Today I am grateful to remember. I’ve spent the last few days going through decades of things, trying to decide what to keep room for and what to release. I wrote the other day about the things I’ve carried with me and how that is literally crowding my space. There is an emotional crowding as well. But as I’ve been seeing the beautiful life I’ve led to this point, it makes sense why I want to hold on. I have been so fortunate and every little trinket, photo, pin, piece of work, book is a direct link to that time. I know it isn’t healthy to live in the past—and I tend to romanticize it—but I look at these things and I am so proud of what I’ve accomplished, and that is something I’ve never been. I locked so many things in boxes and sought out the next opportunity, thinking it was never enough. Seeing this laid out before me not only brings back the nostalgia, it is a history of what it took to get here. It’s a reminder that I have always been enough, and while I am always looking for the next thing, I can make peace with what I’ve done. This life is a blessing.
Today I am grateful to accept. Like so many, I’ve suffered from imposter syndrome most of my life. I never quite fit in no matter how hard I adapted to the environment around me yet I managed to connect well. I see that now. For all of the awkward moments and the fear and anger of being excluded and mocked for who I am, I have a lifetime of people who have supported me. And those who don’t (or didn’t) showed me the way to who I am now. I told myself that I wasn’t enough and that I wasn’t right or that I didn’t belong and I believed it. Now I see that I was an insecure child, afraid of being alone and ostracized for who I was. All of that falls away with time. It may take several decades, but it all falls into place and it is beautiful.
Today I am grateful to understand. I’ve spent so much time planning and preparing next steps that I missed where I was and I missed the point of being. I see how much I complicated…everything. The reality is I never needed to adapt—I need(ed) to awaken. The word decide means to cut and I was always afraid of cutting something out. Now I see the act of deciding cuts away the extraneous. The hard part is letting it go. We can’t partially move in a new direction. We have to honor where we’ve been and let it lie. It’s a death but with every death is a rebirth. Sometimes we mourn the moments we had and even the person we used to be, but that frees us up to be who we are meant to. It’s as simple as marking the end and stepping forward. It hurts, but we heal, and the phoenix emerges.
Today I am grateful to step into discomfort. The more I understand that my behavior came from what I was told to do, the more I’m questioning what I continue to do and what I teach my son. I mean, I want to keep my kid healthy and I will do whatever it takes for that. But I am no longer going to dismiss his wants and his schedule as if mine is better. For example, if he wants to sleep on the weekend and if he wants to skip breakfast for the day, why does it matter? He knows when he is hungry and he is able to get snacks himself now. If we stay up later than we normally do every once in a while, does that really matter if we were having fun spending time together? Routine is important, but we have to break the monotony every now and then. And really, if we are meant to break the generational patterns, that means doing things differently. That is the best teacher we can ask for—just do it.
Today I am grateful to trust. These next steps in my life will directly confront my fears related to letting go and jumping into the unknown. I’ve been at this point before and I have consistently backed down from what I knew was on the other side—and the unknown that would come with letting go and accepting the next phase. While I am still nervous, I am ready to move forward. There is no point in staying where I’m at mentally any longer. The fears no longer serve (not that they ever did) and I know that I have been prepared for where I’m going. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t ready and if it wasn’t the right thing to do. It’s exciting.
Today I am grateful for self-care. I splurged a bit and bought some new skin care and bath products. These are things I normally don’t spend money on since I follow a pretty basic routine. But I’m getting older and I recognize that it’s time to take care of myself differently. It’s a privilege to be able to do that. It’s also a privilege to be able to say that my body is worth taking care of. As we transition to new things in life, it requires different behavior. Taking care of myself is no longer an option—it’s something I need to normalize for myself and others. We need to normalize loving ourselves and understanding that it isn’t selfish to take care of the vehicle that supports us. We’d do the same for our cars, yet we run 24/7. Put in the time to nourish and love your body.
Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.