Life changing sentence warning: If you are not living for yourself, stop what you are doing and start. This statement may seem slightly ambiguous, so let me explain what I mean. For 20 years of my life, I was living for everyone else around me except my self. When I say this, I mean that I put the happiness of others in front of my own well-being. Being a kind and caring person who is nice to the people around them is completely different from what I am saying. I would drive myself clinically insane in hopes that being nice to people and doing whatever they asked would make them like me. Let me tell you, this is not a good approach to gaining friends. The only thing that you will ever get out of being that way is a broken heart and years of being taken advantage of.
The day I finally realized that I needed to start living for myself was the best day of my life. It was almost like a cloud of oppression was hanging over my head. Then I said to myself, "I don't care what anyone thinks, I am going to do what I want, starting now." This involved worrying less about how people felt about my actions, changing my career path and major and just having more fun. I absolutely do not mean that you begin to be a complete jerk. I simply mean that you should worry less about other people and start taking care of yourself. If you are bending over backwards in your own life in hopes that you can make someone else happier, there is something wrong. Finding a happy medium between pleasing others and yourself is such an important thing to do, but it is not easy.
I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself that I needed to start doing things that I really wanted to do, regardless of what my friends and family thought about it. I knew this could cause some backlash. If your friends and family aren't happy that you are happy, that is a serious problem that they need to address for themselves. Let me give you an example. The first two years of my college career I wanted to go to law school because I thought it was something that would appease my family and help me pay off the student loans that they always talked about. This was always my plan, until one day I looked in the mirror and realized that I was completely miserable with the idea of being a lawyer. I sat down and started to read in hopes that it would calm me down and settle my mind. Little did I know that in this book I would find the rest of my life.
I continued to tear through books until it finally dawned on me; I want to be a writer. For the first time in my life, I felt happy with a decision that I had made on my own. It wasn't because of monetary reasons. It wasn't because it was what my friends and family thought I should do. It was simply because I loved it. After that day, I began writing and couldn't stop. Ideas began to consume my mind and many class periods were spent writing down short story ideas and poetry. It was almost like my brain was finally activated for its true purpose after years of neglect. After that day, I didn't care if that wasn't what people thought I should do. I really do get their concerns. Yes, most likely I won't make it. I might be poor and have to work manual labor jobs, but if it means me being happy, well that simply can never be bought.
I strongly urge you to think introspectively. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Am I truly happy with what I plan on doing in the future, and is it really what I want to do?" It is never too late to pursue something that makes you truly happy.