You are Entirely Up to You

So many times people are caught saying they started doing something “they used to love” again. They stopped singing when others could hear, they stopped painting, they stopped dancing. They stopped at one point, possibly because of the direction of their lives. Possible because they wanted to do something even more than that one thing. Even when women who thought they’d never ride again finally get back in the saddle, you hear them say, “Oh, I used to love to do this.”

Used to?

You don’t lose the desire to do something you love that organically. Your desire might be stifled, but I don’t think it ever gets lost or dies. If it did, that new re-rider wouldn’t have climbed back into the saddle. There are parts of us we have to hang on to, regardless of what our life looks like. You might have more responsibilities to other people and you might not be the sole benefactor of your time, but you have to hang on to the parts of yourself getting looser every day. You have to, at least you have to make an effort to hang on to the parts of you that are important to you.

We spend a lot of time trying to trim our figurative fat to fit into a certain mold. Sometimes what we cut isn’t fat, it’s our childhood dreams and the goals we never quite reached. It’s almost like we get rid of a part of ourselves because there was a whisper in the wind that said, “You can’t be that, not here. Not now. Not anymore.” But why do we even bother listening? It isn’t like society gives great advice, usually.

Instead, society offers suggestions like throw away your Lisa Frank folder that’s purple and filled with glitter kittens. Stop reading those books, they’re childish and you have other things you need to do. Horses are for children, not grown adults who have jobs. Singing is for children who like to act out in front of their parents, not for part-time college students. Your likes, dislikes, passions, or even the things you hate are yours to keep and do whatever you’d like with because they were a part of you before the world told you who you should be.

Who were you before the world told you who you should be?

I liked to write stories about talking cats on my mom’s typewriter because I thought the keys sounded neat. I was friendly enough to make small talk with a brick wall. I was happy with my emotions because no one told me I was too much. There’s a lot of me that I’m discovering now that I didn’t even know about, because I’m slowly remembering that there was a me before I knew others expected things from me.

And now, with that in mind, I try to look forward to discovering who I am now and who I was then because I really do believe there are some things you just never lose. There are some parts of you that are so intrinisic you cannot rid yourself of them. Instead, we should be celebrating those parts of us. However hilarious it may be, I’ve come to simply accept my love of cats as a part of me and not something I need to pretend I don’t have. Come Siamese, come tabby, come hairless cat. The more the merrier. I’ve come to accept I will forever and always be the little girl who loved a pony. Stick to what you love, allow yourself to have new authentic desires, and chase who you were before the world told you who you couldn’t be.

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