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Get Out of Your Own Shadow and Go Buy a Giant Cookie

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I realized this week that I have been holding myself back for way too long. I wouldn’t go out and have fun on a Saturday night with my friends because “that wasn’t me.” I wouldn’t go to school functions without a friend because I was too uncomfortable to be seen by myself. I wouldn’t even go for a walk by myself because I didn’t want others to think I was a loner.

When I was in Europe I realized that I could rely on myself for the first time. I could solve my own problems and take care of what needed to be taken care of. But I never allowed myself to let loose, be silly and have fun- “it wasn’t me” to be that person.

Gelett Burgess said, “If in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse, you may be dead.”

In the past two weeks I’ve found that saying “that’s not me” was keeping me from being me.

My newest question to ask myself is, “What is keeping me from doing this?” My parents have always taught me that there isn’t anything I can’t do, and after my trip to Europe, I firmly believe that. And yet I’ve still been holding myself back. I guess I subconsciously made the decision a long time ago that I couldn’t go out and have fun by myself, that I needed someone else to go with me.

That all changed yesterday when I went out shopping for my sister’s birthday present. Normally, if I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, I just wouldn’t have gone. I would have waited until someone had free time. Yesterday, however, I went by myself, and I had one of the best days ever here in Boston.

I walked around for four and a half hours by myself, going into stores that I’ve always to but never have because the people I was with didn’t want to. I walked to my favorite pastry shop and bought myself a giant cookie and a slice of oreo cheesecake (I couldn’t decide so I got both). And, I found my sister’s birthday present, by myself.

It’s a really cool feeling when you rediscover the passion you have for life. It never goes away, but I think we sometimes fall into a shadow that limits us. Most of the time, that shadow is our own.

I stepped out of my own way this week. I decided to let go of all of the “that’s not me” I’ve been harboring for who knows how long, and I’ve found a renewed passion for life. I’ve always seen adventure in the world. I want to explore and discover and push my own limits. One of my soccer coaches used to tell us that the only way we are going to get better is if we get outside of our comfort zones. It’s ok if we mess up, as long as we are working harder than we thought we could.

So, my newest mantra is this: “Who says I can’t?” Over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered the person saying that is me. And I’m not going to do that to myself anymore. I think if everyone would spend a day, just one day, by themselves, doing what they want to do, we would all be happier with who we are. And that’s a big feat.