My whole life I’ve spent worrying about what other people think of me and therefore moulding myself around it. It’s just pressure, constant pressure to be the right thing, to look a certain way, constant anxiety as I scrutinise every part of myself as I question “will this person like that?”
But what if you stop? What if you just stop trying to live your life for other people and their approval, what happens then? Do you feel free? Do you become happy?
I’m going to find out.
If you scroll through my blog you’ll find endless posts where I discuss this topic because well, I talk about it a lot. When you’re doing things for other people’s approval, nothing you do is ever good enough. You’re always coming from a place of lack in other words, because no matter what, you always have to be more. You’re coming from a place of “I need to have longer hair”, “I need to have a tinier waist”, “I need to be funnier” – you’re always coming from a place of listing all of the things you don’t have, but need to have in order to be acceptable to all of these other people.
What happens if you just stop caring?
Even though this is of course, an extremely obvious point – “how about you just stop caring what other people think?” we all know it’s easier said than done. Recently for the first time in my life, I’ve cut myself off from any romantic connections I have going on. It may sound dramatic (don’t worry, it isn’t – it’s not that deep) but I’ve never been in a relationship, I’ve just kind of floated around talking and getting along with different people. Not always through my own choice either, personally I couldn’t care less whether I was currently ‘speaking to someone’ or not because I enjoy being on my own and a relationship has never been one of my priorities however, people will message me and I don’t really know how to tell them “hey, is it okay if you leave me alone because I don’t want any romantic connections going on in my life right now” you know? So I just go along with it and end up chatting to them and then thinking….okay, how do I get out of this now? Sounds dumb I know, but I’m too nice to tell them that I just don’t want to talk right now – these are good people and they’re not trying to forcefully flirt with me, so I just go along with it and chat with them.
Lately though, I’ve let everything slowly fizzle out and die down (that way I didn’t have to feel guilty about telling people to leave me alone…) and now it’s just me. Just Chlo all by herself with no one to please and no one that expects anything from her. Hallelujah. I honestly can’t even see myself going back at this point, maybe I’ll just stay single forever and buy a farm and adopt a load of dogs, which sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
What I’m trying to say (and the title of this post) is that I’ve stopped trying to be pretty. I’m going out in public with messy hair and no makeup on and not caring who sees me, I’m nipping out wearing uncoordinated outfits because I couldn’t be bothered to put something together last minute – and I don’t care. I’m not going out to places on the edge of my seat constantly in case I see someone I know – whipping my head around every time I hear the door open – because there’s no one to impress, no one expects anything from me and so now I can just do whatever the hell I want because I don’t need to try and be pretty anymore. There’s no expectations for me to be anything at all. Like I said, it’s just me, Chlo all by herself with no connections to the superficial, I don’t even know if any of this makes sense but I hope you can catch my drift. There’s no expectations, no one to please apart from myself, my purpose is no longer to be here for other people to find me attractive.
This was never my purpose in the first place, of course it wasn’t, but as a woman I felt like it was, which is so incredibly damaging. Sexualising females has become so normalised these days (as it always has been) and it scares me that as a young woman I am growing up in such a world. The amount of pressure for women to be attractive is overwhelming, it’s like we’re made to believe that if we’re not attractive, then what’s the point?
I know this isn’t the case, I know it isn’t, but there’s still always that voice in the back of my head saying “you need to be pretty at all times” and even though I may not be able to get rid of that voice, I still have the power to ignore it. What if I just don’t listen?
I put myself down a lot and I am so hard on myself always and the other day I was thinking, what are these things that I’m hating myself over? What exactly are the things I’m putting myself down for?
Any personality trait that I was also scrutinising myself for was as a result of physically not feeling good enough, so it was clear that every negative thing I felt about myself, had stemmed from the physical. But I am so much more than that, yet it didn’t seem to matter. It didn’t matter to me because it didn’t matter to anyone else therefore I too had been brainwashed into thinking “well then what’s the point?”
I’m not sure where I’m going with this, I guess I’m just trying to say that I’m letting go of a lot of things right now. I posted a photo on Instagram the other week for the first time this year and guess what? The sky didn’t cave in. I’m learning to slowly stop bothering about what other people may or may not think – it’s true that you are your own worst enemy, and that’s difficult when all I want to be is my own best friend.
We’ll see how it goes, I just needed somewhere to write about it.
All my love,