Just to be a girl, content with her thoughts.
A lofty but worthy aspiration.
My eight year old daughter asks me all the time, “Mommy, what’s your favorite color?”
My answer is always grey but I guess since her favorite color changes every week, she thinks that mine will eventually change too.
I’m drawn to muted colors and earth tones, but if I have to give one answer, it is always grey.
My daily wardrobe consists mostly of white, black and grey tees, skinny jeans and leggings. I love fashion but I don’t like having too many choices. There’s always a lot going on in my head, so I like my wardrobe to be plain. It soothes me.
I tried to follow fads and trends for years but I never felt totally at home with myself. Now that my hair is natural and free and my clothes are simple, I feel like I know this person. She’s been in there all along and it feels good to let her out.
While I embrace my plainness now, I once thought it was something I needed to fix. I never felt content, no outfit was ever good enough. I was trying too hard. I craved simplicity, but I didn’t know it at the time. I just knew that something was off.
Do you ever have that feeling? Like something is missing and you don’t feel quite right in your skin?
My older sister told me that I would begin to feel more comfortable in my skin once I hit 30.
She was right, but I naively thought this feeling would wash over me all at once and it didn’t happen that way. It happened (and is happening) in a series of imperceptible shifts. Small moments where I make different decisions. Where I opt to follow my own feelings instead of going with the crowd. After 30, I realized that I was striving and sabotaging myself all at the same time, running in place. I was tired of the crowd telling me what they liked, didn’t like, how I should talk and how I should feel. I began to rebel against it.
Sometimes I wish I’d discovered this positive rebellion sooner, in my twenties maybe. I could have wasted less time. But I had to get hurt to know I could survive it. I had to go from here to there and back again, carrying my hurt with me in order to realize that I was clinging to it.
The life I was living was making me physically and emotionally sick. I had so much pain inside and no one could attend to it but me. I started thinking about the life I wanted to live and I began considering the idea that I could actually live it. On purpose. Based on my own preferences. My whole life I’d been on this journey, but this is when I became aware of it. There is no wasted time. No such thing as too late.
Do you ever feel like it’s too late for you? Like everyone knows something that you don’t and you’ll never figure it out?
I’ve always thought of myself as a smart person who doesn’t have the common sense or discipline to effectively exploit her intelligence.
In other words, an underachiever. Doing average things with average enthusiasm. Again, missing something.
As soon as a venture or activity got uncomfortable, I would quit. I would self-sabotage and make excuses. If someone would criticize me or question my efforts, I would stick my tail between my legs and run away. I felt like I didn’t have the right to be uncertain. When I looked around, everyone seemed so sure of themselves. I didn’t want to try and fail. I was under the illusion that following a good feeling without guarantees was foolish.
I wanted a trigger to draw me out of my complacency. A sign from God. A purpose. Something to make me feel like my journey had meaning. I was used to looking at the world as a hostile place that didn’t cooperate with sensitive souls like me. I felt no connection to the images and definitions of success that were presented to me, so I felt no motivation to pursue them.
Do you ever feel stuck and unmotivated, plagued with the persistent feeling that you are meant to do more with your life but not sure where to start?
Plain Jane. Late Bloomer. Underachiever. I let these words restrict me for a long time. Maybe you have different limiting beliefs, but the way out is the same.
Self-Love. No matter what thoughts come to you, be kind and gentle with yourself.
Self-Reflection. Acknowledge the limiting thoughts that you are placing on yourself. See how they make you feel and decide whether the feelings empower you or not. Do these beliefs make you feel strong and confident or self-conscious and afraid? Just feel it. Don’t judge it.
Self-Possession. Decide how you do want to feel and how you can think about these limitations so that they empower you. In my case, I may not win any awards for ‘Best Dressed’, but I know that when I dress to please myself I feel beautiful and confident and free. I feel responsible for my own happiness, no longer uncomfortable in my skin.
Self-Awareness. Be aware of your power to choose and practice using it every day. Know your preferences and honor them. Trust your journey and don’t compare it others. Instead of beating yourself up, focus on creating positive energy within yourself. Appreciate where you are so you can move forward with courage and gratitude.