We both agreed that we, as many do, have allowed this to happen too often in our lives. We have allowed ourselves to be molded into what pleased another, giving away our own creative power to another to form their vision of us, instead of being true to our own vision.
It's harder this way sometimes because it means slowing down in a really fast paced world. It means saying no which displeases people. It means discovering a whole bunch of things you don't like before you can even begin to embrace the things you do, which can feel discouraging at first. And then, if you are judging your life by someone else's timeline, you can feel as if you missed the boat completely, even though that boat was a potential sinking ship you probably successfully dodged.
This reminds me of a talk by John Daido Loori, Roshi, the late Zen Buddhist monk I often listen to entitled, "Who We Really Are and What We Appear To Be." He says, "If what our reality is, is not the same as what our appearance is, we are not yet practicing [our faith]. Who we really are and what we appear to be should be the same, if not, it's diluted, it's a mask, it's where we hide." He goes on to say that we do this because we are convinced we are inadequate so we buy into what others think we should be. He says the enlightened life is, "really being yourself."