Living for Others Will Kill You

We have been taught by people who mostly had selfish intentions. Our parents didn’t have us so that we could learn to make a difference in the world. They had us because they wanted a kid.

There’s a sense of pride parents get from having children: 1) That they COULD have a child and 2) That they could RAISE a child.

Living life to please others almost killed me. I wanted to be accepted by my peers – we all do – and I didn’t know how strong this urge was until I left homeschooling to attend three years of high school after not being around my peers from 4th through 9th grades.

She didn’t last two weeks

However, being homeschooled from 4th through 9th changed who I was mentally – my capacity to think for myself was birthed here – as I didn’t discover the human desire to be accepted by peers UNTIL the 10th grade.

It’s what made me want to go to college when my parents tried to get me to save the money and go to trade school.

It’s what made me get a 9-5 job right after graduating college, like it was some kind of badge of honor.

It’s what made me sign on for a car I had no business trying to buy, a car I bought literally so I could “impress” other people at the age of 23/24.

It’s what made me try to get an apartment on my own and take on more debt, just to impress the girl I was dating at the time because she was a possible “partner.”

We hardly ever do what’s real or natural to us because we are so busy trying to BE like AND be liked by everyone else.

07/07/07 Changed Everything

I was so far down the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ rabbit hole I almost killed myself. I didn’t realize that lifestyle was never in the cards for me, as much as I craved the acceptance of everyone around me.

My path was different. All of our paths are different. I just needed a near-death experience to realize it.

On 07/07/07 I was driving drunk after a party in a new car I hadn’t even officially gotten insurance for and flipped it four times. I blew a .207, couldn’t walk in a straight line, and couldn’t say my ABC’s. I hadn’t ever been so ashamed in my life.

I shed tears because I shouldn’t have walked away

I spent the night in the drunk tank and went to pick up the “car” the next day. But the car was now a crumpled ball of metal that I instantly knew I shouldn’t have walked away from. I had been given a second chance. I was on my knees in tears. Even the tow truck place owner said someone above was looking out for me.

My second chance came at a cost. I was liable for $3000 in court fines, owed $12,000 for a car I now no longer had. I lost my license and it expired, meaning whenever I did get another car I had to pay $500 to get my license back AND take a driver’s test. I lost my job because I had to start taking public transportation for the next 10 years of my life. I lost my “girlfriend” and had to move in with my mom who I was estranged from growing up. I was depressed and suicidal because I sustained not a single injury except to my overinflated ego.

But I was free. Free from the need to have others accept me because of my job, car, and status. I could do what I wanted. So I did. And have to this day. And it was a cost I would pay over and over again.

Published by James Taylor

Dedicated to changing the world by changing myself. Actions speak louder than words and the mind is the battlefield through which all wars are won. It cannot happen outside before it happens inside. What you believe, you can achieve.

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