It is true - the biggest factor of what makes you YOU, is how you were raised and the environment you were raised in.
Only recently is when I realized this for myself as I'm currently trying to heal some past trauma. All my life, I just believed that I was born with certain personality traits and would feel shameful of it, as if I couldn't change those parts of myself because I identified so heavily with them.
Little did I know that I've built these toxic traits over time without realizing that the environment I grew up in was the reason for it.
I've truly been blessed in life with my family and our life situation, and I will be forever grateful for their role in who I am today and for granting me the opportunities to build a successful life.
But just like everything else, nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. There is no perfect family out there. There is no perfect parenting style...every generation has it's own problems and its own trauma, and it will be a constant cycle. It's inevitable.
Growing up, I was that kid that dreamed big for EVERYTHING! There was never a time where my head was not in the clouds imagining my perfect future, which mostly just revolved around traveling because that's what made me feel happiest.
"I want to travel the world. I want to own my own studio. I want to just take pictures and travel. I want to own a vintage Bronco. I want to live in Hawaii for a year and go to Iceland the next. I want to travel as my job. I want to work odd jobs while I travel. I want to swim with sharks in Bali. I want to own a home in the forests away from people."
As kids, we should have the freedom to think and dream big. Our natural purity, innocence, liveliness, wonder, and openness are key ingredients to becoming a powerful manifestor.
But what stops us from actually going through with it and from being our natural selves?
Trauma. Societal, parental, and generational trauma.
At home, I was unintentionally hindered from believing. I was knocked down with "realistic" and "practical" ideologies.
"How are you going to do that with no money? How do you expect to live that lifestyle without a job? That's unrealistic. Wake up. You'll see when you enter the real world."
As a kid, why the fuck should I have to be worried about that??? That's what my adult life is for.
It made me feel inhibited.
It made me feel caged in. (as a Sagittarius moon, that's my enemy. I was dying inside)
It made me feel like I was doing everything wrong and can’t satisfy them no matter how hard I tried.
It made me feel crazy and lonely for thinking the way I did.
It made me feel like what I wanted was impossible.
On top of that, my environment was one of anxiety because I was surrounded by that energy at all times. Constantly worrying about the SMALLEST OF THINGS. Things out of one's control, which of course causes anxiety because you're fighting a battle you cannot win.
Being surrounded by that and looking up to authoritative figures like my family, I was convinced that that's how I had to think.
But no child should ever have to live in fear the way I did. I really do think it has prevented me from pursing the many dreams I set for myself.
It caused me to be my own worst enemy. It caused me to be my own worst hater. It caused me to doubt myself and my potential. It caused me to have low self esteem. It caused me to approach a life that I wasn't going to be happy living because I wouldn't be living it for myself.
At this point in my life is when I am facing the repercussions of living for others. I pursued a degree I genuinely am not passionate about and don't think I could be happy in. I focused too heavily on school growing up rather than enjoying my youth to its fullest. I doubt my ability for literally everything I try to pursue, including this blog.
I feel stuck. Because for years I did not have the freedom to be openly myself.
Don't get me wrong, I was raised in a loving and supportive family, but it just seemed like I would only get support from the things that they believed would give me success, which looked different from my own definition of success.
Sometimes I do imagine how different my life would have been if I was encouraged to dream big and think independently.
But the craziest part of all this is that there is no longer an ounce of me that blames them for making me feel this way. I don’t hold them responsible whatsoever, it’s just how I felt. They have their reasons because of how they were raised and I know their intentions are pure - they just want what's best for me.
I reminded myself recently that we are all victims of victims.
Trauma will always be passed on. It's up to you to break the cycle if you have the awareness for it.
I like to believe that (for the most part) people fuck up not because they want to hurt others, but because they just don't know how NOT to. We really are all just trying our best out here, and of course that does not give anyone the excuse to act in hurtful ways, but it should aid you in detaching from people's actions. At the end of the day they are going to do what they think is best for themselves...so why shouldn't you?
Let go of that trauma. Be free of other's expectations and be free of your expectations of others. Stop carrying the weight of other people's problems.
I know what it's like to blame your childhood for the fears, insecurities, anxiety, and depression you may be dealing with in your young or adult life. And I know many have had it worst than I have.
I know it's easier said than done, but we are at a point in our life now where we are responsible for the way we feel and act. You get to choose if who you are now is the person you want to be.
Everyone is responsible for their own actions. As a child, you shouldn't have to burden yourself with the actions of your parents.
It is not your fault. It is not your fault they got a divorce. It is not your fault they were raised with their own trauma, which was passed down to you. It is not your fault that they were hard on you. It is not because you weren't enough for that absent parent. It is not because they didn't love you enough. It is not because you weren't worthy of that love.
It's simply because people only give to the degree of which they know how to give.
I don't come from a bad home and I by no means want to sound ungrateful. But my feelings are valid too. And my experience will only be understood by me. I still go through my triggers to this day!! I am still healing my inner child, my inner Amanda.
The purpose of me sharing this is to show that your environment and upbringing may play a huge role in who you are, but it does not define you. It is not permanent unless you decide it to be. They may have given you life, but it is not their life to live. It is yours. So live for you and only you.
You have the right to outgrow your home. To outgrow certain people, including your family. In fact, it's encouraged to because you are your own person and should not let anyone dictate who you are meant to be.
Life is growth. Life is evolution. And if you hold yourself back from growing, then you hold yourself back from living.
To my amazing parents if you read this:
I don't blame you. So please don't blame yourself. It's just the reality of life. From the bottom of my heart, I love you and I thank you guys for helping me become the woman I am today. I love her so much. I had to go through what I went through to be her, to meet her <3