black sheep, stand.

I haven’t written in a long time. I’ve barely journaled. I used to feel guilty when I would realize this fact. For some reason, something in me used to think that if I wasn’t journaling or wasn’t writing, that I wasn’t “growing” in my gift, or wasn’t practicing in the skill as I should be. I would shame myself, and in reality, this only made it so I kept feeling incapable of picking up the pen. I’ve realized lately that there really is no “supposed to” in life. There is no one way to live creatively, or to hone a gift. With millions of self improvement speakers and writers out there, I’m sure some of you instinctually disagree with this statement, and thats okay because a year ago, I too would’ve disagreed.

After spending years trying to live as I “was suppose to”, I felt disconnected from every human, at odds with my own self, and my relationship with God was nonexistent. I thought to myself, “I’m unhappy living a life that everyone else wants me to live, maybe I’ll try something different”. So I tried living by the moment, making my decisions by what I wanted at that exact moment, thinking of no one else but myself. No one ever told me there was a middle ground. A way to live a life full of seeking out and fulfilling your dreams and your wants without walking over every person to get there. No one ever told me my heart mattered and that I didn’t have to give up myself in order to live a good life.

I’ve always been a bit of a black sheep. And as I’ve gotten older, I’m convinced that this idea of being a black sheep comes more from your own thoughts of yourself than it does others thoughts of you. I’ve never really felt like I fit in, and for the large part of my existence, I thought I was too much for everyone around me. Of course, this may have been true for some people in my life (especially when I look back at my college days) but in general, none of these statements are true when it comes to my actual friends and family. And as I’ve searched and discovered that my thoughts are, often, lying to me, I’ve also discovered that I can be a black sheep and still completely belong amongst the “white sheep” around me.

I still feel “too” deeply, I still become obsessive over “stupid” things (like disney plot lines, figuring out peoples Hogwarts household, unicorns, and being nice to people in the customer service industry) and I still believe that cussing can be good for the soul (sorry not sorry). But instead of suppressing these things about me, I’ve finally found the people who love me for them. As well as realized that a lot of my friends always loved me for these things, and more, but I couldn’t see it. Its amazing what accepting yourself and loving yourself does to your other relationships. If I know that I’m worth loving and I am lovable, I no longer question if those around me love me too. (side note: of course I still have my moments of doubt and overall questioning, but this post is speaking to a habitual mindset versus moments in our life.)

Like I said, I used to feel guilty when I didn’t live my life like those around me but I’ve worked hard to be happy with who I am and love the good and bad that makes me who I am. I’ll be creative when I want to be, I’ll be silly when I want to be, I’ll let myself cry when I need to, and I’ll speak up even when I don’t want to. There’s a middle ground to living a life everyone else wants you to and to living solely for yourself, but I think the key to this middle ground is actually learning to love yourself and who you are.

The black sheep stand out the most you know. So stop hiding amongst the white sheep and be who you were meant to be.

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