Almost exactly 2 years I headed out to NJ to spend the weekend with my sister in law Karina. She had married my brother in law just 3 months earlier and I was determined to build a better relationship with my new sister.
Such a simple thing and most wouldn’t understand why it was such a big deal, heading out to NJ to spend quality time with Karina. Well let me be the first to tell you – IT WAS HUGE FOR ME!! I am not a people person, I cannot stand being outside of my comfort zone, and I am easily intimidated. I had created like the perfect little storm for an extreme anxiety attack by planning and actually follow through with my plans that weekend. I ended up having a great time… and that weekend changed me. It was almost 2 years ago during that weekend that I knew I needed to make a change. I needed to find myself and stop being who I thought I was supposed to be all the time and just be myself. So began my findingmyself journey.
This journey had not been an easy one. Not easy in the slightest. I mean, I have been reading books, writing in my journal like always, listening to podcasts, etc. I try to be more aware of what is around me. Trying to be more open and social. (okay, well I have been doing “kind of” well on them ore social front). SO why do I still feel empty? Why do I still feel lost? What exactly am I even trying to find, and why am I even trying to find it? Are any of these tears that I have been shedding – do they symbolize anything, have any meaning behind them?
Why, in all of the books that I read does this journey seem so much easier. I mean, there are struggles and such, but it seems as though they get through it much quicker and with more definite answers. what am I talking about- I know that isn’t entirely true. It’s just hard to tell the actual time table when reading or listening to book. I just feel like such a failure, like I am not progressing the way that I should be. In 2 years shouldn’t I feel like I have found myself or feel like I closer to finding myself. Uuuuugggghhhhhhh!
The truth is- NO! Not necessarily. Since when was there a set guideline on”finding yourself” and how long it should take? There isn’t. But my need for control gets in the way. My need for control SCREAMS that I am failing, that I am too slow, that I must be doing something wrong.
Then reality sets in- Why the hell do I feel the need to put rules on ANYTHING, everything for that matter. Every time I choose a goal- and as you can tell by my sporadic blog posts, that is quite often – I create all of these rules in my head, some attainable, some extreme, some absolutely ludacris. It’s like I am utimately setting myself up for failure.. because the moment I fall short on one of these “rules”, I beat myself up. Criticized myself. Feel sorry for myself. Treat myself in a way that I would never treat anyone else(or at least hope that I never would).
And at that moment- the moment that reality actually set in- I was listening to, “The Love Warrior,” by Glennon Doyle Melton in my car. I don’t know exactly what Glennon was saying, but I do know that something clicked and I burst into tears- ugly, loud, sobbing tears. At a stop light, getting off the highway to pick up Myles and Mayci, crying hysterically while trying to keep the tears from blocking my vision- I realized that I was going about this all wrong. It is isn’t that I am doing anything wrong. It isn’t that the person that I currently am is wrong. Those are lies that I have been telling myself and believing for years.
The truth is, I was never lost. It isn’t truly about finding myself. I have been hiding. For years… Decades even. Who I am hasn’t been locked away or even far away. That person has always been right beneath the surface. I just covered it up with layers upon layers. As I was growing up, I suffered from anxiety then too- just more silently than I do now. That’s the thing with growing up, having kids, and wanting to “find” yourself- you start to be a little more vocal about things. But anyway, as I was saying, as I was growing up I allowed the thing to made me anxious take over and build a small barrier over who I was to help protect me from the next time. I allowed myself to peek through these layers at times, but then I would expose too much and pull that layer blanket right back up over my head, until that weekend in NJ when I realized that these blankets were making me feel lost. So then I started my finding myself journey.
But, nope – IM NOT LOST! Through an ugly cry in the car, I realized this finding myself journey is really just a self discovery journey. I am rediscovering the person that I am. I am relearning how to love myself. Not in the conceited , I am better than everyone way- but in a way that is so pure and so raw that it allows me to be able to love on others the same way. We cannot give from an empty cup and I had allowed my cup to be completely empty.
I am crawling out from my hiding place. I am no longer trying to find a person to become and call that person me. I am crawling out from my hiding place. I am ripping these layers off one by one… Painful it may be, but do it I shall! I am going to live! Like, really live! No rules! No guidelines! No self deprecating! I am just going to do. Just going to be. Just going to show myself and LIVE! I am going to do things that make me scared. Do things that make me nervous. Do things that I love. Do things that may be wrong, but I am going to do them all the same. The thing with all of this hiding is that I allowed myself to miss out on so much. I haven’t ever lived. I am going to stop being afraid to post my blog posts. I am going to sing out loud in my car regardless of what others may think. I am going to attempt recipes even though they may fail horribly. I am going to finish school and finally get my bachelor’s degree. When someone upsets me, I am going to tell them, respectfully of course I am going to tell them. I will accept reponsibility for my actions and no longer blame others for my unhappiness. I will work hard but learn to play hard too. I will not allow the world and upside factors to harden me. I will be soft and gentle and teach the same to my children. I will volunteer like I always want to and help to make a difference in the world. I will begin to put my family first.
My goal in life is to be a kind, gentle, warrior. I want to break down the very walls that I have built with grace and love. I will create an environment in myself that makes other feel safe and secure. I am crawling out from my hiding place. It is going to be a slow and steady crawl, filled with pain, sweat, and tears. For the first time ever, I am going to really FREE MYSELF!
And so it begins…