Sometimes You Don’t Realize Your Confidence Is Low Until You See Someone With a High Level of Confidence

Today I read an article by the comedian and author Sara Benincasa, who was responding to a very pointed question from a fan. The question was: Why did you gain so much weight?

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It’s a question that would’ve destroyed my confidence if I was already feeling bad about myself- as I think it would have secretly destroyed many women. And I’m not fat by any standards. I’m actually pretty small if you’re going by some kind of American average. But it doesn’t matter- I always knew from society and all the magazines I’ve ever read that I was kind of worthless unless I was losing weight or thin.

What’s crazy about the thought pattern of ‘I’m only worth something if I’m thin’ is how built into my belief system it is- and I know that I’m not the only one. I work in an industry where being thin is prized, but I also live in a society that’s weight loss crazed…and always has been.

The article today shocked me with the confidence and bravado it presented- the woman who wrote it is successful and funny and talented and also bigger than what Hollywood, or society at large (whatever that means), deems ‘acceptable,’ but she’s confident anyway. How is this possible? Are you allowed to be confident if you’re a woman who’s not ‘acceptably’ thin or striving to lose weight? I ask this question as sort of a joke, but it’s not a joke. I truly care about healthy food and about being healthy, but there’s definitely a major part of me that cares only about being thin, so that I can feel good about myself and move on. This weight pressure is not something that only hits women in their teens and twenties and goes away…it continues well into our thirties and likely until the day we die. Weight pressure is built into the fabric of how women live. Every woman is pressured to be ‘acceptably thin’ and can’t feel good about herself unless she is so. Or so I thought.

“…here’s the shocker: in addition to my family and real friends still loving me, I kept getting work! Comedy, acting, and publishing 5 books from February 2012 to July 2016! It’s almost like I still had worth and value beyond the number on the scale…!”

She did? Women can? Especially in entertainment..or fashion…or hell, just being a respected woman? How can you respect yourself if you’re not ‘acceptably thin?’ How can anyone respect you? You should use all your time and energy to get onto a weight loss plan, right? But the successful comedian and author who had ‘gained some weight’ confidently continued:

“Let me tell you about some of the things that I did between when I started gaining weight (2011) and now (2016). I published that first book, “Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom.”I adapted it as a TV pilot. Diablo Cody is the executive producer. Have you heard of her? She’s very talented… Anyway, she wanted to work with me and never brought up the fact that I wasn’t skinny. Can you imagine? It’s so strange. I talked to her yesterday and she still did not say anything about me being so fucking fat. Is she just being nice? She’s from the Midwest and those people are sweet. And Ben Stiller’s company, Red Hour, worked with me too. None of them told me I was fat. Ben Stiller didn’t tell me I was fat!”

And this breathtaking woman didn’t even feel unlovable when she was fat! It’s crazy:

“Now during this time I began to think about weight. Not mine! I saw how women were criticized on the Internet and elsewhere for gaining weight. This intrigued me. I didn’t feel fat or unlovable. Should I? Hmm. I considered this and decided instead to make fantastic art instead, because I’m amazing at it.”

Wow, how dare she make art instead of getting her weight under control?! How could she even do that? Isn’t it better to spend your entire life getting your weight under control before you do anything else? I don’t understand it!

I gained all that weight because I was so busy working and growing as a person, a writer, an actor, a comedian, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a lover, an activist (hi Emily’s List and Humanity for Hillary and Los Angeles LGBT Center!), a thinker, and a cook (ironic, right?!?) that I didn’t have time to pursue what I really, really want to do: spend my precious spare moments making anonymous comments on the blogs of successful, beautiful, hardworking women in a failed attempt to undermine them in order to give me some sense of power as I marinate in my own inadequacy, stuck in the knowledge that no one will ever pay me to write my poorly-crafted thoughts down on paper, to be translated into book or film or television form, and that beyond money (which of course doesn’t lend my thoughts any inherent value) or any degree of fame (which is pointless and wholly unnecessary to a happy and fulfilling existence) no one will ever really want to hear what I have to say at all, because I am essentially worthless and of no value to the world at large. That’s what I really want to do.

Wow. What a response. Read Sara Benincasa’s full, beautiful response here.

I’m truly moved and shaken by Sara’s amazing statement because I feel like I not only wouldn’t have the confidence to respond that way, but I wouldn’t have the confidence to FEEL that way.

Imagine if we could actually, truly feel so confident no matter what?

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It hurts. So what?

A couple of weeks ago, I was extremely afraid. I wanted to speak up, but it felt much easier to stay silent. Or rather, I needed to speak up but was afraid of the response. There was an 95 percent chance that things wouldn’t end well.

Okay, I exaggerate. I’m not saying that I would die or get physically injured or even be screamed at, but I likely wouldn’t get the response I desired. I’m talking about the likelihood of a very high rejection rate.

I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t say what I wanted to say. I knew I’d feel even worse if I stayed silent. But I was scared. The pain I’d feel if rejected felt very real.

So I vented to Jane about how I felt safer staying quiet because I didn’t want to bring almost certain pain into my life. Even though I knew what I needed to do, it sucked that I could predict the future pain from doing it. And it was then that she said to me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard in my adult life.

She said “yeah, it’s going to probably  hurt. It’ll probably hurt very bad. But okay. So what?”

So what??

The revelation feels groundbreaking. Things may hurt, very badly even, but so what? So what?

Can you live with the pain of things hurting? Yes. And when you can live with that pain and be brave in the face of it, the world opens up.

Suddenly, suddenly everything is doable. Even the most immense impending hurt can’t stop you. It can bring you to your knees and it can make you cry. For awhile even.

But so what?

I ended up saying what I needed to say, and I was extremely relieved I did. And the hurt still came on strong. The rejection felt intense and stung with pain.

But so what? So what??

I’m still here. And I’m okay.

We All Have the Same Amount of Time

Dear Ones,

Haha, I only started this out by calling you guys ‘Dear Ones’ because it’s something Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ does in her Facebook posts all the time… And honestly, it sort of annoys me. Did it annoy you when I called you a ‘Dear One’? Or did you like it? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I actually LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert, and her Facebook posts just about always make me very happy, but the ‘Dear Ones’ thing just seems…patronizing? Old fashioned? I’m sure she doesn’t mean it that way AT ALL, because she seems like the sweetest person, but it rubs me the wrong way every time I hear it.

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BUT if I can get past that (and I can), she writes some very inspiring mini essays on Facebook. Today she wrote a thought-provoking little post about not giving up the great for the good. She was recounting how there’s always the same amount of time in a day and we usually fill that time with GOOD things- important things that we need to do- such as emails, holiday shopping, jobs, housecleaning, etc. Most of these things are, of course, necessary to life. But then she said that there are GREAT things we can be doing with our days as well, and that we have time for them too.

Now, at this point in her post, I thought Ms. Gilbert was going to go on to explain great things to be ‘travel to Indonesia,’ or ‘learn to code,’or ‘go windsurfing’ or ‘‘volunteer at soup kitchens everywhere,’ or other major activities in a similar vein. Elizabeth Gilbert’s a travel writer and an inspirational speaker after all. I expected great things to equate to major goals I guiltily feel I SHOULD GET TO or want to get around to doing ‘some day.’

But instead her GREAT THINGS were the exact opposite. They included:

  • Going for a long walk or a run alone on the beach, or in the woods, or in the city. (I LOVE doing this! This is, indeed, great!)
  • Going to Target with my best friend for absolutely no reason (YES! I love going to department stores or even grocery stores with my best friend for absolutely no reason. Great!
  • Sitting down at the end of the day with a glass of wine (I do this! I love this! Easy!)
  • Calling my mom just to say hello (So simple. So doable. Yet I don’t always do it.)

 

Sometimes just walking the street can be so happy-making!

Sometimes just walking the street can be so happy-making!

Or spending time with my friend and wandering through stores and to bus stops..

Or spending time with my best friend and wandering through stores …and from bus stop to bus stop

Elizabeth Gilbert’s personal list consisted of activities that…were easy to do. And they provoked simple, easy joy because they were basic little things. And they blew my mind because I already did them! I’d just never considered them ‘great things’ before. But they are. And I don’t recognize them.

Many days, my ‘great things’ slip through the cracks while I anxiously check off a never-ending to do list.

We all have the same amount of time in a day…and we can fit great things into our lives in such doable ways. The requirement is only to recognize those teeny moments of joy and allow ourselves to live them.

Real Happiness Begins at Age 33?

In four months, I’ll be turning 33. And apparently, I have a lot to look forward to, according to a study by Friends Reunited, a British social networking site. In the 2012 study, 70% of respondents over the age of 40 claimed they were not truly happy until they reached age 33.

One of the study’s authors, psychologist Donna Dawson, explains the findings this way:

“The age of 33 is enough time to have shaken off childhood naiveté and the wild scheming of teenaged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth…By this age innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a ‘can do’ spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities.”

This makes a lot of sense to me. I definitely feel like I’ve been more confident in my abilities in the past few years than I was in my twenties. And overall, I just like myself better. I don’t put much stock in if other people like me or not. Because if they don’t like me, most of the time, I don’t like them either. It just seems to work out that way. And realizing that is liberating.

Another recent study (also, British – those Brits must love these happiness studies!) done by The Huffington Post UK Lifestyle and YouGov found that the average person doesn’t achieve ‘true contentment’ until age 38. The study asked 2,000 Brits between ages 18-80 and took into account the respondents’ contentment with relationships, family, friends, and jobs.

So if you’re reading this post and stuck in a early thirties crisis, hopefully you can take a little comfort and relief in these studies.

How To Be a Third Wheel

The other day I went to a Barbecue in upstate New York. It was hosted by a close friend of mine and her boyfriend. When I got there, my friend said to me apologetically, “you’re going to meet a lot of people you don’t know.” What she didn’t mention was “you’re going to meet a lot of people you don’t know…and all of their significant others who you also don’t know.”

Once I went inside, I figured out that everyone at the BBQ was either married or engaged. And I felt very, very single. And very much like a third wheel.

This made me want to hide.

This made me want to hide away. At home. Somewhere inside my hoodie.

I didn’t realize that married and engaged couples would become the majority once I turned thirty. When I was in my twenties and would go to parties, I seem to remember a fair mix of singles and couples present. I also remember lots of alcohol being thrown down, and lots of stumbling home at 3am…or later. Was it a different world back then? After the BBQ this month, I caught the Metronorth back to Queens at the wee hour of 7pm (!)…with a nice newlywed couple who held hands as they told me the story of how they met.

To be fair, I was half of a couple for just about the entirety of my twenties…a serial monogamist from 21 to 29. And I basically saw the world of my twenties through ‘couple-eyes’ (yes, this is a thing)…which for me then meant: half of a couple = the definition of who I am.

So I didn’t totally get the whole third wheel stigma thing.

When I was part of a couple, I actually loved hanging out with single friends. I mean, it was fun to double date, but when I had a single friend hang out with me and my boyfriend at the time, I loved it just as much. All I wanted was for my friend to feel welcome and comfortable, single or not. A third wheel has this strange solo definition- they’re an extra piece- suddenly we have… a tricycle? A whole new entity. But that entity doesn’t have to be bad. I never thought it was bad before.

Of course, I very much understand the third wheel stigma- ‘couple-alone-time’ is important (as much as regular alone-time)- and a third person tagging along uninvited to a date night walk along the beach would probably not be the best. But the key word here is ‘uninvited.’ When you’re a third person invited along with a couple, you’re not a tag-along, you’re a guest. You’re a friend.

But when I first became single again, a few months ago, I didn’t feel like a guest. No matter how much a couple tried to make me feel included, I felt like I was invading their space and time. I felt like a lonely half who needed another. A missing piece. An extra part.

It took me awhile to remember how much I enjoyed hanging with single people when I was half of a couple…how much I wanted them to NOT feel like third wheels. It took me awhile to remember that they weren’t third wheels to me then…I saw them as full people- totally complete on their own. It’s weird how hard it is to see yourself the way you see others. Why would a couple be better than a single? What does that even mean?

I didn’t end up having a bad time at the barbecue. I’ll admit, I felt sad at first…wistful for coupledom. But then I started to have fun, once I settled in. I began to ask questions. I talked to my friend…and her boyfriend. I relaxed and ate barbecue. And I started to let go of looking at myself as an extra. I listened to stories… how couples met, where they lived, what they did. I enjoyed my ride home on the Metronorth with the newlyweds, who had a great first-meeting story and were both super nice. And I stopped feeling like a third wheel. And I stopped feeling alone. I didn’t feel like half a couple. I just felt like me.

 

 

Choosing the Easy Career

Whenever I get blood tests, there’s always a chance I’ll faint. Even if no one’s sticking me with a needle, I may hit the floor from even simply hearing talk of medical exams or blood vessels.

I visited a relative in the hospital last year. A doctor came up to me to explain the testing and examinations they were doing. In the middle of our conversation, I began to hear the familiar ringing in my ears, and my vision started to blur over. “Excuse me,” I said to the doctor, and walked down the hospital hallway. I stood in a corner and tried to make the dizziness stop before I fainted.

I can never be a doctor.

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I sometimes work at medical shows…but I feel fine there. I haven’t fainted yet, anyway.

 

I have similar issues when I fly. During takeoff and landing, I will turn away from whoever I’m talking to. I will put down the book if I’m reading, or look solidly away from my phone. I may close my eyes. These are all preventative tactics I discovered over the years which stop me from developing motion sickness. On boats, these tactics still don’t work, and I have to take dramamine…which still may not work.

I can never be a flight attendant. Nor can I work on a ship.

There are certain careers that just don’t come naturally. You can always excel at a job if you put your mind to it, but sometimes it may be better to forsake certain vocations that are extremely easy for others but super difficult for you.

Not always, of course. If I really wanted to become a doctor or a flight attendant, I guess I could try to fight my natural sickness. But there are many people who don’t get sick at all from these things. They have a natural advantage.

There are less black and white career choices that cause a lot of confusion. I took a computer science class in college and really enjoyed it. However, I was horrible at programming. I just didn’t have a knack for it. Programs that took me two hours to create took many of my classmates 10 minutes. Sure, I’d eventually make the program work, and maybe I’d get faster if I kept at it, but it wasn’t the natural way my brain worked. I got so extremely frustrated with computer programming that I ended my minor in Computer Science and minored in Psychology instead.  Still, I wish I’d stuck it out longer– computer programming is something I still really want to do.

Then there’s acting. I love acting. I’m good at acting. But right now I don’t want it enough to go through the ‘business of acting’ – to act as a career. Some people will give up anything to be an actor- they’ll sacrifice, they’ll go through rejection after rejection, they’ll surrender time and money for quite awhile. And I admire the heck out of them. And I want to want it. But I just don’t want it enough. Especially not to go through all that. Not now, anyway.

Are you happy with your chosen career path? Or are you in a field or at a job where you feel like you’re fighting your natural instincts every day? I’m not saying it’s never worth the fight. Sometimes it totally is, if you want it bad enough. But pick your battles carefully. Look for the balance between what you’ve always been good at and what you’re willing to sacrifice for. And remember that many tasks which seem simple to you may be the same ones that cause others to faint dead away.

 

Do you have a mission statement?

Last night I was down in the dumps, feeling lost and somewhat aimless in my life. A lot of this feeling comes from being in graduate school, in a program where I’m often home alone, writing, trying to will my imagination to work with me, damnit. You would think graduate school would actually provide me with MORE of a sense of focus, but alas, that has not been the case.

I could write with other people, or go to different locations, but I find my best work is done solo in a quiet space. (I might have to re-evaluate this theory soon). When I’m in my own head too long, I tend to go a little stir crazy, but when I have too much social interaction, I also go crazy. It’s all about keeping a fine balance between nurturing my introversion and extroversion.

Back to last night. I poured myself a glass of wine and got into some google searching. I think I started with “thirty something feeling lost,” and found some interesting articles. As long as you don’t go down a crazy rabbit hole time-suck, I highly recommend googling your feelings to make yourself feel less alone.

One of the articles I stumbled upon was about crafting a life mission statement. The kind of mission statement the writer is talking about isn’t the one at the top of your resume, or your LinkedIn profile. This is your personal life mission statement, perhaps oriented around your values or how you want to spend your time.

Here are two anonymous examples I found on franklincovey.com. (This company is a business oriented leadership site, but they had some great examples of personal mission statements.)

“My mission is to give, for giving is what I do best and I can learn to do better.
I will seek to learn, for learning is the basis for growth, and growing is the key to living. I will seek first to understand, for understanding is the key to finding value, and value is the basis for respect, decisions, and action. This should be my first act with my wife, my family, and my business.
I want to help influence the future development of people and organizations. I want to teach my children and others to love and laugh, to learn and grow beyond their current bounds. I will build personal, business, and civic relationships by giving, in frequent little ways.”

I loved this one:

“I want to be the kind of person my dog already thinks I am.”

Do you have a mission statement?

I don’t have one now, but I’m going to craft one soon. Maybe it could help alleviate that ‘lost’ feeling.

Restarting In Your Thirties

Has your computer ever stopped working? Perhaps it completely froze up after you tried to download something, or the timer kept spinning when you attempted to install a new operating system? Were there times when you couldn’t fix the problem? Did you have the urge to take the whole beautiful machine and just throw it on the floor?

Last week I was working at an event in New Orleans where all technology kept breaking down. We had an Apple TV, various iPads, spotty wifi, scanners, lots of sound equipment, HDMI cables, bluetooth, and more all used in our multiple presentations throughout the day. Various times, after troubleshooting a problem for awhile ourselves, we’d break down and have a tech person come over and look at things. More often than not, the solution ended up being:

1. Hold down button to force close device.

2. Count to ten.

3. Push button again to turn on device.

That was it. Then it would be smooth sailing once again. I’d say about 70% of the time, that was all it took. After catching on to this deceptively simple trick, I was troubleshooting issues like a pro, and we had a lot less need for tech support. Strangely enough, people kept commenting on how tech savvy I was, even when I explained the solution to them. 70% of the time, it’s such a simple answer!!

When I got back to New York after the event two days ago, I was exhausted. However, I went to bed really late and didn’t get enough sleep, so I was even more tired yesterday. Still, I put some major items on my to do list for the day. Since I finally had a day off, I was going to attack the list, which included ‘write 3 articles, meditate, switch summer/winter clothes, clean out closet, go for 7 mile run, cook lunches for the week, unpack suitcases and do laundry, clean out email inbox, return all emails. These items seemed pretty basic to me, and I was sure I could get them done in a day. But instead of doing any of them, I forced myself out of bed and wandered my apartment like a maniac, sitting down to meditate and then getting up immediately. I turning on the stove and then turned it off. Sat down, got up, opened the laptop, closed it again. Turned on the shower faucet, turned it off. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt jittery and anxious. An hour or two went by and nothing got accomplished. I berated myself for wasting precious time and made myself even more anxious.

Then I remembered all the ‘broken’ technology this weekend. I felt broken.

And then I thought about my solution. It had worked 70% of the time before: Turn it off. Wait. Turn it back on.

I scrapped my to do list. I lay in bed. I stared at the wall.

Then I opened to a blank page and wrote:

1. Shower

2. Meditate

3. Take care of self.

4. Enjoy day.

I stared at the paper. “I can do this.” It was actually still difficult. I found it hard to move, but eventually I dragged myself into the shower.

With that simple action, I started to move forward, and afterwards I turned on my meditation music and stayed seated. When I finished, I stared at the ceiling again for awhile. Then I watched a show on Netflix. Then I went and met a friend for dinner. I listened to podcasts on the subway. My shoulders slowly unclenched. Then I slept for almost 12 hours last night… I must’ve been pretty tired.

Today I feel slightly better than yesterday, although I’m still prioritizing a careful need for rest. And for time.

Sometimes solutions are as simple as turning off and turning back on again. Meanwhile, let yourself enjoy the off moments in between. Sometimes you just need to restart. Try it for yourself- it seems to work 70 percent of the time.

 

 

Help! I’m 30 and Never Followed My Childhood Dream!

There was this episode of “How I Met Your Mother” where Ted and the gang all realize that they may never accomplish “someday” childhood career dreams they’re all still holding onto.

Someone had always wanted to be a painter, someone else a rockstar, and then there were a few really ridiculous ideas…I can’t remember all of the dreams. The gang reminisces about the career pursuits they once longed for. Some of them try to pursue the dreams once again in order to turn them into a reality. They realize they’ve all been hoping to accomplish their childhood dreams ‘one day.’ By the end of the half hour, they let the dreams go, and keep on the path they were on before. The moral seems to be: we need to put those childhood dreams to rest for something better to take hold in our lives.’

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Lily wants to be a painter. Barney wants to be…a knight? Who knows? Hahaha, he’s pretty funny no matter what.

 

I was never satisfied with that episode. I think one of the reasons it got under my skin was that my career path has taken such a different turn from what I’d originally expected. When I watched that episode, I wondered if I’d given up on my childhood career dream. Am I still holding on to the belief that I’ll one day pick up my former dream again? Is that belief false?

Right now, I’m a self-employed Corporate Spokesperson and Product Specialist (to be better explained in another post), and I work in a lot of different industries, traveling at least half the time. I really enjoy what I do. When I don’t ponder dream careers and childhood ‘what I want to be when I grow up’s”, I feel a deep satisfaction with my job….for now. But then I think along the lines of: ‘Am I pursuing my dreams?’ ‘Is my inner child satisfied?’ ‘Do I know what my career dreams are?’ The questions lead me down all sorts of analytical paths.

I wonder what it means to feel satisfied right now while not pursuing my childhood dream. 

I wonder what my career dream really is. I always thought I wanted to be an actor- but that’s not my dream at the moment. What do I make of that? Have I given up? Was it never really my dream?

I think of the famous men and women who began what became their ‘defining career start’ later in life. The long list of people includes Vera Wang (40 when she entered the fashion industry), Henry Ford (57 when he created the Model T), Suze Orman (36 when she started her financial group), Gene Hackman (37 when he got his first film role), Colonel Sanders (62 when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken), Stan Lee (38 when he created his first comic: The Fantastic Four), Julia Child (50 when her first cookbook came out), Laura Ingalls Wilder (65 when the “Little House on the Prairie” books came out)….and many more.

Some of these people pursued a childhood dream that was finally accomplished late in life, and others ended up on a completely new career path…or two or three. I’m sure all of them had moments of confusion about the paths they were on. I’m sure they had many more moments of feeling like they failed. But the important part was that they kept on, proving that they were trying even while possibly failing and failing again.

Right now, I’m satisfied with my career. I’m not pursuing my childhood dream, but it’s not what I want at the moment. And for now, all I can do is listen to my gut. There are times when I’m filled with doubt, and times when I feel confused, but I find clarity in trusting myself and continuing forward, trying to be brave enough to fail and fail again. I make changes as I go, add and subtract, and above all, I continue questioning.

Careers twist and turn, and it’s both okay to pursue your childhood dream with a vengeance, or to let it go to make room for other dreams…or then to pick it back up again years later. Stay honest with yourself, know it’s never too late, and let yourself question your dreams, both old and new.

 

The Difficult Simplicity of You Celebrating You

Have you ever wanted to become somebody else?

Perhaps you’re at a party and a friend starts telling hilarious jokes or pulls out her best French accent. You suddenly wish you knew more jokes or had a fun accent ready to go as well.

Then you’re scrolling through Facebook and you see an acquaintance with a perfect bikini body who always seems to be drinking Mai Tais in Cancun. And/or you’re slammed with post after post of perfect engagements or amazing job titles. You wonder why you’re single and pasty white from lack of beach time fun..and also, how come you never tried to become an opera singer? Why didn’t you have the idea 10 years ago to begin computer programming or get an MBA?

Jane recently wrote about five things you should leave behind in your twenties. “Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated” slammed me in the face as the hardest lesson I’ve grappled with this year. It’s a difficult lesson when you’re constantly unsure how to celebrate yourself…because you’re not exactly sure who it is you’re celebrating.

I’m an extremely curious person and I’ve spent a lot of life wanting to be everyone at the same time. I’m in a state of constant wonderment about other lifestyles, other careers, and other ways of living. I make decisions about who I am slowly and carefully…and as I’m trying to pick a lifestyle from an endless array of choices, I ignore the lifestyle I’m already living. The hardest person for me to see has always been myself.

As I’ve realized this in my absolute latest twenties, life has gotten slightly easier. Maybe I don’t have to be the person who has tons of jokes up her sleeve or can command a room with a party quirk…maybe I can keep my natural ways of being a great listener and observer instead. That’s more the person I organically am.

And when I turn away from Facebook for awhile, and alternatively enjoy a morning mediation, I even feel comfortable alone with myself in the moment, far away from the stress of who I might become.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve had trouble knowing how to celebrate yourself. A major key is to find the difference between two desires: the desire to better who you are and the desire to become a different person. One desire is healthy and will push you forward (even though it may feel scary and difficult at times), but the other desire will scatter your energy and throw you out of balance …because it isn’t you.

Bettering yourself can mean anything from embracing your natural tendency towards unique clothing choices to signing up for a half marathon because you love running to letting yourself feel confident while remaining silent. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not naturally sarcastic, or naturally size 0, or a naturally a great software developer.

Yes, of course you can change, but it’s easiest to change into the best version of the self that comes naturally, easily, when no one is looking.

Celebrate that person, no matter where and who you are right now.

 

 

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