The truth can really hurt sometimes. There have been many times in my life that I have allowed the expectations of others to make me feel inadequate. Inadequate doesn’t even seem like the right word. I have allowed others to make me feel embarrassed about who I am. I cringe as I type the words. I’ve often wondered what it would take for me to feel like I was an important, successful human being. What would I have to do to feel like I had significant value? The answer became apparent over the last two weeks. The truth is, I have always been valuable. I am enough exactly the way I am. My importance and value does not depend on a degree I hold or a job title that sits on my desk just because someone else thinks so. My worth is not determined by how perfect I am as a wife or a mother or even a human being based on someone’s evaluation of who I am. I have allowed my value to be determined by others and that has been my biggest mistake. For years I have let people make me feel horrible about myself because I haven’t fit into the little box they’ve tried to stuff me in.You know what? I am bigger than that. I am bigger than that box. I have been blamed and questioned and allowed myself to fall victim to explaining who I am.
I could never, not even for a second, be good enough for the people who judge me. That is what people do like it or not. They make judgements about who they think we should be, what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. People tell me all the time what I will do or how I should be doing something differently. It amazes me. I am 45 years old and STILL I apologize for who I am.
Today I went for coffee. I didn’t put a stitch of makeup on and I wore my favorite yoga pants. It amazes me that we stoop to the point we even tell people how they should or shouldn’t dress. As if we weren’t capable enough to make the right decision on our own. Today I say buzz the hell off. Go away. I am enough and your opinion no longer holds any value. You will not define who I am or whether I have a purpose in this world.
I listened to someone speak at a graduation ceremony and she said something that really clicked. She explained to the students that they would still be given tests in life but they no longer had to worry about receiving a grade from somebody else. She went on to explain, life is in your hands and only you get to determine what your own grade is and what you’re worth. Amazing that I didn’t realize that twenty years sooner.
My new mantra: I am enough just as I am.
I am beautiful without makeup. I am skinny enough. I don’t need a paying job to hold value. I don’t have to be a perfect mom or perfect wife. It’s okay to make mistakes as I learn and grow. I refuse to live by someone else’s standards and let those ridiculous standards determine who I am. I am unapologetically me and only I get to decide my own worth. I am enough in each and every moment. The opinion of others will no longer weigh me down. I am free to be me. I AM FREE. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. This is who I am and if you have a problem with me it’s okay, just keep it to yourself.