I have always been too tall.
My laugh is too loud.
I cry too easily.
I take things too seriously.
I don’t take things seriously enough…
For years, all I wanted to do was escape my skin. To become someone else – ANYONE ELSE – so that this pain of being me would stop. As I’ve shared before, I contemplated suicide. Made TERRIBLE life choices. Chose the wrong guys. Shut out friends. Cheated and lied and was unkind. I spent ridiculous amounts of money on credit cards. All in the quest to escape myself.
After my first marathon, I got a little bit closer to comfort in my skin.
I had done something an un-athletic, bookish girl should never be able to do. I had run 26.2 miles and had the medal to prove it. Finishing that race propelled my career forward – by helping me to believe I COULD do the things I wanted to do. And propelled my life forward – by helping me find someone to share my life with who provided the balance and stability I so desperately craved.
Running that marathon was my talisman. A small treasure, like my graduate degree, that no one could take away from me. Ever.
Overall, my choices had gotten better and my life had gotten better. That stable, smart guy and I bought a house and started a family. I got promoted at work. I made, and kept, amazing friends.
But, truth be told, there was still a part of my that was so uncomfortable in my own skin I would look in the mirror and have no idea who I was looking at. Who did things around money and friendships and work that were not true to what I really cared about, because I so wanted to be someone else. Or I wanted someone else to tell me I was good enough.
After crossing this finish line – I found the light in me.
That has been the gift of this experience. The biggest difference for me today, is that I don’t need to believe I am worthwhile only if YOU like me, if YOU promote me, if YOU pay attention to me, but because I am intrinsically filled with light and love.
And so are you.
And so is everyone.
In shifting my thinking over to that simple belief, I have found that what I need from the people around me has shifted. I can let THEM be whatever they need to be – because their opinion of me is not only none of my business, but I do not need their affirmation to know who I am. It has begun to make my relationships about actually relating and not NEEDING.
I am certainly still a work in progress, but I feel like my progress is headed in the right direction.
Thank you, again, for reading and coming along on this wild ride.