Rules? What Rules? 


I gotta be honest, I’m tired of telling myself to play by the rules. I don’t even know what rules I’m trying to follow. 

The interesting part comes when I decide I don’t want to subscribe to my old way of thinking and I realize I do not have a new playbook. I try to compensate by coming up with arbitrary moral ideas about right and wrong. I try to prove to myself I am indeed a good person. All I have to do is follow the rules. 

The key to happiness lies in how well I can beat my soul into submission. I have to ignore who I think I want to be. That is the responsible thing to do. All I want out of life is to be the girl who has learned her lessons and turned her life around. I want redemption. I want to be the kind of person my family can be proud of. Granted, my family never laid out any expectations other than they want me to be happy but I manage to convince myself I have not earned their pride. Wait, my mother did remind me the other day not to say f*** on Facebook. 

The lack of actual direction and goals leaves me unmoored and anxious. There is no victory or success to quiet my unrest. I have to do more, work harder, and prove myself to myself. 

No matter how much I accomplish, I have certainly never been impressed. 

If something is difficult and I work my ass off to learn it, I am stupid and it should not be this hard. Things that come easily to me are no big deal and anyone should be able to accomplish it. I am hellbent on achieving greatness. The problem is I do have no idea what that looks like. 

Praise is not genuine or deserved and criticism gets blown completely out of proportion and I am an utter failure. My imaginary rules and ideas of personal success slowly kill me. I become antisocial and only work or spend time alone. I am incapable of being myself. I am either overbearing and calous or standoffish and aloof. I have no idea how to carry on a casual conversation. I am so full of resentment I can only rant or sullenly glare at people. 

I continue to compare myself to a mythical ever- changing ideal. No matter how many step I take, the finish line will perpetually keep moving farther away. I torture myself for my failures and push everyone away. 

Oh. Wait. No, I don’t do this as much anymore. I try to allow myself room to breathe and grow. I foster relationships with new friends. I allow myself to be vulnerable and it no longer feels like the world is crumbling at my feet. I can navigate my way through most professional situations without completely embarrassing myself. Except that one time, but it was justified. Kinda. 

My family and friends have not disappointed me. They still stand by me and support me completely. They laugh at my stories and encourage all my adventures. They are still on my side. I don’t have to be perfect. None of them could even help me define the rules anyway. 

I’m not living a life without order and responsibility, I just do not allow myself the extravagance of continually beating my head into the brick wall of my own expectations. The self- imposed regulations of how I think a woman in my position should be no longer apply to me. 

I get to decide every day what adventure to embark on. I get to choose how I live, love, work, and play. I can change my mind anytime I want. 

Who needs rules? Let’s just be decent and caring people. I bet it will lead to great things. 

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