My life, up until this point, has been a lie. I tried to fight it, I tried to hide, but this was something that was inherent in me, something that I was born with. Everyone says, "Oh, it's a choice" or "she'll grow out of it, you just have to give her some time," but I am living proof that both of these statements aren't true.
I have finally come to terms with what I am. After years of just trying to avoid it all together, I decided it was time to start being honest, with not only myself, but with my friends and family as well. I knew that before I opened up to others, I would have to come to terms with this for myself, but it was just so difficult. Since I was a little girl, it was engrained in my siblings and I that appearances were important. What other people thought of you really did matter, and your status was something that should not be taken for granted. Gorwing up with a childhood of being so concerned with how I appeared to others, I really began to resent having to put up such facades. Wearing the "proper" masks just to please others was exhausting, and it got me to thinking, why should I care what anyone thinks, as long as I'm happy with myself?
Originally, I just pretended it wasn't there, "no, that's not me, that's not who I am" was a thought that crossed my mind quite frequently. Next came the anger, I could literally be ANYTHING in the world, love anything that I wanted, why did it have to be this?! Eventually, I just started telling myself that if I could make the proper sacrifices, such as happiness and truth to myself, I could end up back on the "proper" path. After realizing the only way to change my fate was to sacrifice my happiness, I became very depressed. A life without happiness and passion was definitely not something that I had envisioned for myself. The thought consumed me, both physically and emotionally; it became a darkness that I couldn't seem to crawl my way out of. After the denial passed, all the anger and bargaining and depression, I decided the only way to be truly happy was to follow my bliss, accept who I am, embrace my passions, and thrive in my lifestyle. I knew that no one would accept me until I had truly accepted myself, and with my newfound acceptance, I gained the courage to come out to my parents.
The amount of time I spent in front of my mirror rehearsing what I was going to say was a lot more than I would be comfortable admitting. The anticipation drove me crazy. One of my worst traits has always been overthinking, and in this particular situation it was eating me alive. In my head, as well as out-loud, I pracitce different situations of how the conversation could go. It took me a while, but eventually I gained the courage to face them.
I heard the front door close, and with that I left my room to head downstairs. With every downward step my anticipation built up, so much so that when I reached the final step I thought I might explode. My parents had just decided to pick up a pizza for dinner, since they were both so exhausted from having such long days at work. As my mom took off her blazer and my dad loosened his tie, I knew I had no choice but to be honest. Growing up in a family of business people, I had spent countless days witnessing teh aftermath of a hard and unhappy day at work. My mom was a supervisor, and my dad a banker, so both of them had stressful days at work where all they wanted was to come home and go to sleep. Early on in my childhood, I had decided that I didn't want my life to be like that. I wanted to live a life of happiness and passion, which is why I knew I needed to do this.
After 30 minutes of random dinner conversation and with my anticipation building more and more, I finally spoke up and said, "Guys, I have something that I really need to talk to you about."
The curiosity and concern that flashed across their faces did nothing but further my anxiety.
"I know this is untraditional, and probably not what you envisioned for me, but I'm tired of hiding and it's time to be honest, I'm...going to major in English."
As soon as the words left my mouth, the dining room was dead silent. Although miserable while it lasted, it was what I wished for once the questions began.
"Oh, and just how exactly are you planning on supporting yourself? You know we can't pay for everything for your entire life."
"What do you even do with a degree in English?"
As I was bombarded with questions, I had an epiphany. All of these things that my parents were asking me were irrelevant. Their main focus was money and how my decision would reflect on them and look to others, but my main focus was happiness. Money and status were important to my parents. The proper sacrifice in their opinion was happiness, as long as the money followed. This is where my parents and I clashed. In my opinion, happiness is the most important part of anyone's life, and if you're not doing something that makes you happy, then everything else is for nothing. Something that I realized was as hard as you try to fight something, the more likely it is to happen. I tried to fight going against my parents' wishes for me, but as hard as I fought, the more I truly wanted this for myself. I may not have all of the answers right now, I may end up in a tiny apartment, living off of top ramen and mac and cheese, and I'm going to be happy as hell doing it.
Being true to yourself is the most important thing you can be. Acting based solely for the purpose of pleasing others does not lead to true happiness. Many don't realize this, but happiness is important. Act for the purpose of creating your own happiness, and everything else will fall into place. As hard as it was, I am now officially out of the closet, a declared English major, pen in hand, and ready to conquer the world.