Recently I finished the best book I’ve read this year – All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai.
One of the characters is a very high-achieving individual with a strong need to self-sabotage herself. It was a glimpse of how I used to see myself.
[Author’s note: I’m about to veer away from this fabulous book, but I will definitely be giving it the proper review it deserves later this year.]
Until somewhere in my early 30s I was an incredibly anxious person, and I felt unlovable. I can remember the chest-tightening and sleepless nights as I worried about … well, everything.
That isn’t me any more, and I’m forever grateful for that. I don’t know when it happened, or if it dropped off gradually, but several years ago I saw an affirmation meme and realized I was living that life. The difference between me then and now was obvious as I was doing my Yom Kippur reflections. Somewhere along the line it sunk in that I’ma n awesome person AND that the quality of what I’m able to produce doesn’t affect who I am or my importance.
In thinking about it, my Adventure Girl persona played a role in that transformation. I tested the boundaries of my comfort zone, trying un-me things. Some were brought into the fold of who I am now, and others I walked away from guilt free. Broadening my world showed me that failing was okay – completely missing the archery target on my first try didn’t mean a bow and arrow wasn’t fun or that I was less of a person for it. That was enlightening.
Don’t get me wrong. I still have plenty of hang ups, but this is no longer one of them.
I think part of the reason that my acceptance of myself has gotten stronger over the last several years is my source of passion. Dancing is a lot more personal – it was after all my body that people were watching. I feel completely removed from my writing. If someone hates it, very well, it’s not for them. It doesn’t hurt my feelings in the slightest. Had the publisher not liked my first 10 pages, I would have spent my time with him discussing how to make it better, rather than doing a happy dance in my head.
Of course, the course of life can be changed in an instant, so I am trying to appreciate this mental state and my life as a whole.I’m happy and I love my life, and I know how rare that is. So I try to be mindful and cherish each day as it comes. Goodness gracious, I sound like my own personal affirmation. I guess this will double as an early Thanksgiving/ gratitude post.
How many of my readers are happy with who they are now? or When you look back, is it to see your glory days or to cringe at who you were or somewhere in between?