs to stop. Failure is a part of life and if I have a freak out every time I fail at something, I will drive myself into a nervous breakdown. That said, I will not do something I know for certain I will fail at (like break dancing), but if I want to do something, I will try it.
- I will be happy with what I have. I want things like anyone else, but I will not dwell on what I don’t have. If something becomes unattainable, I will let it go and place my focus on something else.
- If I’m unhappy with something, I will work to change it. If it’s something that can’t be changed (such as my anemia), I will learn to cope with it.
I may eventually add more to this. I may not. Of course, few things happen overnight, so I’ll have to take things slowly. But hopefully, I can pull myself out of this hole.