In the last couple weeks, I have fully mended the outer personality of myself that others have long known and the inner alter-ego I have inside of me. Everyone, I believe, has one. We have all been raised a certain way, are familiar with a certain lifestyle, but there is something inside of us that is a completely opposite person. No, I’m not talking about split personalities here. I am talking about our yang. Someone we have always wanted to be, but are maybe scared to start being that person, worried that it’s too much of a change from who we have always been. I have always been a slacker. I have always been the class clown, the dumb brunette, the loud mouth who says foolish things. I have never been the one boys flock to, for the reasons worth flocking. I have never been the leader. In the past couple years, I have so desperately wanted to be the tall, happy, confident, definite person. I just couldn’t break the habit of breaking the rules and the law all the time. I was in such a habit of it, I didn’t even have to try. It just came natural. I hated this. But I tried to change so dramatically, too fast. I became one person around my family and another around my friends. I lied to people, because I guess, in truth, I had completely lost touch with myself. I couldn’t give someone an accurate description of me, because I didn’t know who I was anymore. I did things I never wanted to do. Hurt people I never intended on hurting.
One great thing about being in China, is that I have absolutely no physical connection with anyone. I am grateful for that. I needed this time to figure out who I really was. Do I like to party and drink? Or do I not? Do I like to sit home on the weekends sometimes and just finish reading a book? Do I like working out or like to be lazy? Do I love writing or can I put it off? Do I like to be defiant to make a point, or can I be happy obeying the law?
All these questions swarmed my head. There are some things I just couldn’t stop thinking about. Things I finally confronted to myself and why I did them.
Why I liked them. Why I despised the decision I made.
This is what I learned:
I learned that you can’t base your decision off other people’s opinions. No matter how much you love them and respect them. Ultimately, you have to do what you want to do or what is right for you. You don’t owe anybody around you any justification for your actions. You talked the talked and walked the walked. Whatever you do in a lifetime is done and whether people like it or not, that is their opinion and they do not own you.
I realized, “So what? I like to party. I like to have a drink once in a while. I love wine. I don’t think marijuana is a big deal. I love getting piercings and tattoos and spending money on jewelry and traveling. I love to dance, whether in front of people or alone. I will strive to have a job where I enjoy my time there. I don’t think I will ever have a desk job. I like waking up and deciding I want to leave for 3-10 days on a road trip with my friends, just to hangout with other friends in other states. My relationships are important to me, and I will be damned if having $100 in my bank account stops me from going anywhere.” I am an ambivert. Sometimes I like to be the life of the party. Sometimes, I have way too much to drink and I wobble when I walk. Sometimes I am the sober driver who takes one smell of liquor and gags. Sometimes I realize how ridiculous I must look when I wobble.
But I am young. I don’t need to have it all together right this second. I am 20 years old and I still have the choice to make small mistakes like waking up with a hangover on a Sunday afternoon or getting a tattoo I will have the joy in telling the story about for years to come. “Oh yeah, I met the singer of one of my favorite bands. He autographed my favorite freckle by my right breast and the next day after school I went and got it tattooed.” Yep, I am that girl. And I am proud to be that girl.
Sometimes I am a walking contradiction, like how this post must sound. I must sound like I really don’t have the grasp on life, but the truth is: I do. Maybe I don’t have a clue what life should look like in your eyes, or the President’s eyes, or even my own mother’s. But that’s the beauty of the mind. It’s your own. It develops and grows from the lessons you learn, the ideas you construct, and the experiences you endure. You get the free range of creativity that you want and your mind is the one place where you cannot hide from.
I like art, but I can barely draw a stick figure wearing clothes. I love cultures and languages, but can’t keep a conversation going in Spanish or Chinese. I love panini’s from Zupa’s and as much as I would love to make my own, I would rather spend the overpriced seven dollars and have them make it to perfection because they use the perfect about of pesto sauce in between the layers of bread. There are things in life where I am not trying to rush the beauty of. I will learn how to create pictures of art when I am ready. I think in pictures. I don’t know what it’s like to hear something and see WORDS in my head. I just never have. Everything in my head, I see very detailed and colorful, moving pictures. Like a movie. I suppose that’s why I have always loved writing. It’s the one place I have always been able to describe what I am thinking. I definitely consider myself a better writer than I am a thinker. I like to write and create pictures for other people to imagine, because for me, it’s natural. I love looking at my best friend’s paintings and writing about it. How she comes up with the pictures on a canvas is far beyond my comprehension. I can see it, smell it, feel it, and fully pretend it is on the paper in front of me, but when it comes time to bringing the picture to life, it shows up in words.
I am very different. I love spirits and ghosts. I love to have my palms read. I love to drink wine and watch movies on my couch. I like to have friends over for dinner, even though they never come. I like to listen to LDS Conferences, but have no desire to be apart of the religion. I like to meditate and have my thoughts to myself and then go out with 10 friends, dancing. I like to eat Big Macs or drink a Chai after a big workout, just because I can.
I am learning to live by my own standards. I am mending my yin (Zynnia) and yang (Ashlyn) together. I feel powerful. I feel confident. I feel intelligent. I feel creative. I feel like a leader. I am in a constant state of eudemonia. I feel comfortable saying, “No” to something I don’t like. I feel comfortable giving my opinion. I feel better when I can make a decision quickly. I no longer like to procrastinate and be unprepared. Being late has become a new pet peeve of mine. I talk less, but say more important things. I am much more inquisitive and charming. I am less fearless. I am learning how to <a href=”http://planetzynnia.com/?p=183“>control my emotions</a> and take a stand for my actions and what I believe to be right.
China has been the self-discovering journey that I have longed for, for so long. I couldn’t be more thankful that I have the chance to be here and to be selfless and in turn, find out who I am. What I like. What I want. What I stand for. I think many people go through life, never being fully in touch with themselves. They go with the flow, go with the norm, swim with the rest of the fish in the sea. Ever since I was little, my mom has always said, “If we were all the same, we would be eating at Taco Bell.” I guess you could say, this phrase helped mold me. Or break the mold I was in.
It’s important sometimes to break rules. Sneak out. Keep a secret for yourself. Do something dangerous. If the sign says “No Trespassing” GO. Just once. Throw yourself out there. Say hi to a stranger. Go skinny dipping. Kiss a stranger in a different country. Skip church and sleep in the park, gazing at the clouds. Meditate for hours. INDULGE. Vent, scream, throw something if you have to. LET IT OUT! Cry. Give a bum some money. Tell a bum to work for it. Stay out past curfew. LIVE. Take a road trip just to eat at a restaurant in a different state. Tell your parents you believe something different. Cut off your locks just to grow it back out. Go out with no makeup on, if you dare. Get a Brazilian wax.
Find your real passion. Find your real you.
GO AGAINST THE GRAIN TO DO IT!
Make your own paradise and live in it. Respect yourself for making it. Depend on yourself for keeping it. And never, EVER, let anyone think they have the power to take it away from you.