Monday, January 20, 2014

Living Out Loud

"I’ve got this tiny pang of regret when I think of how much I have probably missed out on in the last few years because I was too scared to take a risk, or too shy to speak up, or too worried to be bold."

After coming home from Las Vegas I really got a sense of how much life I feel like I am missing out on. And this quote really sums up how I've been feeling for the last year as I'm continuing to discover myself life post-Spencer. I'm just so tired of feeling so sheltered, not having a whole lot of friends, not normally going out and having a good time. I never have any fun stories. When I'm asked what I did over the weekend my reply is usually, "Not a whole lot". I want to have stories and memories that I am going to be able to share with others. I am so tired of living vicariously through everyone else. I want to start to make my own stories. I want to break a few rules. Live out loud.

In my 23 years of life I have hardly allowed myself to get out there and have a really good time. I'm always the one worried about it getting too late. Someone getting hurt. Rules being broken. I've always been so held back, shy, and worried about how other people will perceive me. I'm just tired of being that person all of the time. I'm always envious of those who don't have many inhibitions, because I have so many. They are the ones who have the stories. Who make memories that last a life time. I feel like I can be, and am, that girl who could have a good time -- but for some reason I just don't allow myself to. It's those inhibitions.

I'm just worried of time continuing to slip away, and before I know it these opportunities that I could be holding on to right now will be a thing of the past. I will have let them all pass by, not holding on and taking advantage of going on a trip. Exploring a new place. Spending a little money. Making a new friend. I'm afraid that before I know it all of a sudden I will be graduated from college, bound to my career, unable to take time away for myself and live my life. And to tie things in with the quote above, I'm terrified of living with regrets. I already feel like I have so many because of how much I don't do out of various kinds of fear.

I'm not saying that I don't want to be responsible. I know my limits, I know my boundaries. I'm smart and I'm a very rational person. But it would be fun to live on the edge of these limits and boundaries once in awhile. I experienced things in Vegas that I never have before because for once in my life I wasn't worried about what others were going to think of me if I chose my own path and made my own decisions. If I did my own things for once. I wasn't worried about those around me being disappointed if I decided to have a drink or two, gamble my money away, or dance a little too close. 

And you know what? I made a heck of a lot of good memories in Vegas. I may have been quiet and a little reserved for awhile, and I know that I wasn't completely myself because I didn't know the guys all that well, and I was still trying to get comfortable around them. And also take in all of this new stuff. But despite being quiet and holding back just a little bit.. I had a really, really good time. And it wasn't because I chose to have a couple of drinks, or gamble, or danced maybe a tad too promiscuously.. I know that I don't have to do any of those things to have a good time, but it was because I finally wasn't afraid of being who I wanted to be in that moment. For once I wasn't living in fear of what the world around me thought. And damn, it felt good. 

Before going and after getting back, of course I thought about the many people who are probably sitting there, shocked at my behaviors that they don't normally see, or wouldn't expect to see. The obvious veer from my religion and what I believe; who I have been. Those who hold me to a high standard and didn't expect to see this coming. I thought about all of you. And to you, I say that I'm sorry I didn't meet your expectations and that you may be looking at me with a face of disappointment. Shaking your head at my decisions. But bear with me. Let me live. Let me learn and carve a path for myself. And support me no matter what choices I make -- as long as they aren't ridiculous.

But to myself, I'm not sorry -- because I want to experience life. Good or bad. I want it all. I want to make and learn from my own mistakes. I'm so uncertain about this life that I lead right now and I'm always feeling caught in the cross fire of my own mind. Feeling guilty for wanting to experience new things... or things that I may have been taught are wrong, or frowned upon, especially in my religion. Maybe it's a little rebellion stage of my grief, or of being 20-something... I'm just tired of fighting it. 

One "resolution", for a lack of better word, I wanted to work on this year was to embrace spontaneity and enjoy the journey, because the destination isn't anything without a worthwhile journey. To live my life and take those trips I've been wanting to take. Experience new things and see new places. To not feel and be so reserved. To not hold back. To express myself and not care so much how others perceive me. 

Sometimes I wonder why I feel like I need to make this declaration... I think part of it has to do with feeling judged on my actions. Wanting acceptance from others no matter what I choose. And just the ability to be able to share my life, whether I know it has others shaking their heads or not. Maybe kind of as a heads up saying, "Hey! This is my life, I'm going to live it the way I want. Don't mind me."

But reguardless... Living out loud is just what I plan on doing. I want to make 2014 memorable in my own way. I want to experience it with good company and without so many reservations. So far it's started out better than I could have expected it to. I don't want regret to come into play for me. Regret of not doing something I wanted to do... but also regret of doing something I shouldn't have. There is a fine line there, but I'm thankful that I am able to distinguish between the two.

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