You know that horribly awkward moment when you’re in a group setting and the leader announces you’re going to go around the circle and share about yourself? Or when you meet someone new and their creativity for drawing you out goes as far as “tell me a bit about yourself.”
SMH. I hate that. I’m always like, uuuhhhh….
I mean, honestly. What am I supposed to say? I literally always ask “what do you want to know?” Obviously the canned answers – “Hi, I’m Rebecca; I’m a mom to 2 crazy girlies, I’m a registered massage therapist…”
Shrug. That’s it, right? That’s me! That’s all I have to offer the world! Good grief, I’m bored already.
No, that small-talk crap is NOT what makes me who I am. It’s not REAL. Not even close. Sure, that’s stuff that people know about me, absolutely, and it’s not always a horrid way to start an introduction, really. We start with small talk and look for similarities and see if we have compatibility with the other person. Interviews, dating, friending, whatever it is. That’s the basic formula of trial and error!
But it’s not really you. Not really. I mean, we call it “small talk” for a reason. It’s not the stuff that really gets to a person’s core, you know? Yes, we learn this basic info about a person, but are your job and your family circumstance THE THINGS that make you you? I hope not. I mean, they’re important, for sure! But I’m just as sure there are at least a few more 30-something moms of 2 girls who are registered massage therapists out there sooo… by that understanding I am decidedly NOT unique.
Which is a load of bollocks! I’m the only one of me out here, folks! hahaha Thank goodness 😉
So… if the surface-small-talk-introductory stuff isn’t actually indicative of who we are, then what in the heck is?! And how do we a) figure it out and b) LIVE IT?!
WHO. ARE. YOU?!
Sadly, I have to promise you that I DO NOT have all the answers hahahah Not even CLOSE! I mean, I’m learning lots, and arguably I am finally now better at this game than lots of people beCAUSE I’ve learned so much and am where I am in my journey. But I am NOWHERE near finished.
But I’ve learned some things getting as far as I have so far. Here are a couple that might help:
Is there a book club left out there that hasn’t read that Marie Kondo book? hahaha I’ve never read it, and I didn’t watch the Netflix special, but everyone has heard the idea of only keeping items in your living space that “spark joy,” right? May I extrapolate that theory and suggest living your LIFE the same way?
How do you do that? Well, why not start by being HONEST with yourself. Like, brutally honest. No, I don’t mean let your demons take over and list out all the bad things and take yourself down into the pit, that’s not what I mean. Beating yourself up is never the answer.
No, I mean relax the world, society, whatever external influences you have around you – let those go. Breathe. Now, what do YOU want, what do you LOVE, what makes your heart sing? Forget the rules, forget the limits. Forget what you’re supposed to be for a minute.
Then look at what you’re doing. Does what you do align with what you truly want?
How many of us “struggle” with losing weight? (Hands shoot up in the air). Right? ME! For YEARS! Holy crap. But you know what? For all those years I LIED to myself. I “wanted” to lose weight but I wouldn’t let myself. I worked out like a fiend, but I ATE, ohmigoodness did I eat. I’d eat clean for a few meals and then binge when no one was around. Or sometimes when they were around because, well, I workout and you don’t so, screw you and your judgement, I can do what I want.
Shaking head. What a waste of time. A lot of guilt. A lot of self-loathing. A lot of “trying” to lose weight all the while making sure it’s impossible so as to validate my belief that I am not good enough, and will never be able to do it.
Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope.
No, now we’re going to be honest. Honestly? I wasn’t trying before. I was sabotaging. I hated myself and wasn’t allowing me to do what I knew how to do because I didn’t believe I was worth it.
HONESTLY, I am NOT a fat-and-happy person. (You TOTALLY can be, by the way – Homer Simpson is my HERO for that! He’s fat, he likes doughnuts and beer, and he doesn’t CARE and it’s AWESOME – if that’s YOU then YEEESSSSS! Own it! Live it! Love it! It’s awesome. It’s not me.) I’m just not comfortable in my skin when my body isn’t in top condition – my brain struggles and my favourite activities are harder and I just… no. That’s not me flourishing. So the first truth is recognizing that yes, I need to lose the weight – not that I will be happy when I’m skinny, but that part of my JOY is physically being who I know I am. If that makes sense.
And the next part of being honest, is admitting where I haven’t been so far! Stop the insanity, stop LYING, stop sabotaging.
I use fitness solely as an example. I could do it in maaany aspects of my life. This blog, for example, with it’s lately very erratic postings… SMH. Sigh. I want the success, I want to realize the dreams, but I’m not showing up for myself to make it happen. Not yet. (I will, though…as soon as I get back from this crazy camping trip…)
IGNORE EVERYBODY ELSE
Well, you know. Don’t like, ignore your kids hahaha maybe hang onto your BFFs if they’re not harshing up your vibe! No, I mean a couple of different things here:
The first is to STOP playing the comparision game. You know the one. You scroll instagram and see how perfect her life is, how ripped that guy is, how FLAT her abs are after she had babies?! WHAAAAATTT who DOES that?! And suddenly your circumstance, your softness, your stretchmarks are not good enough. They become FLAWS because they’re different than this picture of perfection you’re jealous of.
Dude. Let that GO. All of it. Don’t go to your neighbour’s house to size it up, go to make connections with the people inside! You’re not in competition with everyone! RELAX.
Second, don’t listen to people hahaha! Don’t let them tell you that you can’t, that you’re dreaming too big, that your passion should stay your hobby, that you’re a lousy parent, that you don’t make enough money, your house is a mess… you know all that unsolicited advice? Man, people offer it freely, eh? (As I sit here, typing advice… yeah yeah, I see it! I see it! hahaha) But recognize it for what it is – if it’s unsolicited advice it doesn’t matter how well intended it is – it’s a criticism.
YES, criticism can be constructive! It can help steer us and lead us to better places, for sure! But… make sure you’re recognizing it for what it is, and do NOT let it deflate you. Just because they don’t understand you doesn’t mean you’re WRONG. I mean, obviously there will be times you are wrong – you’re not perfect; neither am I! But it’s no one’s business to give you advice if you’re not looking for it, and it’s never anyone’s job to NOT support you. Make sense? You don’t need someone to tell you your dream isn’t good enough, but someone who will help suss out the potential problems and help you navigate and tackle them. Not someone who will tell you to give up.
Because we are goal getters around here – we DON’T give up. We won’t. We can’t. We have stuff to do. We have a world to change.
I’m the only one of me. I’m the only one who can do THIS. I’m the only one who writes the way I do, the only one with the stories I have. I’m the only one with my humour, my temperament, my brain. I’m the only one who LOOKS like I do, laughs like I do, loves like I do. I am the only me.
You’re the only you. So again, I ask you. Who are you?
Identify it. Embrace it. LOVE IT. Now… be it. Be you.
I’m going to be over here being me…