Sometimes I Wish I Were Someone Other Than Me Trying to Make the Mirror Happy

(Beautiful–Bethany Dillon)

Alternatively titled Why I am ME

I love making people happy. More than just a nice goal, it has become a way of life for me, an endeavor vital to my existence. I struggled with social skills when I was younger, and when I became too old for my parents to continue to orchestrate my friendships as a tweenager and then a teenager, I did still internally desire social connectedness, and being the resourceful girl that I am, this posed little external problem. I quickly learned to live vicariously through other people’s experiences. I got my dose of social contact from hearing the stories and seeing the pictures of other people’s friendships. I hardly knew I was doing it. Social media consumed every minute that was unconsumed by school, but I didn’t yet understand what role the internet served. I did not yet know what I was doing, but it was feeding my soul, and I both “met” new people, and lived through the life my friends were posting about on facebook (all like 10 of them I had until late high school when I gradually expanded to 31 by the time I graduated). It shaped who I am today.

I still love reading blogs but it is now for content rather than relationship. Further, it sounds so selfless to set out to make other people happy, sometimes even at the expense of myself, but truly it is rather selfish. Making others happy is often much less about them than it is about me. If I can make other people happy, I can still derive much joy from living vicariously through their happiness…

I lived for so long getting what I need through other people, but I have broken free. I can and do have friendships that bring me joy independent of their joys, but that hasn’t put out the fire from under this people-pleaser’s spirit. I still love making people happy. No longer is it just a pre-conscious coping skill, it has become an integral part of who I am. When I grow up, I want to be [my name]. I am self-sufficient and I am enough.

I used to not know what I wanted to be when I grew up…not a princess…not a mommy (well, okay, I probably wanted to be a mommy, but that wasn’t what I would have said as what I wanted to be when I grew up—being a mommy doesn’t pay the bills)…no idea…and then I wanted to be a pharmacist. I still do want to be a pharmacist, but I want to be more than a pharmacist. I want to be me.

This also reminds me of this video:

… TBH I am not a fan of this video beyond the opening remarks, but how powerful for a small child to own his identity so definitively.

(and I kinda wanna be a social worker, but that’s a story for another day, and it probably isn’t realistic for me to be both a pharmacist and a social worker, and I am not going to let go of my first passion…sometimes I wish BB hadn’t asked me to think of something else I could do, because now that half-baked idea born out of desperation for something with which to fill in the blank has grown on me quite a lot)

…y’all, I should start deciding if I want a medal or a chest to pin it on, because I am pretty proud of myself for writing a post that almost completely stayed on topic…it seems like lately most of my posts have jumped topic to topic like a koala on caffeine in a candy store…(I have no idea where that analogy comes from or if it even makes sense, so just run with me for a bit and we’ll pretend I write coherently)…

Okay, just one more thing I read on a blog this morning “She makes my heart feel better. Because she doesn’t pity me. She gets it. And that makes all the difference in the world.” Love it 🙂 .

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