Sup. So, yes, Independence Day is on it’s way soon, and I would share outfit advice with you, but you obviously know to wear something red, white or blue….also, the thought of freedom pops around in my mind, and I am truly proud to be an American, but with recent events and epiphanies, I’ve been thinking about a different kind of freedom and independence. So with that being said, shit’s about to get real deep on ‘ya…
What does it mean to feel truly free? Well, I think it varies from person to person. Some may feel free from obligations, free from negativity or feel freedom within their soul. Others may feel free from someone or something, or free to do and live as they please. I would only hope that everyone gets a chance in their lifetime to feel such freedom. I myself am in an interesting stage in my life where I am fortunate enough to have such a sense of freedom and independence. I’ve never felt like I have changed so much until this past year. Early in my twenties, experiencing new things and trying to figure out who I really am. I’ve also never had so many close people in my life mention that I have changed significantly, but in such a good way.
I’ve always struggled to be myself in front of people other than my family. My extreme shyness and introvert ways were always misconstrued as rude or narcissistic towards those who didn’t know me well. I am a very focused, passionate and goal-driven person, and typically put all of my effort into the things that I am currently working on rather than spending too much time socializing. I never could really keep any close friends growing up or throughout school. I don’t believe that most people ever took the time to really get to know me. A good handful of my classmates were very rude to me, tried to jump me after class or scream at me during lunch when I was just trying to enjoy my bag of Ritz cheese crackers. I also dated a lot of guys who never really made me feel special. It truly tampered with the years that I was supposed to be enjoying, but in the end, I was resentful toward them. In conclusion, it made me put a large guard up, and I struggled to open up to people or let them in from then on.
As the years went by, I was blessed with so many new things. A career that I worked so hard to achieve, new friends that I completely connected with and a ton of fun and exciting experiences. I have always believed that no one is in control of your happiness except for yourself. You can’t rely or expect too much from others or you’ll end up disappointed. I stopped caring about what other people thought about me. I stopped worrying if my actions or interests affected anyone else negatively or not. I realized that there’s no use in acting like anyone else except for my true self. Now, I am still working on and perfecting these things, but I’ve made so much progress and such a huge difference in my life. I focus on the things that make me happy, no matter what. Not in a selfish way, just in the sense that I’m taking care of myself. I take every opportunity to live my life to the fullest. Even if that means spending way too much money on queso and margaritas with friends, or taking time away from making money to go and travel to new places. I go out now and dance like no one’s watching, I embrace that my jokes aren’t that funny but my friends laugh and love me anyway, and I’ll even go up to random strangers and make new acquaintances when I never would have been brave enough to do it before. I stopped getting into relationships too quickly and have actually loved being single and independent. You have to love yourself before you can truly love another. You have to be able to pick yourself up when others get you down. You have to ignore the little voices in your head that hold you back and embrace spontaneity and doing things out of your comfort zone. Free your mind and soul. Say yes to more things. Live a little, for crying out loud. There are many times now where I sit on a rooftop downtown, the beach looking out into the ocean or even when I’m mid-dance at a music festival and think, damn, I feel so free. So, me. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
As one of my all-time favorite artists said, “To be true to myself, to be the person that was on the inside of me. That’s what I’m trying to do mostly in the whole world, is to not bullshit myself and not bullshit anybody else. Be yourself and you’ll be more than you ever thought of being.” – Janis Joplin
xx || ps