Growing up, I tried to be perfect, and I think it was more out of fear of being abandoned again. That fear I held and still hold with me throughout my life. I learned not to rock the boat, to have a mild manner personality for the sake of enduring. The road of perfection left me with staying quiet. I had to make sure I said the right things. I had to look a certain way. After all those years of oppressing myself, it leads to me experiencing depression to the point I didn’t want to live anymore. As time went on, I realize I wanted to live; I didn’t want to be this version of myself. Still today, I feel like I have to confirm to be deemed acceptable, even though I know being accepted by others doesn’t really mean much. People experience different things that make them change without warning making them like you one day and the next maybe not.
For the past couple of months, I have been thinking about who I am and separating who I am and who others say I am—trying to be everyone’s perfect, Maggie. When I say perfect I mean, everyone’s pleasing, yes person, accommodating Maggie. One way I have done that is by making decisions about my hair. Pretty much my whole life, I have had my hair chemically treated. Every time I get it done, the center of my head would hurt long after it was washed out. I never told anyone that it was hurting me. During the pandemic, it was something that I got a chance to decide on. There are a lot of people who don’t like it, and that is fine. I made a decision, and I am happy with it; besides, my head isn’t hurting as bad anymore. I may change it back and deal with the pain or not. The most important thing is I like looking more like the person I want to be and instead of thinking and wondering.
Often I am a watcher of life and not experiencing life, making it easier for me to conform to other people’s ideas. Right now, I like to illustrate my journey as two roads, and I am sitting on a bench. I love this illustration when describing my life and my journey. I write a lot about hope and working to change as a person. I have realized that I have been writing and living from the perspective of sitting on the bench and comparing and contrasting the difference. I know that if I go down the familiarity path, I can expect to not be heard. I can expect other people to decide who I am. I can expect not to reach my goals. I will most likely never be myself fully.
On the other side, the path of different. I know only the small part of what I can see down the path before it rounds out and can no longer see down. Even though I do not know what to expect that path to hold, I can imagine that it has everything I ever want down it. The reason I say that is because I have already been down the path that I have been on for 15+ years. When I was crying and hoping to die from the abuse I faced, I knew the better things that I wanted. I wanted then and still want a relationship with people. I want more time to be myself. I want more time not being a people pleaser. I am grateful for the old path allowing a break before remaining on the path because I do not have to go down the same horrors I went through before.
On my journey, I decided that I am ready to get up off the bench and continue the journey to new even though I will experience the good, the bad, and ugly experiences of life. Still, I will have more of the awareness to stop and make adjustments. When I say adjustments, I mean stopping to take care of myself and expressing to people I trust when something is not right instead of powering through it. This is my journey update.