During this time of year, a lot of us reflect on the 2012 and consider what worked and what didn't. This is my little reflection on 2012.
Once in a while, I am afraid I am not awesome enough and that if I don't become awesome soon, then I'll be too old to EVER become awesome.
This feeling often comes about when I'm in a particularly sensitive mood, and I see a poised and lovely woman about my age, and she seems to be effortlessly flying through so many awesome parts of her career and life. She has nicer clothing than mine- she makes an effort. She looks like someone everyone can trust and spend time with. She looks fun.
And I feel as if convincing other people to give me money in exchange for providing a service (e.g. consulting) is absolutely the most unlikely thing that will ever happen to me; how could I have tricked so many people into paying me up to this point? I feel scared, like my clients may drop me as soon as they realize I am not a good choice, and that I will eventually become homeless.
From not having a job, because everyone secretly thinks I am awful.
I know this is irrational. But it still feels true once in a while. And it makes me think and plan wildly to prevent this impending homelessness.
I have been homeless. Sort of.
When I was 12 the woman my dad was sort-of dating at the time kicked me out of her house after an incredible screaming match with my dad, probably to punish him, and I went to stay with a friend for two weeks before we drove to California with all of our belongings. My dad slept at his office. My friend had a very abusive stepfather, and I slept on their couch, witnessing and hearing him slap her and her sister around most nights. Luckily, he never touched me. Save for the uncomfortable sexual innuendoes he would make in the presence of me and his step-daughters.
I believe that situations much like the one above are probably the source of a lot of feelings of fear, sadness, and anger in our adulthood. When you're young, pathways are created in your brain based on feelings that you have during certain situations. They are created to protect you, so that you can survive to adulthood without having a nervous breakdown, or putting yourself in dangerous situations. But they may not be that useful anymore, since I hope we've figured out how to take care of ourselves pretty well by now.
I think we all have to remember the difference between thoughts and feelings, and when things feel absolutely impossibly scary, to take a breath, step back and say "Ok. That is a feeling. My thoughts are telling me that I am doing OK. Even great. Right now, my feelings are firing little neurons in my brain, probably leftover from childhood. Thank god I don't have to be in that same situation ever again." And hopefully we can all move forward, trying the scary things we know in our brains to be good decisions, even though our feelings may be sending off sparks.
I want to share that there is room in the world for all women to be effortless and confident and perfect and to take risks and to be perceptive and clever and beautiful, just as they are. Even women who are afraid, not perfect, tentatively trying new things, and unsure of quite what they are doing.
You are providing the world with what it wants right now by being who you are.
I spent most of 2012 listening to others, which was the theme I decided on in the beginning of January last year. This year's theme is "Let it flow." I hope to navigate 2013 with peace and balance, letting choices come into my path and lovingly deciding what I want to create with them. I wish the same for you.