Letting go of self-control was the best thing that ever happened to me

Tuesday December 23, 2019               By: Rawan Gamal

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I’m a control freak. I admit this. Even though I’m really spontaneous and adventurous, I remember I’ve never gave myself the opportunity to slip. I remember I’ve never went to college with un-neat clothes or un-prepared face: at least a coat of mascara and a lip palm on. I never went to a final exam without having everything I can study on my mind, and I cannot say it always worked though. I always watched what I eat, because gaining weight freaked me out.

I always was portrayed as this one who gets her life together all the time like a classic novel. However, I was not. I was more like a modern poem that lacks rhymes and meters. A free verse that looks like a complete hot mess. Because all I wanted is for this pulled off image to last. But in the process, I did everything to conceal how I feel, how I truly feel: I was anxious, insecure and tired. No need to give more information about the “traditional female self-loathing battle with self-image and society”. However, I believe that losing control over myself was the best experience that has ever happened to me.

It was my senior year in college when I started letting my grip slip, a bit after bit between my fingers. I loosened up, grew less tensed and became strangely kinder to myself. It all happened after a very funny and a remarkable situation. I remember sitting there in one of the check-ups clinics, talking to my mother about how I feel tired and tensed all the time. And I started crying. I cried, for the first time in years outside the doors of my bathroom. The thing is, people’s reactions surprised me. They thought something was actually wrong with me. They kept telling me that it will be okay and that I’m not alone. Usually, I’d have said that nothing is wrong. But I didn’t. I let myself be sad and I believed them that maybe things will turn out to be okay.

Now I feel like I’m more flexible, more accepting towards the things I can’t change, and less tensed about the things I can do nothing about.

And for that, I’d love to share few tips on how to become more carefree.

1- Accept that you’re not perfect

Who said you should look flawless all the time or say all the right things at the right times? Be your clumsy, silly, tired self and accept it. Accept that everyone feels exhausted sometimes, and that trying too hard to conceal these feelings will only wear you out. I’ve learned my lesson: The more energy I spend on unnecessary things (like panicking about what the future holds, about the mistakes I made or about other people’s problems,) the less I spend on the things that mean more to me (like spending time with people I love, focusing on my own career and investing in myself).

2- Dare to feel your feelings.

Learn to be aware of your emotions and your opinion. Resonate them, articulate them, and accept them as a fact! Your emotions are yours and they deserve to be recognized. You start feeling at peace when the world around you matches the one inside you.

3- Reach out

Never be ashamed of asking for help or complaining to a friend or a family member. Life gets easier when we share its problems with someone who really cares. You wouldn’t sound weak or like a quitter, but like a normal human being with emotions. I started asking myself why should I cry in the bathroom when I can cry on someone’s shoulder and it has made all the difference.

4- Learn that you’re doing great.

The actions you’ve done and their consequences is a result of your own efforts and experiences. Don’t overthink them all the time. Be proud of your achievements.  Quit running the wrong races and start heading towards the race you want. Baby steps are still steps.

Being out of control and not being extremely unmanageable taught me exactly how to find balance. It taught me to break the old rule that focuses on only how I manage my life; how I count my calories, find the perfect words, be the one who is always presentable and successful, and the one in charge all the time! I’ve broken this rule and let myself breathe, in and out, without having to suffocate. I learned to not always sound like a superhero, who conquers the worlds effortlessly, because even superheroes spend some time crying in the bathroom, and that is okay.

Rawan Kh
Rawan Gamal, A literature Geek who have absolute love for everything classic. The feminist of my family gatherings, and the sarcastic one among my friends. A cat-lady with a lot of caffeine in my system.

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