After years of living life without noticing the little daily wins, I’ve taken the time the lockdown has provided to journal the aha! moments I experience as I strive to learn to be a better writer (and person). 

I thought I’d share some of these insights as time goes, hoping to inspire you to review and share your own aha! moments. After all, we’re all humans, we all make mistakes, and we can all grow, learning from each other. 

Here is big my aha! moment of the pandemic:

Goals should be your roadmap through life, not who you are.

For years, I went through life blind to the fact that my self-worth was tied to what I could achieve and not who I was as a person. I’d assume that people loved me because of all the things I got done (getting good grades, a good job, my PhD in Biochemistry, etc.). So, instead of celebrating each success, I’d focus on my next goal, my next step. Only if I succeeded, only then, I would be worthy of love (again). I was always afraid that the love I gained with my previous success would vanish into the ether if I didn’t accomplish more. I always needed to do more.

I realized, after these months of introspection, that I had been living my life in the fear that just me, as I am, was not good enough to love. I was indeed a people pleaser. It’s not that I didn’t (or don’t) do the things I love: I write, I discover new things, I teach. But, the truth was that I didn’t do them for the right reason.

I didn’t do them for me, knowing I’d be loved with or without success.

The sad thing is that I needed a pandemic to slow down enough to think that through. 

After becoming aware of this, I’ve noticed changes in myself. I feel calmer, less anxious. I still have my ups and downs, but they are my ups and downs, not the ones of not fulfilling someone else’s imaginary expectations in order to be loved.

Now, my goals are roadmaps to where I want to go, not the reason I am loved.

What’s your own roadmap?


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