I’ve re-written this post several times in my head, and twice on here. I have another version of this that I kept in drafts from Christmas, and it will probably never see the light of day. But the fact that it exists, and that I’m writing this, shows how hard it is for people to change.
I desperately want to be at peace with myself. It’s next to impossible, because the life I’m living is not the life I imagined. It’s a fault of mine: my unreachable dreams set as the possible path I will walk. I set myself up to fall into disappointment, which is not the best way to live.
There’s a voice in my head that reminds me of all that I’m not doing every day. It whispers that:
I feel like I’m disappointing every version of myself that I’ve imagined. I feel like I’m not really teaching because so much of my time is spent doing other things, whether that be handling discipline, behavior, emails, etc. I haven’t written more than a page of fiction in months. I keep falling behind with this blog. I spend ten hours a day at work almost every day of the work week (which, admittedly, is my choice because I am either at my second job or tutoring – my choice). My nights are mere recovery for the upcoming day and my weekends are filled with cleaning/shopping/cooking for the upcoming week. I have to set an alarm on my phone to take Dixie to the dog park because I think I’m doing such a lousy job of being her mom…further evidenced by her IBS acting up.
I hate that voice. I hate that part in all of us, and I want to tell myself and my students to smother that voice and amplify the one that says:
You’re wonderful! You are doing great things! You will make it through this because you are stronger than you could ever imagine! You are amazing as you are…
I was watching Hungry For Change on Netflix, and I was moved by how much of our unhealthy eating habits had to do with an ignorance about ourselves. Our bodies act, each day, to survive. Everything we do, from putting on weight or collapsing from exhaustion, is done in an effort to keep us safe and survive and heal. It made me think how much lighter in spirit we would all be if our minds acted the same way. Instead of self-doubt, love. How much braver we would be! How much kinder we would be!
I set up goals for myself and then beat myself up when I don’t reach them (and rarely have I been reaching them these past years). Maybe it’s time for me to stop faking my happy and falling into disappointment. Maybe it’s time for me to stop saying where I should be/what I should be and just be.
Another line in the movie made me realize that, sometimes, our friends love us until we are ready to love and accept ourselves. I think that is true, but I also think that it’s time to go forward. Tomorrow morning, I want to wake up and start to believe that I am not stalled. That I am moving forward even if I don’t have a set plan. That I need to spend more energy helping this body of mine be safe, survive, and heal. That I need to spend more time reminding my spirit that where I am, right now, doesn’t matter at all: who I am, right now, is amazing and that is the start of everything else. I don’t think that saying or seeing these things tomorrow will mean I believe it tomorrow, but if I keep saying and seeing and saying, maybe these words will start being heard more than those other words.
…I hope that you take these steps, too. Some of you who read what I write, I may never meet…but I still hope the best for you. I hope that you are surrounded by people who will love you until you allow yourself to truly appreciate and love yourself.
Those who I have met and read this: we beat ourselves up so much that it is amazing we are not black and blue. Stop. I know you – I choose to be friends with you because I see this glorious light inside of you that inspires me, helps me, comforts me, and finds me during my darkest days. Maybe you aren’t ready to love and accept yourself yet (I know I need some serious time to work on this), but you should begin that journey. And as you take those steps, I’ll be here to help you along…just like I know you’ll be there for me.