While growing up you had all these infantile ideas in your head about what you wanted to be: a teacher, because your father was one; a pop star, because it looked so cool; a rock star, because rock music had more cred than mindless, recycled pop; then a writer, because writing not only made you feel alive, you were actually good at it.
Along with these half-formed, frivolous and unrealistic ambitions, you had ideas about who you wanted yourself to be. It didn't always start off pretty: at 14, you wanted to be misunderstood but always right, the poison of overblown teenage angst seeping so deeply into your bloodstream that you actually believed it were real (it wasn't); at 16, you wanted to be free and stand on your own two feet and say with confidence, "This is the destiny that I chose"; at 18, you wanted to be the overachiever that had the entire world at her feet, placed on a pedestal with thousands of admirers, her stellar grades as proof of her worth; at 19, you wanted to be more; at 20, you wanted to be content; at 21, you hoped that you could be content; but at 23, you realise you can't be anymore.
I'm not just about my achievements, the things that I can do, the thoughts that I can formulate, the opinions that I can have; I am also very much about my values, my morals, my principles. I always say I'd be nothing without my ability to write, but I hardly say another fact that is also true: I am nothing without these high standards that I impose on myself. I expect myself to be a certain person, to do certain things that comport with my values, even if everyone else doesn't. In my mind, the only approval that truly, truly matters is my own. If I can live with the consequences of an action, then that action is right, other opinions to the contrary be damned.
On the flip side, if I can't live with the consequences of an action, then that action is wrong. Period. It doesn't matter to me that everyone else is doing it - maybe it makes me feel beter temporarily, but when push comes to shove, the white-washing fades and disappears, exposing, once more, the issues that I tried to cover up.
Been trying to do that for a while now. It all came back out in the forefront a few hours ago. And honestly, honestly? Really can't do this anymore. I can't recognise myself, I have lost track of the things that matter to me, and I love this too much for it to be continually tainted by something so simple, so fucking obvious, that it's really a crime that we're going on as if it doesn't matter. It does matter, and it should matter, and it'd always mattered to me but I was too weak, too fucking heartbreakingly human, to make it matter the way it should.
I don't know how to be myself without being a responsible person, at least to myself. And so this has to stop, once and for all. Even if I expect myself to be superhuman, I will make it stop until I get it right.