It’s okay not to be okay

I’ve spent such a large part of my life ALWAYS being what others expected me to be. I'm tired of it, writes Lauren Daniels.

Jessie J‘s Who You Are has completely inspired me. It is my mantra. It is the song that I feel speaks to me on every conceivable level. It’s just a song, you may say. But, it is a song that presently, I deem to be quite profound.

And that’s okay. I’m allowed.

We take ourselves so seriously. Be a certain way – say, think and do the things that will evidently lead us down the path of that ill-desired acceptance. Why? Society tells us to, our peers give us no choice, and we don’t even seem to mind!

But, hold on a minute.

You’re supposed to mind. You are you because it is how you are meant to be. Why suppress it? Why hide the wonders that make you who you are.

I’ve spent such a large part of my life ALWAYS being what others expected me to be – ALWAYS going out of my way to make the next person smile.

Not living up to my greatness

I didn’t allow my light to consume me so that I didn’t risk “out-shining” those around me – I didn’t allow my darkness to consume me, so that I didn’t risk making those around me uncomfortable or being in a situation whereby I’d discover that they didn’t care the way I needed them to.

So, I went about my business, quietly, unobtrusively – nodding and smiling, and going the extra mile where I could. I was the mediator, the carer, the glue that held things together, the one who made sense of the situation… the one who instilled hope.

And all this time, I couldn’t be the one who just wanted to break down and cry when I needed to – the one who wanted to scream out to the world from the edge of a cliff.

Not for any other reason, but that sometimes those moments are necessary and possess almost a detox-like quality that we don’t often realise we need. A way to literally, or proverbially, salute the world with our middle finger raised and standing tall like a soldier braced for war. Instead, we go “gentle into that good night”.

I wonder why that is. No, I don’t actually – pssh. I’ve allowed it to be like that. It is no one’s fault, but my own. It reached a point where it became something beyond habit – it became an identity. I’m now left questioning myself – trying to work out who is the ‘real’ me and who is the me created by the expectations of others. Yes, it sounds ridiculous and unnecessarily complicated and all that other “why are you even trying to figure this out” bullshit that comes with the whole battle of  ”Know thyself”. But, damnit, I want to know.

Embracing my true self

I want to seek comfort in the fact that I am unapologetically me. That, to quote my most favourite line from this song, “it’s okay not to be okay” and that I would not have to live in this warped state of questioning reactions to me and what I say and what I do.

I want to be blissfully, and irrevocably at ease with being allowed to be however I want to, whenever I want to.

Whether it be so over-the-moon-gosh-darn-it happy that others question whether my joy is of the chemical persuasion, or miserable and in bed by 6 pm or NEUTRAL, ambivalent, indifferent or a total hard-ass BITCH because I don’t actually want to be concerned about offending you after you have hurt me or put me down.

I want to be able to say “No, sorry – I don’t know how to deal with your drama  today.” or “No, I can’t help you” or “Sorry. Not my problem” and yes, it does sound selfish. Am I not allowed to be? Surely, once the dust has settled, are you not left standing alone? Why then should you not be ‘selfish’?

I think we are so scared of disappointing others and of being judged that we sometimes don’t appreciate the value we possess … as a lover, a friend, a sibling, a daughter… as a person.

Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.


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Read more from Laurens blog here.


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