How was your weekend? I hope it was great and that the darker days aren't already pulling you into that winter feeling of wanting to hibernate. I'm worried about going into the darker and colder days while we're still in this weird "some things are open and safe but we're still in a pandemic and nothing feels certain" space. I hope you're taking care of yourself and pulling from that mental health shelf.
Last week was really hard. Maybe the worst since August? It's hard to keep a clear perspective week over week. I feel stuck in so many ways. I talked to my mom over the weekend and she prompted some soul-searching around the idea of what I truly want, how I want to show up in the world, and how to lean on what I truly like about myself. I did some journaling and some Googling and came across this blog post from Headspace about self-acceptance. It felt very silly and dramatic to Google how to like yourself but I wanted to tease apart the difference of liking my accomplishments and truly liking who I am as a person. Enter the idea of self-acceptance versus self-esteem.
I think I've had them mixed up and intertwined for quite some time. I can list what I like about my life, the achievements of which I'm the most proud, and I can definitely come up with a list of things I'm working on and ways I'm bettering myself. But those things make up self-esteem and self-improvement. If I were to get divorced and never get another job that I feel proud to do every day and talk about with others, what would I have, internally? If I subtract my husband, my dog, my visible muscles, and my mile time, what would make up my identity? I'm not ready to share the list I came up with (in true perfectionist fashion, I made myself write down 10 things) but I think it's an important topic.
Like most women I know, I'm terrible at accepting compliments and really good at remembering mistakes, criticism, and embarrassment. I'm also not a person of faith and I don't want children - two things that I see really anchoring people through tough times. I'm not saying that religious people and parents don't struggle - they definitely do - I just feel a bit lost when people give faith and their children as their reasons for strength and fortitude. I read or hear that and am over here like "well uh-oh. Am I screwed then? I don't have or want those things. So what DO I have?!". 😳😧
I'm taking the advice in the article and working on my self-awareness, reframing this mess, and stepping outside of the bullshit. I'm investing my time and energy into thinking about what I actually want in this life - what I want my life to look like in a year. Right now I honestly have no clue. I also made myself an egg and cheese bagel and watched an old Jen Kirkman stand-up special on Netflix because those things bring me joy. If I can find enough small joys maybe I'll be able to cobble together a vision, an idea for my path. I hope you enjoy the extra light in the mornings and find your small joys this week.