I Want to be a Goddamn Mermaid
So this is 2015. I haven't quite given myself the space to reflect on what it means that the universe is one whole year older until this moment. Back when I blogged almost daily, I did a sh*t ton of reflecting. Now, not so much. I think that's okay for now.
There are moments in life -- sometimes year-long moments -- wherein everything you've learned about yourself thus far does not seem to apply at all. Of course, that's not the case. I've been collecting life lessons and vital means of self-preservation all this time, but figuring out how to apply the wisdom I've earned to new challenges can be so tremendously overwhelming that I don't "waste" any time in conscious thought. Without mental preparation and foresight, I move to the next thing. I face my demons with an entirely inadequate amount of chutzpa and perhaps a limp balloon. No one is convinced, least of all myself, and I forget that I possess any wisdom at all.
Let me tell you, IT FEELS WEIRD to swim through transitional phases of life this way. When you abruptly find that you're a little fish in a school of very large fish, it's easy to dismiss all of your little fish acumen up until that point, and thus approach new experiences without recollecting your old experiences. To reference a cinematic masterpiece that is no longer culturally relevant but fits nicely with this paragraph's vague sea theme; during said transitional phases, our innate response is to "just keep swimming." If you'll recall, however, the fish who said that was the dumb fish (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres who's the antithesis of a dumb fish, IMHO) and I don't want to be no dumb fish. I want to be a fish who knows my intelligence and my worth. I want to be a goddamn mermaid.
To achieve mermaid status, or goddess status, or functional 27 year old human being status, a person has to have confidence. And to gain confidence, one occasionally has to call to mind all of the terribly valuable knowledge one has already accumulated so that one is made aware of how ready one is. As usual, one is me. Hi. We're talking about me. Here's what I've learned this past year, and how it will help me going forth:
- Vulnerability is powerful sh*t. I feel very lucky to be part of Generation Overshare (I coined this term just now, it is not a thing, but IT WILL BE) because I think I'm awfully brave when it comes to sharing my story, or offering up my personal battles in the hopes of helping others open up. A lot of women I look up to in almost every way are less forthcoming than I when it comes to shedding light on the dark stuff. I think these women admire me for expressing my truth, when honestly, I don't know any other way to behave.
- It takes effort not to be a bullsh*t person. One of my resolutions this year is, simply, "no bullsh*t". I don't want to take it. I don't want to give it. But a lot of bullsh*t practices, namely avoidance techniques I've developed to close myself off, are deeply engrained in me by now. E.g., I don't acknowledge acquaintances I see in public when I'm not feeling particularly good about myself; I ghost potential suitors whom I don't have the courage to outright reject; the first thing I do in the morning is mindlessly peruse Instagram because I'm afraid to face the blank page and write. It. Out. Bullsh*t practices are fear-based, and if I'm thoughtful about my actions, I can refrain from being a bullsh*t person. The struggle is real, but I'm getting there.
- If I'm not open to good things, they won't happen for me. Here's a really lame thing that I do: I claim that I have no interest in love partially to justify the fact that I'm not in love. It's true that I haven't been making room for love -- I've been focused on work and my family, and that's all right with me. But it's absolutely not true that I don't want love. Because I do when the timing is right. Same thing goes for financial stability and general comfort and those kinds of markers of adulthood. I don't need to carry on the facade that I'm thoroughly enjoying the life of an impoverished bohemian any more than I need to carry on the facade that I'm too independent to give a fig about dudes. Because I do. I give multiple figs.
- Perfection is unattainable. Duh. One lie that I continue to hold dear is the possibility of a "perfect day". A perfectly productive day wherein I wake up feeling incredible after a perfect 8 hours of beauty rest and tackle everything on my list and more... which happens sometimes. But if I only manage 5 hours of beauty rest and I'm too busy and headachey to go to yoga and all of my clothes are covered in Elmer's hair and I happen to be fresh out of those sticky lint roller thingies... is my day ruined? No! I can accept the less than stellar, and know in my heart of hearts that planning on perfection is futile.
- Family is the most important thing. My family had a tough year, but we're stronger than ever. I love you, Mom!
- Friends are family, too. And mine are beautiful, inspiring and 100% there for me. Holler.
- I know what's best for me. Sometimes I need to disconnect for a little while so that I can come back and CRUSH IT. I'm a grown up and my creative and professional output is better on my terms. I don't think anyone ever doubts that but me, but... boundaries are hard.
- Sticking up for myself is hard, too. It comes back to confidence and being a little fish. Or a tall, skinny fish. Whatever. I'm worth sticking up for, and I need to remind myself of that until it sticks.
- There is so much to be grateful for. I'm working in exactly the obscure art-y, fashion-y, plant-y, female entrepreneurial world I want to be working in, and I'm so blessed for it. There are people in my life who weren't there a year ago, but I can't image how I ever lived without them. There are some things that haven't quite clicked for me yet, but they will. Personal growth is my priority, as it should be, and I'm well on my way toward becoming a badass b*tch fish. Or something.
XOXO. Happy belated 2015, Friends,