As far back as I can remember, I’ve been driven, determined, motivated. As an adult things haven’t changed much, I still overbook myself daily, commit to too many functions and jobs, and always try to wear too many (metaphorical) hats. However, the older I get the more I question where this fuel stems from. When I was much younger, it seems as though the fire was rooted in a need to please. Being raising in an ultra-conservative, strict home it became habit to always want to be the best, rise above, outshine, never come in second. Grades were important, but so were my dance lessons, and as I got older youth group, being on the worship team, heading up the nursery…. All of these things compiled into one big importance. Nothing took precedence.
My mother and I clashed more often than we got along it seemed, so in dance class I would take out my anger and frustration at the barre or through floor work. In high school, that same angst provoked me to choreograph pieces and compete with dance at the county fair against musicians. Placing second to a boy band who was lip syncing, one year, and the next a man who sang a song he had written for his wife…and played the piano. I didn’t see either of those occurrences as defeat, rather, they pushed me even harder, and still do!
Once I left my parents home at 16, I began working part time while taking 17 credit hours in college. It didn’t even seem like too much, it was what I always knew to do: OVER achieve. This went on for a few years, then I caved in. I left school, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, and just worked. Two jobs
Fast forward 9 years while I write on my iPad in awe at where my journey has taken me. Particularly in the gym. I started working out, lifting weights, mid 2008. When I first started I wasn’t doing it because I wanted to lift weights, I was doing it as a replacement for the hole I had from dance. In early 2009, I competed in my first figure show, knowing full well what drove me there was not a healthy reason. I was in a volatile marriage and needed reprieve. The gym became my sanctuary. The weights didn’t make meI ace life. All that mattered there was me. It was the first time I was doing something no one else told me to do.
Yesterday, while running on the treadmill, I realized I had been using negative experiences to get me through my workouts for all these years. Then, I had this sort of “ah ha!” moment. It dawned on me that I probably could go harder, longer, further, and more confidently forward if I reached inside and used MY goal, my PASSION to fuel the fire within. Sure enough, it worked. I ran for 30 minutes straight without a care. I felt lighter than ever. I set my gaze and pushed on. It wasn’t even that difficult. (Note: anyone that knows me, knows I abhor cardio!)
I’ve been working on this way of thinking for a while, especially with lifting, I just hadn’t applied it with cardio. Through this, I’ve come to the realization that I can be my best when I love myself where I am. I used to look in the mirror and see other women whom I compared myself to, and used that as my catalyst. But, in order to forgive my ex’s for cheating and lying, I needed to accept myself. I finally did. I found myself. I began to soar. I dusted off my wings, and allowed myself to be me. I stopped looking in the mirror to see a much taller, thinner, darker skinned, dark haired woman glaring back at me. Not anymore. That girl died, and instead a woman rose up within me that accepts and loves herself for who she is right now. A blonde 5’5” Swede with pale skin, blue eyes, and a fiery passion to help and love all living beings. Today, I love myself. Not tomorrow, not some outlandish goal of a person, no. Me. Right here. Right now. I AM ENOUGH. BUT, do you want to hear the craziest “secret”?
SO ARE YOU! YOU are enough, you are outstanding! You are an amazing life! Take your breath and speak love. Create joy in your environment. ENCOURAGE others to see themselves without the filter of others critique.
THAT is true beauty, love, and compassion.
I’m off to the gym now. Yes, I am crazy sore, & I’ve got a lot in my little head. I’ve had heart breaks, been repeatedly lied to, been cheated on, compared to physiques I could never attain, but you know what? It doesn’t stop me. Because deep down inside of my heart, I KNOW that I am just the way I’m supposed to be. Today, this is me. I’m not perfect, I haven’t met all my goals, and I’m never going to be 5’10” (without high heels ) But, dang it, I WILL rise above and be the greatest me I can be! “ME” is enough. I found out who I am, and I’m ready to take on whatever life brings my way.
Will you come along side me and take up your wings too?