FriYAYs WITH Kyla + Special Guest Anna Koj | On Change + Happiness | November 2, 2018
I have wanted to write and communicate WITH you for several years now, but I am not sure I knew what I wanted to say nor how to say it. You should also know, I avoid confrontations like the plague, I always have. I would rather go around doing something or saying something, anything, just so I can avoid saying what needs to be said or doing what needs to be done. Today that ends here WITH this letter to you.
I first met you when I was in elementary school. I was taught that if I avoided you, I would have a (false) sense of safety and even security. If I didn't follow the school's rules or society's rules for that matter, I would feel you breathing down my neck in the form of a stern talk or a scolding. So I always tried my best to avoid seeing you.
As I grew older, I found that you were inextricably linked to success. My idea of success was all about getting good grades so that I could eventually get into a good college, get a good job, then a good ____, and a good _____, and so on and so forth. My parents didn't push me, they weren't tiger parents per se, but my sister and I always knew that we had to get good grades. I recall in middle school and even high school, how my heart would beat faster and I would feel you creeping up on me when I'd get a report back or a homework assignment back.
In high school in the U.S., you taught me to fit in. I would sense you coming, intuitively, when I'd say something different in my British accent like "bin" instead of "trash can." It was at times subtle-- a glance here, a whisper there. And at times not so subtle--not getting invited to weekend outings, not having people to sit with at meal times, and not having anyone to walk to breakfast with in the mornings. I grew to avoid you by losing my British accent so I could conform.
In college, I began trying to understand the world around me more. I'd read the news or I'd watch T.V. I sensed you coming whenever I met people who didn't look like me or who may come from a different background from me. I recall meeting people from a different religion who also encountered you and definitely didn't want to hangout with me because I wasn't particularly religious at the time.
You would show up, after college, whenever I wanted to try something new, whenever I wanted to push myself. You were there in all of my travel adventures whenever I would go to a new and exotic destination. You were there when I started speaking globally. You were there in all of my new jobs. For better or worse, you were a constant companion throughout my 20s/30s.
IT'S TIME to CHANGE
In the last year or so, I have been doing some work on myself WITH myself and realized that I don't really need you in my life anymore. I don't mean this in a harsh or negative way. I think I have learned a lot WITH you over the last four decades you have been in my life. You have taught me some incredibly powerful lessons, like that you live inside my mind, and that if I want to change, well, you have got to go. I am grateful for all of our time together, all of the memories, I will never forget you.
Yes, this is us breaking up.
SpeakHER. InsipireHER. TraveleHER.