I’ve written at length here about being your most authentic self and staying true to that. I won’t be disagreeing with my past self, but I think I’ve often overlooked the struggle we can find ourselves in when searching for who we truly are. We are expected to know what we want to be and do with our lives and asked ceaselessly throughout our formative years. Yet in those years we are not fully formed beings yet, at least not in my opinion.
At the ripe and juicy age of 36 I’m feeling more myself now than ever. I’m feeling more relaxed and comfortable in my own skin and have found that the more true I stay to just being me the better off I am over all. In fact I think it was simply by being myself, my whole and completely geeky self, that I landed my current gig. No lie! My proud exclamation of embracing my geek-hood was what set me apart from the rest (or so a coworker told me on my very first day).
I have stopped questioning why and if people like me, finally. Why did that take so long? Now I just go with the flow, even if it’s my own funky flow (Steven Universe Reference!!!). When faced with someone who insists that they will hate me (this was in response to my title and cheery-friendly nature) I simply said, “Bring it!” At this point, that’s pretty much where I’m at…Bring it!
Openly telling coworkers about my activism and dance performances and all of the things that have shaped me into this blob of awesomeness gets easier every time. I drop the f-bomb (FAT) like it ain’t no big thang, because to me that is true. The looks on their faces never gets old, I must say, always friggin’ hilarious! When a sweet and compassionate coworker asked about my blog I reluctantly showed her and then caught her very emotional after she read a link about WLS. She had no idea how awful things were for fatties, but I was glad that she was moved by the article. We talked a bit about it after and explained that by simply leaving the house many fatties are subjected to horrible abuses in the world for no other reason than their size. I later shared with her my dance performance from last year and cringed as I heard the music start and then felt chills wash over me as the steps all came back into my mind and I closed my eyes for a moment and almost wished Tigress was there beside me in motion. *Sigh*
And yet, I’m still learning. I hope the day I stop learning or stop wanting to never arrives. I picture myself 110 years old, in an art class with people of all ages, covered in drips of color and a sparkle in my eye that will never die. I cannot imagine, or perhaps I simply refuse to, being done with the beauty and wonders of this world. I’m am constantly surprised and dazzled as I look at my peers who mostly seem tired and jaded if not entirely bitter about everything. We all have our own path and it can be very difficult to trust that as the right thing. To see those we love venture off into the great unknown without our supervision, guidance or just a hand to hold. But then, is it really them that needs our hand or the opposite?
I guess human connection will always be vital to me. The warmth of a friendly embrace or handshake sends happy-sparkly impulses to my brain that makes me feel good and wanting to do more of that. Hearing someone else’s stories about their life can have me riveted to the spot, transfixed in the moment. I am learning to listen better and to be more present and to walk my own walk. It’s fun! Well, okay, it’s fun now. Starting stuff is rarely fun but once I get the hang of something it gets there. Ha!
I do recall a time when I felt beyond lost and sought out self help books like, “What should I do with my life?” which I read with great shame and covered the book in brown paper so as to appear as incognito as possible. Ha-ha! Did it help me find out what it is I should be doing with my life? Nope. But it did tell a lot of great stories about others who have and well, that’s nice. I don’t know that there is one thing I should be doing with my life in a specific sense. Rock star hasn’t happened yet as a career for me and no one’s yet willing to pay me to be my hilariously dorky self, so it is service that I stick with. I do and feel my best when helping others and so those are the types of jobs I have always had and may always have. Nothing wrong with that.
Now if something doesn’t feel right or sit well with me I try first to figure out what part or why and then listen to my gut and act accordingly. Sounds simple enough, but it isn’t always so clear. I spent so much of my life ignoring and distrusting my own instincts that it’s taken me perhaps longer than most to find and trust them again. I don’t think there’s a shortcut for this one, either and maybe that’s for the best. You can’t shortcut trust, especially when it comes to yourself. To simplify it would be to just say stick with what feels right to you, but then I guess we’d never leave our comfort zones and that would be a crime. It is when I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone that I have been rewarded and challenged most.
I had never previously deemed myself worthy of so many things that I now see how much I was holding myself back. No more! What is the point of that?! All of this soul searching and growing and learning and I can’t help but wonder what else I can do. I mean, I’m really completely happy right now. That doesn’t mean it’s time to stop doing all of the things that got me here, though. 😉