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The sad truth about self-discovery

I've made so many mistakes in the eighteen years I've been alive.

From the day I was born I've been failing, stumbling at every corner, running from conflict and confrontation and hiding from those trying to help.

I'm really good at it too, notorious if you like for being a bit of a fuck-up.

I've stolen money, food, clothes and makeup. I've lied more times than I've been honest. I have a dangerous relationship with alcohol. I lack control when I'm angry. I can be emotionally manipulative. I have a habit of running away from my problems. I've pushed people away and then cried that they left me. I've hurt those closest to me in futile attempts to help myself and I've hurt myself a million times along the way.

But I've never truly owned up to my fuck-ups.

I've deflected blame, admitted to faults only when it suited me and faked commitment to being better to keep people off my back.

But I'm tired. I'm tired of blaming myself for not being the best version of myself, tired of crying, tired of questioning why I even bother existing in the first place and I'm tired of basing my self-worth on what others think of me.

Boy am I so fucking tired of dictating my life and my decisions on what other people will think of me when I'm dead because it will never, ever be enough to justify a life of dissatisfaction.

I am who I am, I'm the only one of me there will ever be and I need to start accepting myself because of it.

So, here starts my acceptance of me. Let's begin by admitting some faults.

I'm passionate about writing, obsessed with spending hours in cafes designing new characters and in love with seeing the final product of a story I built from start to end.

Yet, at the start of this year I was enrolled in a Bachelor's of Electrical Engineering. I spent the entirety of Year 12 working towards getting the ATAR I needed to get into that course and as a result I wasted a year stressing that I would be a failure to all that know me if I didn't. I lied constantly about how excited I was to start, to everyone, to my teachers, friends, work colleagues, everyone.

For what? No-one actually cared what I did at university.

I wasted an entire year of my life trying to fulfil imaginary expectations that I put upon myself.

Then I dropped out. I cried for hours thinking about it, worried about how people would look at me, feared being called a 'failure' or a 'loser' for giving up.

But when I told my family and my friends they laughed and celebrated with me, my mother hugged me and told me that she would support me no matter what I wanted to do and my father told me that he had never wanted me to do it in the first place if I didn't want to.

My close friends weren't even surprised, they told me of their confusion when I said I wasn't pursuing writing and I realised that I had spent so long failing to listen to those who knew me best.

I was too caught up in trying to fit my image of 'perfect' that I forgot what made me happy in the first place.

Today, I feel kind of liberated... I've made the first decision to do something purely because it's what I want to do. I'm not doing it for a reaction or for praise or admiration. I'm doing it for me.

But I have a long way to go. I have so much soul-searching left to do. I mean shit, I literally have to make up for eight years of pretending to be someone I am not.

I have so much to be sorry for to so many people, the biggest of which being myself and my family.

But I'm done making excuses. I'm not perfect, I'm not even close to being the best version of myself, but I'm going to commit to trying everyday to be a good person and pursuing things that make me happy. Waking up everyday with the aim of being just me and having that be enough.

I've wasted eight years being a fraud and I'm tired of it.

I have made mistakes, I've made bad choices, put myself in situations where I've been taken advantage of, avoided speaking out to protect bad people, let myself be walked over, walked over others and just downright failed more times than I can count. But I wouldn't be the person I am today if the last eight years of my life hadn't happened.

My mistakes and my failures are a part of who I am. I can't keep putting them in boxes at the back of my mind and pretending they're there by mistake. They are a part of me, I'm owning them.

I can't truly begin to love myself if I can't accept my flaws.

I apologise if this isn't structured as well as previous pieces, but I can assure you it's directly from the heart and it's important that I post it so I can hold myself accountable.

I'm on a path to self-discovery and sometimes you have to process and accept the worst of yourself in order to be able to create and praise the best of yourself.

Because I am kind, I care so much about other people's happiness, I am tenacious, I am smart, I am generous, I am talented and I am important.

I'm not perfect, but I accept me for who I am and that's enough.

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