Feeling like I must make others happy at all costs is exhausting, but it’s something I’ve strived to achieve for years. For years, I’ve been guilty (and still am) of feeling the need to make everyone else happy, even if it meant putting others happiness before my own.
Whether that meant being the one to always listen to a friend vent and never get the chance to actually vent myself (the stereotypical walk-all-over-you-friend), the one who must break a room’s awkward silence or the one who can never quite be decisive when it comes to restaurant plans and just goes along with what the company suggested. A people pleaser. That was me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been worried about everyone and everything. Whether it was a tiny fight with a friend, an awkward word-stumble/stutter (you know what I’m talking about) with someone you haven’t seen since high school or just the overall vibe of a room – I analyze it. I worry, analyze, lather and repeat. It’s exhausting, you guys.
A few days ago I got my first gorgeous Maaji bikini in the mail. For months I’ve followed their Instagram account and lusted after their vibrant bikinis, but been hesitant of the price tag and the bikini bottom cuts (they’re a little…what’s the word? Cheeky). Well, I finally got one a few weeks ago and fell in love with the pattern, the cut and the fact that it was reversible (in case you didn’t know, that totally rationalizes the whole price tag thing).
After my first Maaji bikini ‘falling in love’ experience, I ordered my second one (hey, I’ve really been embracing the whole ‘treat yourself’ mentality. I’d say it looks pretty good on me too). After I received my second suit in the mail, I tried the top on; perfect. I immediately loved it. Check. Next up, the bottoms. Whoa, they were definitely tiny. Um, did I order a thong? I kid. I tried them on and they fit….well, they fit. As I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t help but sigh as I noticed how rather cheeky these bottoms were on my bum. Let’s put it this way, I’ve never been one to really show off my body (side note: I wasn’t allowed to wear a real two-piece bikini or Abercrombie & Fitch denim mini skirt until I was in the 9th grade. The 9th grade).
My next thought was, ‘How can I wear this at the pool….in Roanoke? This is totally a west coast, I’m a surfer girl kind of suit.’ Those were my exact thoughts. As silly as it may be, I walked around in my suit while I got ready for work. Yes, pranced around in the suit. No shame here. As I blasted music and simultaneously dried my hair, I couldn’t help but think, ‘Why can’t I wear this suit out? It’s not that skimpy. Whoa. I can do this. I can wear this. Just not on like a family vacation or something, but other than that it’s totally acceptable. Who cares what others think anyway? I work hard in the gym, I like my booty and you know what? I’m gonna rock this. It’s happening. No one else should control my clothes. Never.’
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine reminded me of something that stuck with me:
"You can’t control everyone or anything, but you can control yourself."
That one single line had the ability to linger in my mind for days.
I can’t control anything. I can’t control anyone. I can control myself. My thoughts, my emotions, my reactions, my behaviors, and my habits – those are my own and they’re changeable. I can control those. When someone else’s anxiety, sadness or overall mood affects mine, there’s something wrong with that picture. You can’t control them. When you start worrying over everyone else but yourself - you just can’t be happy.
All you people pleasers out there, this one’s for you. Don’t be the one who gets walked all over, the one who’s constantly worried about everyone and everything. Just be yourself. Being yourself is really the only thing you can control anyway.
Oh and that cheeky bikini? I rocked it. To the pool and all.
::pats myself on back::
Go be you, guys. Don’t worry about the rest.