I never thought of myself as a people-pleaser. I’ve made plenty of decisions that don’t suit everyone’s fancy. And, boy, have those people let me know. I’m an independent risk-taker, and (knock on wood) I have not made a decision that I regret. I’m happy with my life and the people I have surrounded myself with.
I’ve been able to make those decisions by ignoring criticism and doing what is best for me. But it’s not easy. Getting to this point has taken some emotional and physical cleansing. I realized that after all I was kiiiiinda a people-pleaser. I like to know that the people I love support my decisions. I like to maintain connections to everyone I know and everything I own. These things made me feel secure in my social and economic worth. Having lots of stuff and the approval of everyone made me feel like I had a nice, cushy life. Until it became emotionally draining.
62 Bath & Body Works Candles
Eight months ago, I owned an excess of everything you could think of. Moving all of my belongings from apartment to apartment became more than just a chore. I had an enormous clothing collection, approximately 62 candles, two giant boxes of shoes, boxes of accessories, books from college, knick knacks on every surface. It was too much and then some. I started with the traditional cleaning habits. Do I really use this? Will I really wear this again? I got rid of the obvious excess, and then I dug a little deeper. I got rid of 14 pairs of shoes. Let that sink in. Some people don’t even have 14 pairs of shoes, but I had that many to just pitch into the trash. I threw away piles of magazines that I collected for no apparent reason. My boxes became fewer and lighter. I applied my new minimalism (I use that word very loosely- you should see how many dresses I still own) to my luggage while packing too. On my recent trip home to the US, I purged my closet even more. I’m learning to live with less. I don’t miss any of those things that I threw away, regardless of my hesitation in the moment.
Can you make that plural? I just did.
People, especially grown adults, should be supportive of your decisions… in a perfect world. When I made the move, I received a lot of judgement and scrutiny, which was a little upsetting considering how independent I have always been. I have been self-supporting for years. For whatever reason, certain people in my life took my lifestyle change very personally and consistently judged my way of life. Where do you get your money? How do you pay for that? Don’t you miss your family? How can you just leave? The discouraging comments were endless, and unfortunately they often came from people I trusted. In reality, I hustle hard as a freelancer. I miss the hell out of my family. It’s not “just leaving.” But I learned that I don’t owe anyone that explanation. You do what you have to do and don’t look back. The people that truly love you will either support that or cut you out of their lives because of your decisions. That may burn, but sometimes cutting your losses is easier than feeling pulled in a thousand directions at all times. No more people-pleasing!
We Should Get Together Sometime
I’ll preface this by saying that I love people. I’m social. I love meeting new people and going to parties and playing silly games. But…
Before I moved to Europe, my time was spread thin by people I didn’t really connect with. I lead a super busy lifestyle to begin with, and now that I’m traveling, my time at home with family and friends is more valuable than ever. It’s difficult to manage the time with my loved ones when I have several acquaintances that want to get together for coffee for Instagram’s sake. I would rather have 5 close friends that I connect with on a deep level, than 15 friends for the sake of popularity and social media.
It’s frustrating to keep ties with people who don’t value time or true friendship. There are some people I talk to less and some people that I have not seen in a long time. And that’s perfectly okay.
I was holding on to too much in too many aspects of my life. I have learned to take time and space for myself without feeling guilty about it.
Peace & love, mermaids and mermen. Have a splendid week!