I’m an entirely different human than I was seven years ago. I’ve been thinking recently about what I wish Me v2.0 had told Me v1.0. These are all the things I wish someone had told me a long time ago.
You are the reason that everything in your life is exactly as it is. You created all of it.
It is not the fault of anyone or anything else. Not your job, not your money situation, not your current relationship (or your lack thereof), not your past relationship, not your kids, not the guy who cut you off at the intersection, not the the moron who runs the government, not anything else but you.
When you’re done blaming everyone and everything else for your life not looking the way you wanted (including God, the patriarchy, your mom, and public schools), your life will be right here, waiting for you to re-create it.
Do you have any fucking idea how much joy and love and fulfillment and fun you are robbing yourself of?
You, who has been influenced (subtly or not-so-subtly) by what other people want for you and from you. You’ve been getting your sense of value from what other people say you are, what other people think you’re good at, what other people need from you. You love feeling important, so you sell your soul to make yourself feel that way. And as you know, it’s an empty high that never gives back. And the withdrawals bring a horrendous hangover. (Remember when you took on all those extra projects at work, Rach, when you wanted to prove that you could take on anything thrown your way, you wanted to demonstrate your skills in building a business, and you wanted to be important? Remember how good it felt to be so important, and how taken for granted you felt after the projects were complete?)
You, who hasn’t been willing to do the thing that is right for you because you can’t look around and see who else has done it that way successfully already. You know you know. You at least know you want to try. And everywhere you look, people are trying to tell you you’re wrong. You secretly wonder, “What if they’re right? What if I really don’t know?” You let them win. And it eats away at you every single day. Until you can’t imagine how you ever had the nerve to think you could do something that hadn’t already been done. (Remember the time, Rach, when you were graduating from high school second in your class, and you weren’t going to go to college? You were going to sail around the world…even though you didn’t have a boat and you had no clue how to sail. Where did that woman go?)
You, who want so badly for something different, but can’t stop clinging to what you knew about yesterday. Your addiction to the past is keeping you from today. The what-ifs, the that-was-so-amazing, the I-don’t-ever-want-that-to-happen-agains. All of these haunt your present by keeping you small, keeping you in what you’ve already known, keeping you in the land of the predictable. (Rachel, do you remember how long you clung to the story that you couldn’t because the circumstances of your life was hard? Do you remember how badly you didn’t ever want to feel so burnt out again, so you resisted and resisted finding a way to do it that suited you because it was easier to say your life was hard because of X?)
The mindfuckery that you pull in your head and your heart is insane.
In the ways you simultaneously know exactly who you are and pretend not to know anything about who you are. You’d rather shrug your shoulders and say, “I dunno,” than stand proudly and own your answer.
In the ways that you want for the moon and tolerate standing in shit. You want it all, yet you are frightened to step out of where you are. You’d rather control the known than the unknown. You don’t know how to keep yourself safe amidst unpredictability – you don’t know who you’ll be when your world is uncertain, and that is actually what scares the shit out of you. (It doesn’t help that you don’t think a hot mess is very pretty; upholding the image of who you think you should be is really your own private version of jail.)
In the ways you decide and then make yourself sick wondering if your decision was the right one. You go with your gut and then look around you and point to all the reasons that was wrong. Or, you use your brain, and it feels off in your gut. The fight that goes on within you is the biggest time-wasting, energy-draining, soul-sucking activity you participate in (except for the daily checking out with wine or Netflix or social media that exists to help you avoid feeling this inner battle).
In the ways that you treat others better than you treat yourself, and then proceed to wonder why no one treats you like a queen. It’s all you’ve ever wanted: to be valued, to be appreciated, for people to show you that they care about you as much as you care about them. But the truth is, you’re so busy showing everyone that you care, that you can’t even see or allow when people are trying to love on you. You don’t even know how to let it in. It is fucking everywhere; you just have to let it in.
You have been raised on flawed premises, but woman, you are not flawed.
The way you have been taught to do life has you losing before there’s any chance to win. No matter what you’ve learned up until this point, here is what fucking matters:
- Life is not meant to be done alone. (Just because you can does not mean you should.)
- Living fully – laughing until you pee yourself, brought to your knees with grief, loving the people in your life for just who they are, rage at something (anything, really, at least once), being with every single moment as if there is no other – that is why you are here. Nothing else matters.
- The things you do to create those moments in which to live fully are more fun if they are things you like doing. (So do more of the shit you like!)
- Making it hard to demonstrate that you are a warrior doesn’t serve any purpose other than making it hard.
- Go first. Do not wait. Be bold. Share yourself, and ask for what you want.
- Let go. Your biggest enemy is thinking you need to know how it all happens. Let go. And then let go some more. And then let go even more.
You are brilliant beyond words.
You have magic to make.
You have gifts to use, love to give, and love to receive.
And I swear if you could see that – if you knew it would all work out for your highest good – you would not live in the insane asylum of your mind/body/heart/reality for one more minute without making some really important changes.
You’ve got this. I’m here to help.