Five things you shouldn't feel guilty about

8:11 AM

Cognitive dissonance. A phrase that means discomfort, psychological conflict caused by the contrast between what we do, and what we think. Actions and beliefs. Have you ever felt that way? I have certainly done, especially during the last year. We tend to have preconceived ideas of how everything should be, including how we must feel depending on the situation. These ideas -whether they come from ourselves, our family, friends or even society in general- often influence our behavior, as we try so desperately to match our actions with "our" beliefs in order to avoid the cognitive dissonance. 

Nonetheless, I've learned how to deal with discomfort. I learned that in the end, staying true to ourselves should be stronger than trying to fit into society standards of what’s "right". We worry far too much trying to meet everyone’s expectations that we forget what we want. Considering this, I have realized that there are five things we shouldn’t apologize for.

1. Outgrowing people – people change, life changes. And sometimes we distance from people we used to be close with. I’ve come to understand that it’s not a bad thing. Relationships can’t be forced and, even if it hurts, sometimes it’s healthier to move on. 

2. Wanting and doing what’s best for you – people love to tell others what to do with their lives. Since we are kids, we are thought what we must do when we grow up: study, find a job, buy a house, get married, have kids. When we fail to comply with the “plan”, we are often frown upon. But really, who cares? The only plan you should have is to try to be the best you can, every day, the happiest you can every day. Don’t feel guilty for doing what’s best for you. Those who truly love you, will understand. 

3. Not settling for less – when I moved away, people would be surprised as to why I was doing such thing, having already a degree and a stable job. But I didn’t settle for less. I could never do that. I knew that had to be so much more to life than feeling mediocre and alone, unhappy and unmotivated. Things can be better. You just have to do something about it. 

4. Being okay with distance – this one was the most difficult for me to accept. I get a lot the question “do you miss something from your home country?” I used to disguise my answer until I was brave enough to accept I didn’t miss anything except from my family. And even if I miss them, I didn’t feel sad. I use to beat myself for it. Accepting that I was okay with distance helped me move on and understand better why. I wasn’t heartless, I love them to death, but I was actually okay with distance for a while. Distance helps you gain perspective. 

5. Being honest –  it is what it is. We feel what we feel. Trying to lie to ourselves in order to please everyone ends up wearing us down. Although sometimes the truth may be difficult to accept for some people, life is too short to live a lie. Don’t do that. Stay true to yourself, always.

Grow up. Move on. Let things happen. 

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