I sat down to work today and instead I started to write. In the pursuit of my dreams there are things that come up that I feel compelled to put on the page. Lately, I've noticed how as the opportunities I've dreamt about feel closer than ever, I feel more afraid than ever before.
I look back in my writing and see the same theme. I'm afraid of my dreams.
Luck: A thing that women give credit to for their success. What men give credit to: skill.” - Jessica Bennett, Feminist Fight Club
The word luck makes me slightly uncomfortable; for me, it conjures images of four leaf clovers and little leprechauns dressed in green. When something positive happens and someone tells me I’m lucky, I resent that statement. Chalking up successes to “luck” feels like admitting that it is simply by chance that things have gone well. I have adopted a very active idea of success.
I haven’t sat down and written in months and for me that is a clear sign I’m far from myself. Usually it means my energy has been sucked in a direction, intentionally or unknowingly that isn’t serving me. Writing about oneself can feel narcissistic or self absorbed. I can write it off in my head as unnecessary and trivial, but that’s a lie. For me writing about my life helps me understand my life. I’m prone to reminiscing. There’s something about looking back that helps me face forward. I get deeply lost- or so I think- from time to time. For me that usually looks like striving too hard until I inevitably burn out and take to my bed to recoup. It looks like darkness and confusion, questioning and sadness. During those times the future seems bleak and terrifying. Somehow though, usually from the other side, I recognize these dark and painful periods as points of growth and often of letting go. It is anything but easy to try to bridge the gap from the girl I was to the woman I’m becoming, and so, I write.
I am writing to you from down the line. Today you are 26. You are thriving, but there are some things I want you to know. First of all I want to tell you I love you. Deeply. It took me some time to truly get to this place but it made all the difference. What really helped was looking in the mirror, telling you that I love and accept you exactly as you are. That face in the mirror will follow you wherever you go, be kind to her. How you speak to her will create a blueprint for how everyone in your life will speak to you, choose wisely.
Get to know who you are when surrounded by strangers. What do you like to eat, do, see when you are alone? A new place is experienced in such a raw way when you are alone. Each street name, the state of the weather, all there is to see is deeper somehow when there isn’t someone else you know to act as a buffer. Out of necessity, you become more open to holding eye contact with perfect strangers, smiling at them when they almost miss their subway stop. Your experience of a place is so pure when you are alone.
Nobody wants to talk about rejection. Our poor egos, even the word itself feels gross.
When we don’t get what we thought we wanted, we all know the feeling. Disappointment, I really thought this was it, it felt so right, I could see it all play out. For whatever reason, it just wasn’t in the cards. Have you ever noticed the fuel that this creates within you?
All of a sudden you’re your most productive. All of the energy that was going into desiring that one thing or trying to change reality is all of a sudden freed up. So you move full steam ahead toward those things that fuel you, what other choice do you have?
There's work left to be done- I know, I know. I feel it too. But just for tonight, can you relish in how far you've come?
Close your eyes and take a minute. Remember who you were, take note of all you've learned, all you've let go of, all of the meaningful connections you've made. You've overcome so much. Take time to acknowledge how resilient you are. Take pride in the many choices you've made for you. In all you've let go of, in all you've obtained.
We usually know intuitively when we need to cleanse. It often involves too much partying, processed food, procrastinating or too little alone time, healthy food, days at the gym. Our culture seems to be fairly good at toxifying then pulling back and green juicing till we feel human again. What’s less seldom promoted (probably since it’s free) is consciously cleansing our beliefs.
There will come a time in your art, your work, or more generally in your life where you will look up and realize things need to change. You'll know you've hit this point by the general discomfort you feel, the nagging sense that something isn't right. Many of us have a sense, for some even a vivid picture of where we're headed. We know how the story ends. The tough part can be playing the course in the way that leads there.
“when something isn’t given you right when you want it, it’s because you’re not ready. it’s the mercy of the universe. this generation doesn’t have any sense of blossoming.” - Marianne Williamson
We all do it, we see what we want and we want it now. Whether it’s a job, a certain stature, a move, a relationship, a piece of clothing. We think we’re fairly clear about what it is we want and what we know for sure is that we want it right-fucking-now.
This coming from someone who came out of the womb worrying. Since I can remember, my tactic for ensuring things went smoothly was to consider every possible thing that could go wrong. It gave me some sense of control to know I had already considered every possible negative scenario. It made me feel ahead of the game. In many ways I do think that this awareness of all possibilities has served me, making me hyper vigilant. We all develop tendencies based on our early experience. For me my home life was chaotic at times and my response was to try to control all outcomes through my thoughts.
Our society today is very outward facing. Many feel compelled to consistently share their experiences via various forms of social media. I too feel this pressure at times. We try to maintain a balance between public and private spheres of our lives. Sharing some but not too much. I think social media can be positive if it is used to shed light, to create connection, to share growth and inspiration and to make us laugh. I'm not here to talk about social media or anything outward facing, I'm here to talk about what is seldom discussed, our inner life.
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