Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Name: Emma Rae Harris
Age: 29 years old
Occupation: Marketing & Design - Business Owner
Location: Toronto, Ontario
I am a people pleaser and yes person. And, although, I love connecting with people and understanding who they are on a very deep level, I can exert too much energy and burn out. I’m a chameleon who rarely listened to my inner voice to what my body was telling me. Adapting is what I do and adapting to be what I know people want is how I feel safe. I do this out of unconscious habit because I don’t want to be abandoned and fear of not being well liked. I cared far too much about what people thought of me. It took years to become aware of these patterns I dedicated every waking hour to. As an introvert, I crave time alone. But, sometimes that space can be lonely and isolating. For as much as I wanted time and space, I feared it equally.
I decided two years ago that I needed to dedicate time to understanding myself if I was going to learn how to say no and set healthy boundaries. I ultimately wanted to know who I was because I never allowed myself to discover who that was or who I wanted to be.
That was the catalyst to a path of change and self-awareness—good, bad, and ugly. I started going to therapy and it’s now been over two years since I started “doing the work". I felt paralyzed as I tried to express how I felt, I didn’t have the right language—I felt like a child. I always shied away from talking or speaking up out of fear of attention, I also didn’t trust myself to say much of anything out loud. As a kid, I didn't feel safe to express my thoughts or emotions, and now, as an adult, I still struggle with communicating my needs because I can’t identify them. So, it was easier to put myself on a path of someone who could identify their own and my place in them. Whether it was what I wanted didn’t matter, I was making them happy and that meant I was a success, I was needed or wanted. All my relationships were woven together this way until, without fail, I would grow tired of trying to be someone I wasn’t. So, now I have consciously made the choice to be on my own, as uncomfortable as it can be at times I know it’s necessary. I need time and space to allow myself to learn who I am without distraction. When I do meet someone again I want to know it’s because I genuinely want it and that when I say yes, I mean it.