I did something tonight that I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the nerve to. Little things kept getting in the way, things that other people told me, things that bothered people, but never really bothered me.

I realized that a lot of things about myself are really just reflections of what people close to me think, rather than my own thoughts and feelings. It was a somewhat bitter realization, that I wasn’t made up of my own ideals and thoughts and dreams, that I was pieced together in parts from various people who played an important part in my life. There were things that always felt wrong, and I couldn’t pinpoint why, until I figured out that those things that felt wrong were things that didn’t belong in me.

I’m discovering them slowly. I found one tonight, and I attacked it. Cautiously.

I didn’t know what to do about it. I knew how I felt about it when I didn’t put any other person in the picture besides myself. I knew that I wanted to share what I was proud of in myself. When I started thinking about other people, though, I felt confused and uncertain. I had a feeling of how certain people might react to what I wanted to do, and that made me feel bad, guilty about what I wanted to do. I didn’t understand why I should feel guilty about someone else’s reaction, though. It shouldn’t be their concern what I choose to do, and it shouldn’t cause guilt in me to think that they might not approve.

It shouldn’t involve anyone else anyway. It’s not about anyone else, and that’s the battle I had to fight in my mind – what I wanted vs. what I thought someone else would want. The frustrating thing was knowing that people would still think that it had something to do with them, when it honestly didn’t.

Still, knowing all that and actually doing something about the feeling, actually acting on what I wanted to do was an uphill run. Why should it be so difficult for me to do something that I really wanted to do, though? The more I thought about it, the less sense my reaction made to me. The more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me that I had to get past worrying about everyone else, and just do what I felt I needed to do.

I was stiflingly concerned with everyone else, to the exclusion of thinking about myself, and that bothered me enough that I knew I had to do something about it. What would I lose? Respect? Friendship? I didn’t see how that would be possible, just by sharing something that is personal to me. Maybe if I posted something that belonged to someone else, then I would deserve to lose people’s respect. There isn’t anything wrong with a certain amount of pride in oneself, and I happen to have some.

I fought back the fear of retribution, the worry about what others might think. I closed my eyes and thought about how I felt about it all, and thought about what I really wanted to do. Then I hovered, still afraid, but knowing what I wanted to do. The uncertainty was almost painful, I felt completely torn by my own desires and those I had imprinted on others in my mind.

I did what I wanted to do. I set aside the feelings that weren’t mine, and concentrated on myself instead. I made the decision and stood by it.

Afterwards, I was proud of myself, exhilerated, and incredibly happy. It felt completely right to do what I wanted, not because anyone else wanted me to, not because I had anything to prove, not because it would change the world… but because it would affect me. It helped me take control over a part of me that I had tried to ignore and give away. It’s one more piece of the puzzle that is me.