Who I Am Out Loud

I accept who I am, unequivocally. With only nominal shame… as we all tend to foster, thankfully in intermittent waves.

We’re taught that personality is great, but it should be relatively muted. Your friends will adore you, but there are things to be kept private. A corporation will ultimately pay you to be the person they need. So you better put on a suit and slick back your hair into a low pony.

I’ve struggled with this immensely. The cognitive dissonance of a smoker. Constantly unsure but obedient.

I don’t believe a woman’s value rests in her appearance, but dressing well can help further your personal, internal endeavors. And what is a reputation if not an intangible appearance?

And yet… and yet.

It took a minute, but I accept who I am now. I even accept all the things I’ve done and undergone and felt. Foolishly and otherwise.

Level two is to speak it out loud.

There are things I dare to write down, making them settled and grounded.  But to say them out loud, well then they’re alive. They’ve been passed along to another human and given a life of their own, independent from my restraints. Free to be passed again, separate from me and my over-bearance.

And it’s easier to declare who I am to strangers – let the abyss of anonymity absolve and dissipate as it will. But when it comes to family and friends who feel like family – well shoot they stick around. So to give them those pieces is the biggest commitment of all.

Sometimes my tongue, thick with wine, speaks of it’s own accord. Truth uttered under the false pretense of safety and courage; and that’s when that shame rears up. This is who I am, but perhaps I should use the sheath of privacy a bit more? Restrain my facial reactions. Put on more of a show.

I’m always reminding myself that despite my own failures, there’s a bigger power above who’s watching out for me. Keeping me safe. He’ll watch over my words even when they’re no longer mine to covet.

And yet, I’ve been so conflicted lately. Wondering what the actual heck I’m doing. The contradictions within myself are so clearly inspired by societal expectations, but confusing nonetheless.

A year ago I would spend my Friday nights solo at spin/yoga. Consequentially I was told I worked too much, I needed to go out more. I’m still told I work too much, but now I also go out too much. It doesn’t matter that I’m happy, I was happy before, I’m happy now; I sleep as much (read: as little) as I ever did.

Why do I let my loved ones have a say? Why do I let it bug me when my mother wishes I had a graduate degree, wishes I dated more, wishes I’d submit my writing to actual publications? I know my course. I’m freakin Pocahontas, just around the river bend.

To tell my friends and family who I am, to speak it out loud, is to permit them to have an opinion. I’m handing them my personhood on a silver platter with a toothpick, encouraging them to poke away at the Jordan Jello Mold.

And yet, and yet…

Steph (one of those friends who feels like family) and I went to a Women Empowered panel event yesterday and it finally connected the dots.

Danika Brysha stated that people need to hear your truth. You need to speak who you are out loud. There was no “if, ands, or buts.”

Lindsey & Krista stated a big “eff you” to all the people who think their own personal work-life balance is off kilter.

And Jessica Suchan stated that she, a nutritionist, had no problem sleeping in, drinking wine, eating sugar. Not all the time, but it wasn’t a “slip up” either. Screw the societal shame embedded on our souls.

Let’s also acknowledge the fact that this random chick I went to high school with was also in the audience of the panel event last night. And I really wanted to say “Dood, Krista and Linds, thank you for saying that. I’m so sick of hearing how social I am with that condecending tone.” But was equally fearful this girl would look at me and be like, “Well you’re clearly over compensating for what a loner you were in high school.”

So I shrunk back. It was a weird moment. My past was infiltrating my present.

But ya know, that independence, those loners tendencies, they’re a huge catalyst for why I’m so social now. I know I don’t need people –  but I want them – I love to love on them. It’s so sincere and so good. And it’s probably a huge factor for why I have such an incredible social network in the City of Facades. No shame in that.

Well so after last night, here’s what I’m moving forward with:

  • I have faith that the little tiny things I do are making a difference.
  • I know that by living in my truth, on paper and out loud, I’m living my best life.
  • I need you all to know that despite my Instagram posts, I’m still insecure as heck. I convince myself once or twice a week that I don’t deserve my friends, I don’t deserve my job, I don’t even deserve my car or my treehouse.
  • I used to pray to be cool, now I pray to be humble. And am currently unsure where the dividing line between self-loathing and humility is.
  • I’m going to continue living out loud because Danika tells me to. And she’s so much farther ahead in her journey so I’m just going to trust her, regardless of what my insecurities are screaming at me.
  • I’m going to focus on giving the best version of myself. And you do that when you fill your cup first, and give everyone else the overflow instead of a depleted version.  (Danika, obvi.)
  • I’m going to focus on my morning routine and my goals a bit more. I did that today when I skipped my workout to sleep, write, cook, and deep clean. My Self Care prioritized over my Neurotics.
  • Changes need to come slowly and be based in self love… (Danika, the next freakin Oprah.)
  • I deserve good people and I deserve good, quality time with them. I don’t need to earn it. (This ones from me because it’s something I’ve been working on.)

Well so I think that’s it, but I’m 100% implementing some of Danika’s practices. Especially her morning  routines.  So stay tuned and TBD.

Categories: Musings & Epiphanies

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