Make You Proud
Maybe it’s because I’m an only child, but I aim to please. I have always wanted to make my parents proud, and I’ve worried that decisions I made would affect that.
My earliest memory of this was when I was getting ready to graduate high school. My parents had always told me they wanted me to go to a four-year university, and one that was out of state. They wanted me to explore things outside my comfort zone. But my grades in high school were, well, less than exhilarating. I was an average student, and graduated with an average GPA—roughly a 3.0. It wasn't enough to get into any four-year universities. I applied to four or five universities and was rejected by all of them. I remember going to my mom in tears, completely distressed, and breaking the news to her that I was going to have to go to the local junior college. I thought she and my dad would be upset and utterly disappointed in me. But they weren’t! They both told me that it would be an excellent idea to go to junior college for a year to get my general education units out of the way and to explore my interests. I was surprised. (And going to the junior college ended up being a great idea for a variety of reasons, one of which being because it’s where I met my husband.)
While I’ve learned that my parents are proud of me for simply becoming my own person, that need to please has carried over into other relationships. I know my mother would ask me where this need to please comes from, and I honestly don’t know. Maybe that’s something I should consider discussing as I continue counseling. But I realized a little while ago—and it became very apparent in this hard season—that I was so busy trying to please other people, I never paused to think if I was proud of myself.
I kept trying to fix things by trying to make someone else happy. But I can’t possibly try to make someone else happy if I’m not being true to myself. While this season has not been easy, I have learned things and done things I wouldn’t have otherwise. And I am proud of myself for that.
You might be facing the unknown or some really hard things, but be proud of yourself for making it this far and for who you are becoming. Don’t worry about making others proud—make you proud.