Proof of… what?

When I was a child, I wanted to be like everyone else. But I could not, even though I tried hard.

I tried to prove I am like everyone else.

Then slowly, things changed.

After a while, what I wanted to prove was that I can do things that nobody else.

I wanted to prove I can win math competitions. — I did.

I wanted to prove I can code. — I did.

Then I wanted to prove I can get applied to the university. — I could.

There I had to prove that as a minority (girl) I can be “good enough” amongst the majority (boys). — So I did.

I had to prove that I can work AND study at the same time to survive. — So I worked hard, studied hard, and yes, eventually I got my MSc. while working almost full-time by that time.

I already came a long way but it was still not enough.

Shortly after I got my diploma, I also got an opportunity to speak at international conferences. So here was another thing to prove: I can be good enough even though my native language is not English.

I had to prove that I can be good enough as someone from a country far far away.

Then after a while speaking at events was not enough.

I started to work on international projects. And I wanted to prove I was good enough, even if I live in a country far far away, and my native language is not English.

And belonging. I wanted to belong so much. I have always been introvert, so belonging to the “cool guys” always seemed impossible.

But I wanted it so much. I wanted to prove that I can belong there.

My worries have always been that I am a girl/woman, I am from a crazy country far far away called Hungary, and I speak English as a second language. I was sure there is no way I can be “good enough”.

It might sound insane but at the same time, I did not know how to “belong” to somewhere other than family either.

I knew how to fight for my studies, for a job, for a speaking engagement… but one cannot fight for “belonging”, right? And since I was always busy with fighting for something, for getting the next step of my life done, I never learned or thought about how to belong somewhere.

And to be honest, I was also afraid to “belong”…

Of course, over the time, I met more and more introvert and like-minded people, and I am grateful to say that I even made friends.

But that crazy need of proving still was there.

After a while, I could not really tell anymore what I really should prove but I still felt the pressure.

And then something happened.

I am still not sure when but I started to feel that I need more “me time”. Which might sound counterproductive…

I started to work out, and I started to pay attention to my own well-being.

I thought it was important because of myself, and it was important because of my family, too.

But actually, it also had an unexpected side effect…

As I started to feel better, I started to have more and more self-confidence, too.

And this increasing self-confidence resulted in less and less self-doubt. And also, less and less doubt in others.

Now, I trust who I know I can trust but I was afraid to really trust earlier. I know who my friends are and I am so happy to call them friends.

Apparently, I needed the self-confidence and to be able to accept myself first, so that finally I can believe the world accepts me for who I am, too, and I don’t have to prove anything, anymore.

This is such a liberating feeling!

Thank you everyone, who has been part of my journey! You know who you are.

There is still a long way ahead but finally I know I am on the right path.

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