I don’t have a thoughtful introduction to this post. I sat down to write something else and this is what happened. It spoke so truthfully and powerfully to me that I decided to let it fly off the page to you.
And man, aren’t we trying to do it all? Be fit. Exercise. Eat the right foods. Drink our juices. Eat our veges. Buy the right stuff. Wear the right clothes. Get our hair done right. Use the right face cream, floss, get outside, write positive affirmations, call our parents, answer all of our emails, do well at work, overwork, start a career, make some money, prove ourselves, keep date night going, get a date, get a good date, get a fall-in-love date, journal, draw, do yoga. Pilates. CrossFit. Spend more time with our friends. Tell the truth. Get sexy new lingerie. Try to be ourselves and not care. Really try not to care.
Seeing everyone else’s life as perfect. She’s the perfect wife. The perfect mother. The perfect entrepreneur. She’s the perfect everything. Comparing. Self-loathing. Judging. Judging to feel better. At least I’m better than her. We want to be our best. But deep down inside, sometimes that means being like someone else.
We finally (please, please) want to love our bodies. We have to face aging. We have to leave old selves behind and figure out how to live as our new selves. New wives. New life stages. Newly-hired. Newly-fired. Divorced. Left behind by a loved one. Heartbroken. Dream shattered. We are exhausted. Bitter. Resentful. Tired. Some of us are soooooo tired. We are overworked and overwhelmed.
We are under-loved. Under-nourished. Under-honoured. Under-respected. By ourselves.
We are great at multitasking and victim complaining. We suck at self-love and protecting ourselves.
We are undersexed. Under-joyed. We feel guilty. We feel like idiots. Losers. The only person who just can’t figure it out. Get it right. Succeed. Get it together. We aren’t good enough to be loved. To be cared for. To relax. To be adored….just because. To be as rich as we want. As brave as we want.
We are stressed. About everything. Even about relaxing and not being stressed.
We miss our old selves. Our vibrant, alive, sassy, sexy days. We look into a future that looks a lot like today. Except we are older and fatter and more depressed.
And yet. We learn. We get inspired. We feel a rush of energy and jump into something. We take risks. We close our eyes and trust ourselves…even when we are scared shitless. We reach out. We try our best to be real….to be vulnerable. We treasure those conversations that come along like manna from heaven – that lets us know. You are not alone.
We dream. We desire. We feel wisdom and power rising up from inside us. We know there is more. To life. To us. We dream of our glory. We dream of possibilities. And all the while, we wake up and get on with it. With the kids. With the job. With the long hours. With the shitty boss. With the tense relationship. With the aches and pains. The exhaustion. The unforgiving pace of life. With the work and the responsibilities and the endless endless work. We overwork and undercharge. We make the lunches, we buy the next size up. We stock the fridge, we make the appointments, we do favours for friends that cost us energy, time, money or spiritually.
We are self-conscious. Still. Especially around that certain group of women that make us feel like we are back in high school. Their lives are so perfect. They are confident and happy and worthy of everything they want. And they do want. And they do ask. And we hate them for that. Even though we wish we had the guts to do it too. They look like they belong. In the world. That the world belongs to them.
We miss our old selves. Even when we love our jobs, our kids, our husbands, our lives. And we are afraid to bitch about it because we are so lucky to have what we have. We don’t feel like we deserve to ask for more. And on top of all of this, you want to be happy and fulfilled? You greedy bitch. Who are you to ask for more?
We are dying, finally, to just be ourselves. To feel confident walking into a party just being ourselves. We are dying to be free. From what our parents expect. Our partners. The world. What we have been taught to do. We are dying to write our own stories. But some days, there just isn’t enough energy to change a thing. It seems impossible.
We spend a lot of time being anxious about everything. We can’t sit down and relax. Until we sit down and collapse. We numb ourselves with wine, television, social media, anything to get us from thinking about our lives and our deep deep yearnings. We are afraid of them. They are too deep, too big, too powerful. We keep them in their cages. But, somewhere inside, we know that they are leaking out. That yearning is leaking out and sometimes it feels like wine and sometimes it feels like poison.
We want to scream and yell and shout but our throats feel tight and afraid. We want to say so much, tell our truth but our words die on our tongues. We open our mouths….and out comes lies. Half-truths. Change the topic. Diluted truths. Sanitized versions. Prettied-up talk.
We scoff at words like divine feminine. Goddess. Priestess. We pretend that we don’t want to feel honoured. Adored. Sacred. It scares us, this willingness to go into that place. We are terrified of going beyond what we know. Our fear of growing too much, feeling too much, wanting too much, changing too much, being too much holds us in our nice white chairs as we feed our children, prepare dinner, let the man talk first, fluff our pillows and avoid desserts. Above all, be nice.
We fear that flying towards something brighter will leave behind our husband. Our friends. Our work, our kids. Our parents. It is a constant fight inside of us with our heart frantically beating it’s wings to fly and our fearful arms keeping us wrapped in tight.
We shut down. We turn off. We hide. We shut away. We smile and pretend. We break down. We break apart. We silently call out for help and understanding. Please let me know that I am not alone.
And yet. Sometimes we look in the mirror and we love what we see. We open up to someone…and are intoxicated by not having to pretend anymore. We sign up for workshops, we go on retreats, we spend money on ourselves and walk away from the guilt, we sign up for salsa lessons, we drop friends who don’t make us feel good, we ask the woman who looks like fun out for a coffee. We try on our lingerie. We try not to judge. We realize things about ourselves. Our parents. We start to build our own world. Have the courage to paint with our own colours. We dare. We try. We dream. We open. We turn our faces toward the sun and close our eyes. We allow our shoulders to drop. The dishes to pile up while we have a kitchen dance party. We cry. We create. We destroy something to make room for something new. We walk out of the door. Away from the job. Away from the relationship. We start making boundaries. Eating better. Going for walks. Whispering to ourselves, I promise to take care of you.
We turn our faces toward the sun and close our eyes. Whispering to ourselves, I promise to take care of you.