Bitch. Asshole. Liar. Thief. Crazy. Lazy. Slut.
These are not the words I would label myself with, but at some point in my life someone did.
A couple of the employees I’ve fired over the years were extra spicy about it.
I have definitely had traffic goofs where I cut someone off or went through an intersection later than I should have.
And then there was…
The new coworker whose first encounter with me was me pocketing her tip right in front of her…
The boss who fired me for being late too many times…
The guy I was dating when I had my first big bipolar episode…
The girl who didn’t approve of the shirt I was wearing…
And I’m sure many more.
Some of these were accidents, some of these were decisions people just didn’t agree with. All of these are a part of who I am.
I tell you all of that to say that we are all the villain in someone’s story.
Living our lives in all their messiness is going to put us on the wrong side of someone at some point.
Because we’re human.
We mess up.
We don’t agree.
We make decisions that make other people upset.
And in my lifetime, I’ve given way too much of my energy retroactively cringing at what other people have thought of me and wishing I could change their minds.
They probably never will.
At the end of the day, I’m only hurting myself by holding onto perceptions that don’t even belong to me.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my life operating on the belief that if I can be as perfect as possible, and not upset anyone, sit on the fence and not take a stance, then everyone will like me.
Honestly, I don’t regret it. It made me feel safe for a long time. It protected me while I figured out a lot of stuff in my life.
But any more it just feels stifling. It feels like I’m not being myself and it doesn’t make me happy.
I recognize that me being unapologetically me, in life, in business, in the world in general is going to piss some people off. Scare some people. Bring judgment from some. Trigger the fuck out of some people.
Honestly that part does still scare the shit out of a former people-pleaser. But I also know that I’m not willing to live the rest of my life diluting myself for people who don’t have the palate for me.
It probably won’t happen all at once, but I can definitely feel the shift in my soul.
The siren call of the Julie I’ve always wanted to be.
The decision to unwrap the masquerade one layer at a time.
So going forward, I want to be a lot more intentional about focusing my energy on the people who love me, see me, get me, and think highly of me.
Throwback pic to autumn 2008, taken by the talented photographer who probably remembers me as bat shit crazy.