Lately I have been observing and thinking more in depth as I notice an expression or the disposition of the women surrounding me. I have seen pain, exhaustion, worry, fear, happiness, love, and this sort of mysterious wonder. I look in the mirror and at times I don’t recognize the person staring back at me. I see the fine lines making themselves all too comfortably at home, embedding themselves deeper and deeper with each passing day. There are moments I catch a glimpse of the younger version of me and I sigh in relief, “oh there you are… thank goodness, I thought I had lost you for good.” It’s quite remarkable the variance in opinion from day to day of one self, maybe even hour to hour or dusk to dawn. It’s a battle, it causes doubt, worry, fear, stress, regret even… why didn’t I take better care of my self, why didn’t I eat better, why… why… why…, how? How did I get here? Who am I? Am I happy? Is this who I want to be? How can I be better? The list is endless really.
That’s the story I have been trying to read, study, better understand of myself and those around me.
As I have spent time in this reflection and acceptance of the evolving self, I came across a poem I wrote in college. The assignment was to write a poem about a journey or an experience that was impacting your journey. I read this poem and was reminded of this person that I used to be and better understood how I got where I am today.
She is down on love, but she is not broken.
She will become stronger & better from the Break-up, not chosen.
She will gain strength & find peace within.
Though, for a few moments,
She is frozen.
She finds herself out of luck, down &
She is brave, yet scared,
Challenged and ongoing.
She will not let this life’s challenge beat her.
Her scars are what make her beautiful,
Her story is a remarkable one.
She is becoming,
Little Miss Everything!
These are the things we carry, although the difficulties and struggles do find a way at becoming a little unfamiliar and more distant as we move past them and further along in our lives, but they are not forgotten. I am reminded that my struggles became my greatest triumphs and that because I have seen immense pain and loss, I am aware of my gains. I feel so deeply for those around me, always seeking acceptance and genuine love. Although I would not run to the front of the line if asked for volunteers to live through some of the things that I have again, I wouldn’t jump out of the line either. I am glad for the times I was lost, only in those times, did I find a greater me or purpose. However, the trick is that you cannot wallow or stay in your darkest times too long, that is the thing that could pull you down, drown you. It’s finding a way to seek your lesson, learn, and grow. Move on, move forward. You have to evolve and never settle, that’s the tricky piece as you embark on a better journey of self.
I share this with you today because I believe that it is through vulnerable and genuine sharing of ones self, we might better understand another. We may better practice empathy, give one another a bit more space or room to be imperfect, and be kinder to those around us (and to ourselves too hopefully). My hope is to encourage one another and to rely on one another for strength, support, and love through whatever part of our journey we may be experiencing. At a time of such immense social pressure to be perfect, to have the perfect spouse/partner, children, life… we are losing site of the reality of life really. Life is not meant to be perfect, but it is meant to be lived. I am grateful every day to be alive and to keep living. I am proud of my life, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. I also understand when life is tough and hope to better express my love and support to those seemingly in need.
I hope to keep on striving, keep on growing, keep on loving, keep on keeping on as I continue to learn what it means to go beautifully. May you find your journey and the courage to accept it, embark on it, and to share with those around you.