What Other People Want Me to Be in 2016

My Dad Wants Me to Be:

Back on Lexapro. He knows, from his own experience, that the existential questioning I spent most of 2015, and most of my post-teenage life doing is not serving me. It will only lead me back where I started, and on the way does nothing but drill me deeper into the hole of self-doubt and loneliness I know all too well, have known since I was a little girl, since I was too shy to ask new friends to play and he had to bribe me to call them by dangling dollar bills above the phone. I can charge the Lexapro to his card ($2,000 monthly limit), so long as I please don’t call him while I am experiencing emotions.

My Therapist Wants Me to Be:

More accepting of myself, happier, calmer, more inclined to wake up before noon and leave the house. But, not so much that I no longer need weekly sessions for $255 an hour ($15 co-pay with insurance). It’s a fine line.

My Cat Wants Me to Be:

Just me! Just as I am! My cat is very helpful to me and I have no complaints about her. Does she love me for me, or for the food I provide? Or both? Does it matter, so long as she loves me?

My Childhood Friends I Am Largely Estranged From Want Me to Be:

Married to a lovely man who appreciates my “quirkiness,” even if he does not fully understand me. Ideally I would be in a stable living situation, moving forward in the prescribed direction, whatever that is. If only I would just stop, stop searching for “truth” and “fulfillment.” If only I would just get it through my head that those things are impossible to find, and stop bothering. Stop beating on doors with no answer. Stop reminding them that they never even thought to knock in the first place, that they took the easy way out. Stop.

I Want Myself to Be:

I want to be free of the voices in my head. The ones that tell me I am not good enough. That I am letting everyone down. The ones that judge others and the ones that are cruel. These thoughts are lies. I would like for there to be more peace in 2016, in both my own mind and in the world.

This article is part of The Billfold’s 2015 end-of-year series, “Our Best Selves in the Coming Year.”

Georgia Perry is a freelance writer based in Oakland, California. A former staff writer for the Santa Cruz Weekly, she has written for The Atlantic, Vice, and Reductress, among other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @georguhperry or see more of her work here.

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