Find Yourself Then Find Your Tribe

posted in: Choose love | 19

Choose Love Series

 

I always felt like an outcast no matter where I was. I felt different from my friends and family and even strangers on the street. I couldn’t exactly say what it was that made me so unlike everyone else, but I always felt it.

Growing up, I tried really hard to fit in. All I wanted was to be accepted and find a place where I didn’t feel like an outsider. I did what everyone else did. I drank and cut class when that was considered the cool thing to do. I watched Keeping up with the Kardashians and even began dressing and talking like them when all of my friends did. I joined the right clubs and was the captain of my high school’s soccer team. From the outside looking in, I think I did a good job blending in. But no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t escape that little voice saying that I didn’t belong. I hated being different. I hated feeling like I was always a step behind everyone else.

Senior year, I applied for all of the same colleges as my four best friends and we all promised that we would choose our college together. The plan was to only go to a school that we were all accepted to. I went behind their backs and applied for 2 colleges out of state. I felt horrible and I honestly didn’t think that I would have been able to betray them and go to a different college anyway. But going to school up North had always been a dream of mine, so I knew I had to at least apply and give it a shot.

I was accepted to all of the schools I applied to, including my ultimate dream school in New York. The second I clicked on the e-mail and saw that I was accepted I knew I would go there. I waited a really long time to tell my friends and even pretended like I was going to go to the same university as them. When I finally told them they reacted even harsher than I imagined they would.

One of them whom I’d known since we were 4 years old, said that she knew I wasn’t going to go to school with them. She told me that she always felt like I thought I was better than them. The other girls piled on with other rude remarks.

I wanted to defend myself because I never thought I was better than them. In fact it was the complete opposite. I always thought they were better than me and I spent my whole life trying to catch up to them. It’s strange though because as they were insulting me and trying to guilt me into changing my mind, I never felt like a bad friend. I had deceived them and went against our promise to each other and I should have been feeling horrible. But I didn’t.

I had spent my whole life choosing everyone else. Being the person they wanted me to be. This was the first decision that I had ever made for myself and completely by myself and it felt great. For the first time in my life I felt like I belonged and it didn’t matter that I was standing alone.

I’m currently finishing up my first year of college and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t have as many friends as I did in high school. I don’t hang out with the “cool” crowd. But I get to be myself. I get to discover myself. What I like and dislike. The type of person I get along with and want to invest my energy in. I get to live my life and it’s all because I learned how to choose myself. I don’t know if you choose who you love or who loves you. But I do know that you get to choose which version of yourself you present to people. And I know it’s not always easy but you should always choose the version of yourself that you love.

 

 

 

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Submit stories to kidnessindemand@gmail.com. Learn more about our Choose Love Series here.

 

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19 Responses

  1. Robin Rue

    I’m glad you went with your gut and went to your dream school. If you hadn’t, you would have regretted it for the rest of your life.

  2. Good for you for doing something for yourself. Unfortunately what you’re going to find out in life is people don’t always stick around when they should and friendships definitely change as we get older .

  3. So very true and wise. I think this is an important message because all to often especially when we are young we tend to make decisions based on what others think of us or trying to please others. You’ll never go wrong if you trust and believe in yourself!

  4. I just had my 40th high school reunion. I can tell you that as much as I love my HS friends, I needed to go off and find out what I was made of. If my HS friends would have decided for me, I would have been a housewife instead of a career woman with a PhD. Congratulations for getting your first year under your belt!

  5. wow this touched me deeply. I know how it feels to just trying to fit in for the sake of company and companionship then i became 27 (now 30) and I finally found my tribe women who love me for me and celebrate me. and i love it thank you for sharing tho i got alitttle emotional here again it real hit deep .. great read!

  6. I hate having regrets in life, I am so glad you chose to follow your dream!

  7. This is really good advice. I cant definitely relate to this. I have learned that with both friends and family, you still need to do what YOU feel is best.

  8. Relationships even with friends and acquaintances can be so difficult. I agree that it is important to just be you and you will attract the right people.

  9. I love the energy of this post! Be true to you and the rest will fall into place. This is so true!

  10. It’s so much easier when you stop worrying about what others think and just become yourself. When you do, your tribe will find you and accept you for who you are.

  11. Elizabeth O.

    This is a good reminder for everyone. It’s important that you focus on yourself before you start focusing on others. We can’t live a life trying to please everyone, but we can do something that will help us love ourselves more.

  12. This is what I had to learn the hard way when I was younger. We can’t grow up living the life that you never wanted just to please people. That will never make you feel good about yourself. It’s important that we learn to love ourselves and know our value.

  13. I’m so proud of you for having the courage to break free and find yourself and live your truth. This is a great story of courage and you aren’t a bad friend for following your dreams, you are being authentic and any true friend will value that quality in you.

  14. I can totally relate with this. I also have this kind of concern when I was younger. I always want to fit in. Glad I know my worth now and accept the fact that we can’t please everyone.

  15. I am so glad to hear you are putting yourself first. That is important and with that attitude, you will regret nothing in life because you are what matters.

  16. Most of us are people pleaser when we were younger. The older we get we tend to focus on ourselves and not worry too much about what others think of us.

  17. I love this! We get to choose the version of ourselves that we love…Isn’t that liberating and empowering? I’m so glad you chose you. I’m so glad you made the decisions that you feel happy to live with. That’s inspiring. Many people live their whole life trying to please others and that’s no life at all. Good for you! You’re wise beyond your years.

  18. CourtneyLynne

    Yay for you!!!! Following your gut feeling is always wise!!! I loved High school but followed my gut and moved after I graduated for school. Best decision ever

  19. This post is so very true . I loved reading it! I agree, we can sometimes conform ourselves to be what other people want.

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