I can’t sleep.

My mind is running, ruminating, over old thoughts from years ago that can still aggravate me when triggered. Tonight’s fuel is a few Instagram photos, which led to some Facebook stalking, posted by a former colleague. This is a person I worked with so long ago that’s probably unfair to continually judge us both as version’s of ourselves that we no longer are, but I am still bitter.

This story isn’t that interesting. Basically, I invested in another person and the person’s work, my support was not applauded or rewarded in the way I wanted it to be (thanked never, in my version of the story) and the person went on to great things, never acknowledging or needing me. All I ever wanted from this person was validation, and it was never given to me.

All of this hits me at a time when I am taking some hard looks at my life and, as cryptic as that seems, I am actually quite happy at the moment. Most things in my life are going really swimmingly, but I want to catapult this moment into another great phase, but I am not exactly sure what that is. My job has a five-year limit and so I am starting to play with some potential life paths, thinking that I have time to make tough decisions and lay the foundation necessary. I’ve been nagging friends with heavy questions about their own life decisions and then begging them to decide my fate so I don’t have to.

I am not joking when I say that I have 13 potential ideas for my life and many of them vary different. However, there is always a challenge or a fear that overpowers audacity or authentic passion and I am confused as to where my heart wants to go.

When I think of these things, these ideas, I think of the people who will laugh at me, the people who will say I can’t and then, worse, the people who will not notice. I put a lot of value into other’s opinions of me that mine is sometimes so weak I can’t hear it and when I desperately need it to make a real decision I am can’t hear it at all.

So tonight, when I saw photos of the successful life my former colleague has had, I wondered what I could do to finally get validation from this person. And that makes me sad.

Maybe I don’t know what I want to do with my life, or even the next phase, but I do know that I want to stop doing things for others’ validation. I don’t want my purpose to be the end game anymore.

I know that it’s hard to unthink that way when it’s the only way I’ve ever known, but I have a feeling the answer to my wavering and the validation I am truly seeking, the one from myself, will come when I can start to see myself and all that I am from a different angle. Only when I start searching for my own voice will I hear it.

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