I began this year on a mission to focus on myself. This has led me to hitting a breaking point in Northern Virginia. The Washington DC suburb has been my home for my entire life but I can’t stand it now.
I CAN’T LIVE THIS LIE ANYMORE.
What is the lie I’m living? Do I have another family? Am I really a homeless bum? Am I secretly a man? Am I not really Asian? Am I a spy? No, none of the above.
It is just me – I am the lie.
The entire life that I lead here in Virginia is a lie. The person I am in this place isn’t a reflection of who I really am.
It is just the part that I play because it is expected of me. I act a certain way, live a certain way, and have a certain job because of those expectations. I have even convinced myself that this fake person is who I should strive to be because it is the person that I was always told and thought I should be.
The successful career women. The smart over achiever. The practical and logical thinker. The American Dream wanter. The person that other people aspire to be.
This is who I have become here. I live at home saving money to eventually buy my own house. I work at my corporate job that I don’t like to make money. Only to later down the line work harder and longer hours to make even more money. This is all in the effort to have building blocks in place for my future with a loving spouse, 2.5 kids, a dog and white picket fence.
As great as that may sound to some, those notions have very little or absolutely no appeal to me.
Yet here I am playing this part.
I can not escape her here. I have easily gotten sucked into the mentality of being like everyone else. Everyone in this area lives life the same way and thinks the same way.
They are all curious about what you do for a living. Your success is measured by what company you work for, what your job title is, how much money you make, and who you know.
They don’t care what difference you want to make in the world or what type of person you really are.
They judge you
If you do not buy into this mentality. You are scorned with being called a “free spirit.” They do not understand that happiness doesn’t come in the form of a cookie cutter house. It comes from being who you really are.
Surrounded by this harsh judgement makes me scared of it. This fear has stopped me from being myself. It has stopped me from doing the things that I want to do. It’s convinced me to live this lie.
Because when no one understands you, you convince yourself that you are alone and the only one. That leads to thinking you are somehow wrong for feeling the way you do.
I was completely deluded to the point that I thought I was happy here and would stay happy here. But this wasn’t me being happy, it was just me being content. I was just comfortable.
I wasn’t truly happy. I was complacent.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with complacent. It’s just not for me. If I don’t make this change now while I’m young, reckless, and have zero responsibility, I will regret it for the rest of my life.
IT IS NOW, OR NEVER.
It only took 72 hours and I was in love. San Diego captured my heart in a way like not many other places have. I know I will look back and realize that my time there was probably one of the most pivotal experiences of my life.
Because it was there, in that short time, that I realized everything was a lie.
Wandering around San Diego’s hiking trails, beaches, streets, and sidewalks, I pictured it. I pictured myself living there. Not just living but thriving there. I pictured myself as I am on the inside.
I was free.
In San Diego, I could be working part-time at a job I liked while focusing on writing. Sitting on the beach with my fingers clicking away at the keys as my thoughts flood out of my head. My hair dyed lavender and a few tattoos for the world to see.
Wild and uninhibited by people’s thoughts, judgments, and pressure. Living a minimalist life, eating organically, taking in my surroundings and not in a rush to be anywhere. In San Diego I didn’t have to worry about my next big break. I had no cravings of making a lot of money or having the newest and nicest things.
That was more like it, that was me.
That picture is the fresh start I want and the independence I need. The place where I could escape the person that world thinks I am and thinks I should be. San Diego was it.
Maybe it was only because of the timing. Maybe it’s because there are a few familiar faces. Maybe it’s because it is somewhere other than where I am now. Who knows. All I know is I plan on going.
It’s not because I’m finally “ready” it’s because I’m tired. I am tired of not being who I really am and living the way I want to. The more of the world I see, the more I want to be myself. And the more I realize it’s okay.
I will not live this lie anymore.
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