The thing I learnt as I got older is depth connections mean more than surface-level connections at the end of the day. I spent years presenting myself on a surface level. I was always entering rooms pretending to be happy, laughing at peoples jokes that weren't even funny, never challenging other people when they downgraded others. I thought the easiest thing to do was follow the pack and ignore my own morals and values as I didn't want to feel isolated. This worked temporarily, however, I couldn't turn to these group of people for moral support. They saw me play cool, calm and collected Carissa. Who is this Carissa that articulates her emotions and that can be confronting at times? Who is this Carissa, the one who tried to control social situations so her mental health wouldn't deteriorate? The one who started to have a voice? The one who used to sit in silence is now making us think about our actions and how we are never honest with ourselves? We are honest to suit others needs? Who is she and why is she feeling things so much?
The thing I learnt as I got older is the most meaningful relationships and connections I have had with human beings is where I could be vulnerable and I could receive similar vulnerability back. Where I could surround myself with people who were active in self-reflection, who tried their best to stay true to their morals and values, who could show loyalty when people were putting you down due to their own insecurities and most importantly, people who were honest with themselves.
As I grow older, I learnt not to care about what people say about me. Because at the end of the day I am the person who knows myself better than anyone else. And that is the most powerful tool I can use to conquer anything. That allows me to know the true meanings of loyalty, friendship and love. I don't feel the need to float on the surface to satisfy others opinions about me any longer.