Life’s Reflection

On Tuesday we talked about taking up space. Today I want to talk about how we are living life.

For most of my life I lived my life so I didn’t upset specific people and so I could earn the love of other specific people. As I got older, moved out on my own, and started working in a professional environment, that need to not upset people expanded. The first 30 or so years of my life are absolutely a reflection of me not wanting to upset people. Over the past four years, I have started to live my life as a reflection of who I want to be. Of course, I didn’t just flip a switch. These past four years are intertwined with me not wanting to upset people and me living for who I want to be.

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What is Failing Imperfectly?

I brought my dream of sharing life with you to life on June 12, 2018 after many other iterations that I grew out of. Over the past two years, I have been inconsistent and more recently, consistent at sharing my thoughts and learnings with you. I’ve hit heavy topics and I’ve danced around topics. I’ve played it safe and I’ve let it all hang out there. Over these past two years, I haven’t sat down to work out a clear vision of where I want Failing Imperfectly to go. I’ve dawdled around with what felt right, never having a clear goal in mind. Until now…

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Follow Up: I Can’t Do What I Need in My Own Home

I wrote Fear: I Can’t Do What I Need in My Own Home a few months ago, but I have returned to this fear and to this struggle. This time is different. I offered to let a friend stay with us until her renters move out at the end of May. She has stayed with us for just about a month and it has been one of the most difficult months of my life.

I have a deep rooted need for control, especially in my own home. My friend is so different from me, which isn’t a bad thing, that her schedule each day is completely different. She cooks separate meals at a much later time. She doesn’t get up very early in the morning and the room she is in is right next to my office. None of these are major issues, simply things that change my way of living.

I am a creature of habit and am very specific about how my things are used and treated. I have lost my ability to play music before 8:00 am on a work day or to leave my office door open all day, whether or not I’m on a work call. I am struggling with someone else using all of my dishes and cooking in my kitchen. I am struggling with my refrigerator being extremely full. Oh and we are still in the recommendation of social distancing and her office is still not fully open.

I am struggling with impacting her life or inconveniencing her. It is a mix of me being more worried about her than myself and me being possessive. I am struggling with another cook in my kitchen, a really fucking awesome cook at that.

I feel like this season happened to help me grow. I am being pushed outside of my comfort zone and it is definitely uncomfortable. There is nothing my friend is doing wrong. She hasn’t broken or ruined anything in the kitchen. This is all me and I know it.

I’ve also come to realize that I really suck at small talk. As in, I don’t know how to do it. At all. I struggle with being told the same story multiple times.

Why am I sharing this? Because I know I am not the only one struggling with the need for complete control or the only one who sucks as small talk. I know that you might be just like me.

I also know that no matter how difficult this season feels, I am growing through it. There is something I’m meant to learn from it. Maybe my capacity for not having complete control is being expanded a little. Maybe I’m being challenged to learn how to engage in small talk. I haven’t figured out exactly what my takeaway or takeaways will be, but I know that I keep finding myself in this situation for a reason.

What is currently challenging you?

Special

I just want to feel special.

Ever had that feeling? No? Are you sure?

I thought I was above that kind of need. I didn’t want to be a person who needed to feel special. I saw those people as being self-centered.

Until I started doing self-care and personal growth. Then I realized that it is okay to want to feel special. In fact, feeling special is such a good feeling that not many people get to experience.

By now, if you have read any number of my other posts, you might recognize that I wasn’t really ever made to feel special growing up. I grew to believe that I didn’t deserve it. (See What We Deserve) I made events like my wedding about everybody else. I didn’t even demand to have much for myself, it was all to make sure everybody enjoyed the day and everybody else was taken care of. Oh and things went according to schedule. I truly regret this about my wedding. But I didn’t know any better.

It is only within the past few weeks that I have started to allow myself to desire feeling special. So I thought. Well, at least in conversations with my husband. But during my meditation this morning, I realized that I was holding onto a past dream because of the feelings of being special I have wrapped around it.

I have been holding onto the feeling of getting pregnant and the baby shower that is all about me and the baby. I have been holding onto the dream of feeling a baby move within me while having people be interested in me without there being some health issue that I’m working through. I’ve been holding onto what I deemed the love that I would finally get because I got pregnant.

I wanted to feel special and in my subconscious, getting pregnant would give me those feelings.

I don’t have to get pregnant to be special. I’m not going to get pregnant just to feel special. That doesn’t work anyways.

I just have to treat myself as though I am special. I cannot expect anybody else to do it for me. To feel special, I have to start treating myself that way.

I want to feel special and I am going to treat myself as though I am.

Just Do It

Remember that slogan that Nike uses? Yeah, I’m not talking about that today. Today I’m talking about just getting better or just being better or just stop caring about what others think. I’m talking about being told to just do it. I’m talking about the feeling of ‘why can’t I just flip a switch and be who I want to be’?

I’ve been told ‘just stop’ for many things be a few people. They think that it is easy to just flip a switch and stop worrying or stop having anxiety. They tell me to ‘just stop’ but they continue to criticize for the same things. We like to say it is because of them that we can’t move on.

Wrong.

It is our choice to listen to them and digest what they are telling us. It is our choice to shut them down when they go on another rant at us. It is our choice to stick up for ourselves. We simply have to just do it. It’s that simple.

Except it isn’t. Why? Why isn’t it that simple? Because there are a lot of emotions and feelings and subconscious thoughts that we have never controlled before. Hell, we’ve probably never even acknowledged any of the emotions or feelings. So no, we can’t just do it.

What about those of us who have been working on self-care and growth for months or years? Shouldn’t it be easy to just do it? I mean, some people think so. But it really isn’t that easy.

I am here to tell you that I go through ups and downs every single day, week, month. As I am writing this, I am getting ready to watch RiseX Live with a beautiful morning. I feel fucking fantastic and like all of my struggles are washed away. But then I realized, how the hell can I not maintain this feeling and confidence every single moment of every single day?

Because it isn’t that easy. It takes work and focus and intentionality. I look back and realize that anytime my subconscious and emotions take over, I am not focusing and I am not being intentional. You see, all that work I do, all that learning I’ve been doing, I have to keep doing it. I have to be diligent and consistent and intentional in bringing what I’m learning to how I live my every single day.

Growing and living the life that we really want isn’t about just doing it. It’s about the ups and the downs and the learning and the application. As Rachel Hollis says, “knowledge isn’t power, applied knowledge is power.”

So yes, just apply the knowledge. Apply it every single day. And when you take a step backward, that’s okay. Keep going. Don’t live in that backward space. Acknowledge it and journal on it to discover and unpack what is in that space.