I have a confession to make: I still feel like a teenager most of the time. Not in the obnoxious “I am invincible and the centre of the world” way that people associate with teens (I kind of skipped that stage). No, it’s just that I feel like everyone else knows better than me and everyone else’s opinion matters more.
Yesterday I had a realization (this makes my husband giggle because I seem to announce sweeping realizations every day)…my realization was: “HOLY CRAP, I AM GOING TO BE THIRTY NEXT MONTH!!!”
Now, I didn’t have this in a sad “I’m getting OLD” kind of way. I had it in a strange, comforting “I’m not a kid. I’m a WOMAN” kind of way. And what it really brought up for me was a need to finally FINALLY grow into myself. If I had to choose one word about how I’ve lived my life up to this point it would be “tentative.” Apart from a few very notable exceptions, such as getting together with my husband and marrying him a year later, doing my DansKinetics teacher training at Kripalu, and having a baby, every single part of my life is full of “almosts.” I almost went to France for a year. I almost auditioned for the dance program at Simon Fraser University, I almost became an intern for a publishing company. I dreamed all kinds of dreams and then let them fizzle. Some of this was good. Some of it was necessary and sprang from the realization that I didn’t actually *want* that dream. But I would be kidding myself if I tried to say that every single time I backed away from a leap it was because I really didn’t want what was on the other side. It sounds like I’m berating myself, but I swear I’m not.
Actually, even more than “tentative,” my life up to this point (apart from the aforementioned exceptions and several other ones, now that I think about it), has been “apologetic.” It really kills me is how much I’ve felt like I need to apologize all the time. It’s this cringing “Oh no I messed up please don’t be mad at me even though I had no control over this situation and you could have done something about it too” guilt and it makes me feel shrunken and small and afraid all the time. The paralyzing fear of making a decision in case it’s the wrong one. The fear of feeling what I feel and telling someone in case it upsets them. The constant dance of “Oh, I need to watch what I say because I don’t want to state an opinion that will draw attention to me” and “If I do X, Y, or Z, will I get into ‘trouble'” (with whom is never specified). The feeling of not being enough, having enough or doing enough is overwhelming…insanely so considering the number of SARK books I’ve read in my life.
The other day I was in the car and I saw this woman walking down the street. She was dressed in a black blouse cinched at the waist with a wide black belt. She had flowing black pants. Her long brown hair was down and she carried a tote bag and she was, frankly, magnificent. She looked so comfortable in her own skin, so sure and joyful and present in her own life that she took my breath away. I wanted to BE her. Not in an “I don’t want to be me” self-loathing kind of way. I just wanted to feel that sure-ness and presence and absence-of-apology. It was so inspiring.
I keep having these “realizations,” but this one feels bigger. It feels like I’m really and truly on the brink of something major, and with just a little intention I can get there…to me. I’d like to be me. I seem to be a pretty awesome person, and people like me. I’d just like to rest in that and stop worrying so much. It would be so wonderful to let myself feel good enough and really take pleasure in who I am as a woman. And it would be so much easier to make progress with my dreams if I wasn’t fighting against my teenager-self all the time. Instead of “Oh, I should have done more,” or “I suck because I did X instead of Y,” I could say “You know what, I did my best. I’m doing my best. I’m a human being too.” Just writing that makes me want to cry with relief.
So my intention for this week, and from now until my birthday, is to Blossom. I want to step into myself. I want to follow the joy, to remember that woman walking down the street and learn from her. Instead of seeing all the amazing creative souls online and feeling inferior, I choose to feel inspired. Because I am one of them…of you. And if I just let myself FEEL that, I think magic awaits.
Here’s to a month-and-nine-days of blossoming into my thirty-year-old self. I am so excited!