In a texting conversation with a friend this morning where we were discussing an opportunity for some change in my life that didn’t end up working out. I told her that as much as I had been excited about it, I had had a bad vibe about it. It didn’t feel totally right, so when it ended up not working out, I knew it had happened for a reason.
She then said to me “you’re good about following your instincts that way.”
I have never thought it about it like that as I am typically someone who second guesses every decision I make, from the outfit I pick out in the morning to what I want to do with my life. But in reality, it is true, my gut instincts always guide me in the right direction, my issue has been I don’t always listen to them.
Instead of trusting myself, I sometimes let others influence my decisions. I let outside opinions and societal norms effect my personal beliefs. The biggest decision that I let others decide for me is my sexual orientation. I spent many years of my life trying to be straight when I knew I wasn’t, my initial instincts when I was young told me that I was attracted to women. Part of me for awhile and even sometimes now is completely ashamed that I went back into the closet for many years. I knew what I wanted when I was younger, I knew who I was and I let others change my opinion of that.
Being queer is a struggle, even though it gets better every day for our community, there are still many issues that we have to deal with that people who are straight do not. I hate that our youth today still has to feel the way I felt, that they shouldn’t be themselves, that they shouldn’t fight to be with who they love. That is why I share my story, it is just one story out of millions, but if my story helps give courage to one person to be their true selves, to help them trust their instincts, then I know I have made a difference.
I don’t take back the way I have lived my life as it has helped shape who I am today. Someone who I am proud to be. The important thing that I am noting today is to not let history repeat itself. To always remember to trust myself and most importantly trust my instincts.
What it looks like to trust your instincts and love yourself.