I've written notes to myself before, but, never have I written a note that declared I would make myself proud…
We sometimes think of how we might make our parents proud or our children… Maybe our spouse? For me, there is A LOT of looking to the day to make my husband proud…
But, what if part of making all of those loved ones proud actually required making our own selves proud?
How will you be the most happy?
Don't you think when YOUR cup is full it will be A LOT easier to fill everyone else's too?
Damn. How about that? There might be something to that, eh?
In that social media post, I said I was working on it… & my friend & mentor called me out. She asked what will make ME proud of me.
I have no flippin' CLUE!
But then I thought about it… Maybe I do know. Maybe the answer is just not an easy one to talk about.
Maybe, sometimes, saying, “I don't know,” is total bullshit. Could it be, “I don't know,” is the running-scared-because-the-truth-makes-me-uncomfortable answer?
So, “I have no flippin' CLUE!” might be just as much of a cop-out answer as, “I don't know,” in this case, huh?
So, what would make ME proud of me?
Once I get past the bullshit response, my initial reaction is that, in many ways, I am already proud of me. I have come a long freakin' way, y'all. I have.
I shy away from saying that because my past isn't always of something to be proud. It isn't something to be displayed as a model citizen & is not a good representation of who I am today, even if it helped form the woman writing this.
It's embarrassing. Humbling. But.. Also a little empowering when I look at it in my REARVIEW MIRROR instead of through the windshield, so to speak…
I have spent two different stints living in my damn car. I have been on drugs I am not proud of & hung with people I shouldn't have… Overall, I have seen some dark times in my life. They weren't all for nothing; I learned a lot.
But, they were my dark times.
I've cried myself to sleep in the cold — WAY more than once! — praying for morning to come sooner rather than later. I've sent my children to live away from me. I've woken up & not known where I was or what I did the night before.
If you think I am a hot mess now, you should have known me in my 20's. It was not pretty…
I have come a long way. I don't put myself in those situations. I have let a wonderful man love me the way I should be loved. (And, let me tell you, that was hard to surrender to. You wouldn't think it would be, but the feeling of “not deserving” is STRONG sometimes.)
I am in a much healthier frame of mind, living a much more stable & healthy life, despite whatever short-comings my brain will still point out.
It's hard to separate reality from potential.
I am learning to look at how far I have come instead of dwelling on how far I have left to go. Where I currently am is such a good place! It really is. I need to remember that.
Yet, I know how much better I could be doing. I know I could push a little harder to accomplish more & be a better person… So, when I don't get immediate results, I beat up on myself about it.
I am working on that. We all know beating up on yourself is NOT a productive use of our time or energy. It is totally counterproductive. Why?
Instead, GRACE is where it is. Seriously. If I am tired, I am tired. Or, if I took three baby steps today & only make two tomorrow, I am still five steps further along than I was yesterday!
I am learning to find that silver lining.
Sometimes, I even succeed at making that silver lining SHINE! But, the point is, I am looking for it. I am catching my thoughts & correcting them to look at what I can do instead of focusing on what is outside my current reach.
Even more so, I am focusing on retraining my brain to recognize that I can do — & see & be & experience — absolutely ANYTHING I put my mind to. If it is out in the universe somewhere, it can be mine if I just focus.
It might sound “hippy dippy” to some, but I believe it. The brain is powerful. Intentions are powerful. And, when you believe something strong enough, you subconsciously start to DO things to help make it a reality. Then, the more you do things to nudge along what you believe & want for yourself, the more the universe conspires to make it happen.
That is when those little miracles occur.
So, long story, short: I am proud of myself.
I am a mama, a wife, a granddaughter, a college student, an ENTREPRENEUR. I am a lot of things. I may not be as great at any of these things as I would like to be, but I am doing them all & doing them to the best of my abilities with what I know in this moment… & I am learning more each day.
I have recently taken steps to be healthier mentally & physically. Calculated risks are being taken to secure a better future for me & those I love, (which is a HUGE difference from the careless risks I was taking with my life a decade or more ago!).
I am juggling a lot. I am not a graceful person, but I manage just fine — & I am learning to laugh at myself in healthy ways. (Mostly.) Learning to overlook my awkwardness & insecurities & embarrassment is serving me well at this stage in my life.
I am the happiest I have ever been. I am proud of me. I am. And, one day, I will look back at this time & say that THIS — when I was able to say, “Holy moley! I am proud of me!” — is when all of those other things I want for myself & my family started to fall into place. One day, it will be obvious that this was a pivotal point of my life.
My future is forming now.
Can you say the same?