Lately I’ve come to a very profound realization – this may be a deep one people, be warned. I’ve come to realize that I no longer care about doing what everyone else is doing or “keeping up with the Joneses’” as the saying goes.
I’ve never been one to stand out from the crowd or dance to my own beat. I remember in high school and even college when I so desperately wanted to be like everyone else, I wanted to fit in and I did for the most part. I completely shied away from anything that would make me remotely different than my peers. It’s funny to me now because I no longer care about fitting in – I’m totally comfortable in my own skin.
Maybe this started a while ago and I’m just now realizing it, because if I cared about fitting in I would never have had the courage to leave a full time job and pursue a career such as freelance writing. I guess my realization is that this new feeling of not having to fit in and not even caring to fit in is very freeing. Now instead of focusing on what others are doing or what others have, I’m much more focused on what I’m doing and what is right for me, and what is right for me may not be right for anyone else in the world. I’m not just talking about writing either. I no longer care if my yard is planted exactly right and looks just like or better than my neighbors, I no longer care if I wear the “newest” fashions, and I no longer care if my husband and I make as much money as our friends or if our house is bigger or our cars as nice. I’m done comparing and I’m done doing what is expected. I’m free of the entire crowd thing and I’m ready to be me, do what I need to do for me and I think I’ll be a hell of a lot happier doing it.
Writing has taught me this. See, writing for different clients on different projects, and meeting writers from all walks of life, has really opened my eyes to so many different people and so many different ways of life, cultures, careers and just knowledge. Through writing, I have discovered that I have different tastes and interests than the next person and I have different dreams and aspirations that will make me truly happy. I no longer feel the need to be like my neighbors or to be like my friends and I’m secure enough with myself to realize that I will still be loved and cherished even if I’m different. This career choice and my ability to pursue my dreams are truly a gift that have transformed me into a confident person able to stand alone or stand out and not care what people think. Writing has also given me the strength to trust my instincts and believe in myself because in this business there is no one right way. I’ve learned to do what’s right for me, not what’s right for everyone else.
Maybe this is just part of growing up (can I still be growing up at 28?), and if this is what being an adult feels like I’m in it for the long haul. The freedom to just be me, quirks and all rocks and I’ll continue to dance to my own beat no matter what others think!