It has been hard for me to follow my dreams because they did not match the dreams others had for me. I know that is a very disempowering notion but when you are child in a adults-know-best world that’s how it is. They wanted me to be a doctor and I really liked the idea until I realized that I hated dissection. If cutting up frogs in the zoology lab made me throw up, how on earth could I cut up corpses? Being a fan of horror movies didn’t help either! Nor did my new found interest in Reiki and other alternative therapies. Everyone was ok with me getting initiated in Reiki or doing an acupressure course or Pranic Healing. Everyone was ok with it being just a hobby. But to me it was more than a hobby. I felt passionate about alternative therapies. This was way back in school when I was still figuring myself out. And I’m still figuring myself out now because I felt others knew better. I thought the road I was taking was not so cool. The stats weren’t that good either. How many Reiki practitioners did I know? Just one. Just one sane one that is. I had very few role models to look up to. Very little support.
So I just buried everything because most of my friends frowned upon the idea of a Reiki therapist or an Acupuncture practitioner. I also felt a great connection with nature and thought ecology was the subject that would land me in a fulfilling career. I had the right idea but ended up in the wrong place. I felt so strongly that I was doing the right thing that when it didn’t work out and I had to quit I blamed myself. And worst of all I stopped trusting my own judgement. That started my downhill spiral to living an unauthentic life.
Reiki and yoga went into hiding. I was almost ashamed to admit that I knew Reiki or did yoga and the friends around me again validated this for me. Any talk about energy would make them visibly uncomfortable. So I buried all of that deeper. But it was such a burden on my psyche. And all that burying took its toll. It was like a shroud of unhappiness that I could never shake off, which clung to me like the mask I was wearing.
So after years of trying to fit in with what the world thought a respectable woman should do I finally realized that I always knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a healer or a teacher of healing arts. I wanted to help people feel better and live better lives. Help them work through their issues both physical and mental and emerge the best person they could possibly be. But I still didn’t have the courage to go for it. I still am surrounded by naysayers, brow beaters and soul stuffers. Now don’t get me wrong. My friends and family mean well. They are trying to protect me from what they perceive as failure or danger or whatever else their limited perceptions allow them to believe. They are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have. But I can longer live with my people-pleasing unauthentic self.
And this blog which I started has been an eye-opener for me. First, it took courage to start the blog and put all my feelings out there. Second, writing put me in touch with my deepest fears and wildest dreams. In the last 8 months I’ve discovered more about myself than I have all my life. I’ve finally become comfortable with who I am even if it means that I’m a social outcast. Even if it means that my friends don’t approve. My dearest friend J (I love you very much!) and I were having a heated discussion the other day about my writing. She was telling me not to write about sensitive issues (See United Nations of the World). I simply refused to back down and said that I would write whatever it is I felt the need to write about. I know she was trying to protect me and if this had happened a few years ago I would have agreed with her.
It’s not that I don’t care about my family or my friends anymore. It’s just that I care about ‘me’ more. Being your version of ‘me’ brings me no joy and I’d rather travel on the road less taken than follow the crowd. Even if it means walking alone. Cos I know in my heart of hearts that it will take me home. I also know that not far along the path I’ll discover that I’m not alone. All I need is the courage to go down that lonely road.