Fuck Dreamshitters: A Manifesto for Couragemakers
You do not owe anything to anyone, regardless of how they make you feel otherwise. You do not owe anyone an explanation for who you are or how you live your life. That decision is up to you alone.
You will change. You will go through experiences that alter and develop the fundamentals of who you are. That’s life - that is how you grow and develop as the person only you can be.
It is not up to you to be the person you were ten years ago, five years ago or two years ago. It is not your role to be frozen in time like a snow globe. You will outgrow people, people will outgrow you, and that is the nature of life. Do not put yourself in the snow globe to keep other people happy. The people who want to keep you exactly as you were should buy a doll and keep it at the back of their closet.
It is not your job to make other people happy. End of.
You do not have to be polite. When you see the girl who made you feel about as big as a thimble from high school, you do not have to smile and make pleasantries. You get to walk away with your head held high or say what you wish you’d said back then (you know when you come up with the perfect response two years too late?!).
You do not have to engage with people who make you feel shit.
You get to keep your distance with or without explanation. You do not owe old friends a response, you do not owe your old boss your company for a round of drinks and you do not owe your time and energy to anyone who makes you feel like shit.
In fact, you do not owe anyone any part of you. Your time and energy are two of the most precious things you will ever have. Protect them. Fiercely.
You do not have to engage in keeping up with the Joneses with anyone. It is a futile exercise which wastes your precious energy, time or money on making yourself seem impressive.
Happiness cannot and never will be found in making other people feel less than or puffing your chest out and pretending like you are better than everyone else.
Accept that some people however do find so-called joy in belittling and stepping on other people.
Put a fucking continent between yourself and those people, because it will never end well. Remember, it is not your responsibility to try to change them or make them see the light.
Some people are bitter and will not see the light, but will seek out company to join their bitter parade - misery loves company after all.
Sometimes your compassion will run out, and sometimes deservedly so. There’s only so much compassion you can have for someone who makes you feel less than, drains your energy and provides nothing positive in return. While some yogis would like you to feel compassion for every man and his dog, it’s just not possible. Don’t feel bad.
Some people will test your patience more than you ever thought possible. You do not need those people. Again, they are not personal pet projects to take on, especially when they show no signs of self-awareness or wanting to change.
You get to walk away from the people who drain your energy, intimidate you or make you feel bad. Sometimes ghosting someone is the only thing you can do to protecting your own sanity and stand up for yourself. Some people thrive from conflict, and sometimes silence is the loudest sound. Protect yourself.
When life seeks to hide your brightness, do what you can to keep your own candle lit.
In toxic situations, sing louder, stand taller - even if it’s only on the inside. No one can suck the soul out of you. There are people who will feel like dementors, but know that they need your permission to suck your soul out of you.
Find the things that feed your soul and do them regularly. Don’t worry what other people would think about them - if standing on one leg singing Auld Lang Syne is your jam, bloody do it. It’s your life. Nourish yourself, feed your soul and know that you have the power and the strength to keep your own light lit.
Know that everyone and their pet dog will have an opinion on every aspect of your life.
You get to say Fuck That and ignore them. You get to decide what you do and don’t listen to.
Some people will never understand you.They will never understand your motivations, your quirks or the things that make your heart beat faster. That is okay. Do what you can to find like-minded people and keep them close.
Do not pander to the people who want to put you into a box. And don’t apologise for not fitting into a box. Don’t feel bad and simplify yourself to make yourself understandable to others. Cast aside the mould and embrace your complexities, knowing that your whole being will never be able to fit into one word, one image or one glance.
You have opinions, you have experiences, you have stories that have shaped who you are. You get to tell those stories. You get to tell them how you want to tell them, and you get to keep the bits you don’t want to share.
Your story is important and needed in the world.
Do not dumb down your story or skip over the messy bits to make people feel comfortable. It is not your responsibility to make people comfortable or reassured.
Some truths are fucking ugly. Some life experiences are ugly. You do not have to paint a pretty picture. Your picture gets to be as messy as you fucking well like it. It is not up to you to make your life seem comfortable to spare other people’s feelings.
You also get to keep the parts you’d rather not share to yourself. In life, there are some stories aren’t yours to tell and that’s okay too. Don’t burn bridges when you’re angry and never send that email when blood is pulsing through your veins. Sleep on it is a saying for a reason.
Don’t play down your strengths and talents to make other people feel better. Own and hone what you’re good at and accept compliments with grace.
Your work is important, whatever the form that work takes. If you’re a creative, your art form and how you express yourself is your work. If you’re unemployed or aren’t able to work due to health issues, know that employment is only one form of work, and is not a source of life-validation.
Celebrate the shit out of your small wins.
You do not have to be a ‘good’ woman. You get to take up space.
You get to play big. You do not have to keep yourself small. You do not have to be quiet about your opinions or stay apolitical. Be loud and proud about what you believe and why.
You are you. There is only one of you. That is really fucking amazing and the world needs what only you can bring to it.
Chase your dreams and drown out the bullshit.
And fuck dreamshitters.
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