Truth: I Came to Play
I've always been a goody-goody. I'm talking straight A's, prom queen (to be clear: the kind that gets nominated for being nice to everyone and just pretty enough, not the cool slut kind of prom queen), and obedient af. At times in life, fear-based reverence has served me well: I got to go to a fancy school. Old people love me. My scrolling list of side-hustles stuns new friends and colleagues. I'm motivated to work really, really hard/ most hours of most days... for what? Compliments?
I love compliments.
Ways in which people-pleasing ain't so grand, however, include not only just now realizing at 28 how to speak my mind when it's appropriate, but more importantly, just now realizing at 28 what I actually think in the first place -- because it turns out, if you're too polite to question anyone else's opinion, you never give yourself a chance to formulate your own. And I've always had them, pinned to my frontal lobe in their hand-me-down tuxedoes and taffeta like wallflowers at prom, just waiting to be acknowledged. But I refused to take my eyes off the crown. Because I'm me, and I came to "win."
Furthermore, there exists a downside to compliments. I know. Insane. I've found that once you start to crave praise, you're basically fucked. Although my cells hum with murderous rage at the implication that I could ever, would ever, require validation from a dude; the part of us that needs to be externally reminded of how awesome we are on a regular basis knows no categorical bounds, i.e. if your brain seeks validation from your boss or your teachers or your mom, you likely require the same validation from your peers. So essentially, I came to win, and to be regularly told that I'm winning.
Starting now, I want the Universe to know that I'm over "winning;" and giving any shits about what other hapless humans think of my questionable success. We're not on this earth to win. We're here to play.