What I wish I knew when I was 20

What I wish I knew when I was 20

The dilemma of never fully conforming. A couple of years ago I wrote a piece about society’s need to ensure that everyone is conforming to two very thin lines, one on the conservative side and another on the liberal, you even stand between them and you deemed an outsider.

We, all of us not just women, need to live by the identity we are at peace with, adopt the priorities that give us the feeling that our lives are of value. The problem will never be with society’s limitations or expectations. The true mountain peak will remain in our comprehension of our own truth and the road to a state of contentment.

I wish someone would have told me, what I now know, ten years ago when I was only 20 with a shattered self esteem. Back then what made me happy was never really accepted by society. Today I am unapologetically leading the life I choose. I have the priorities I deem suitable for me. My only regret will always be that I fully understood how to be happy when I was ending my 20s.

Many have probably compiled a mental list of all the statements made to explain to them why they are not enough, here are some of mine:

“It’s interesting that someone like you has your CV.” – To date the most insulting comment I received from some manager while I interviewed the company head.

 “You do not live the life of someone with your own weight.” – A young lady I only met once.

“You have become too self confident.” – A friend.

“Your lipstick is too loud, your makeup is too vulgar.” – A former work colleague.

“You travel too much, you always look tired, and you never have makeup on. You are starting to act like a boy.” – A mother who is mulling my suitability to her little boy, someone I barely even speak too.

“People eat to live, not live to eat,” – a different mother to a different little boy I only met twice.

“You have changed since you became pretty.” – A former friend.

“Something is wrong with your life, your children should be in school by now and you are waking 4am to finish work before your next trip.” – A male friend who claims to be a party animal.

I am listing the above because I have heard much much worse things being told to perfectly amazing women. In case you are one of those women, please know that nothing of what you are being told is actually about you.

People see us through a sheet of their own shortcomings and self beliefs; everyone has a pedestal they are trying to reach, and you veering off that track or surpassing their peak from a different road leads to negative backlash.

The only opinion that only matters is your own, and no that is by no means selfish, neither does it isolate you for society.

The struggle of the not so minority

On another related note, I never really understood the deeper struggle millions in our society face. Recently a few dozen young women have passed my path, trying their best to conform, while claiming their celebration of how different they are.

I am by no means an expert on anything, but I have seen many who appear to be roaring with internal unhappiness, never really at peace with themselves, and they seem completely unaware of the real issue they are struggling with.

The point is that every single one of them is perfect as is, the problem is and always will remain in the endless hidden comments and looks they receive, echoing into their subconscious that if they tried a little bit more, laughed a little more, dressed a little better they would finally be ranked higher on society’s spectrum, and that my dears is a complete lie.

You are either proudly standing by your life choices, or you celebrate that you fit in well. Struggling in private to fit in with what you do not fully want, in order to achieve the approval you seek is one of the biggest monsters that will eat away at the quality of your life.

One day your body will stop supporting your ability to create new memories and a happier life. Make sure that you do not regret wasting life you can enjoy today.

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