Growing up I remember trying to tame my limbs. My long lanky arms and legs had a mind of their own. I felt as if I was always mentally chasing to catch up to the length they were becoming. The physical attributes of being a praying mantis of sorts, also affected what I thought I should be, in order to handle what my body was trying to become. My bold personality became a bit more timid and I found myself in my teen years trying not to be noticed. It wasn't until much later on in my mid 20's, where I started to get in "good" with who I was trying to become.
It's so strange to think of that girl then and the women I am now.
I'm extending gratefulness to that awkwardly uncertain girl. I was able to experience some real life lessons that allowed me to stay true to what my parents taught me and some, well, they were learned the hard way. That's the beauty of hindsight, the ability of have this reflective quality on how we see things. As a stepmom to a vibrant and precocious 11 year old daughter, I am even more keenly aware of how we, as a family, encourage and foster her individuality. I wasn't faced with the onslaught of tech devices that allowed me to stray from reality with a swipe or a tap. It's important that I remind, not just myself, but her as well, where true value lies.
The less you try to fit in, the better you fit with yourself.
We can be our worst critics at time. The comparison game can stifle what you are trying to create. So I've found it helpful to operate on "just be who you are" mode and the true, honest, genuine people who want to be in your life or connect with you, will happen. The pretend game will catch up to you very fast, not to mention, acting like someone else is f-bomb exhausting. It's a process and I promise you, clarity happens. You will gain friends, some friendships will become even stronger and at times, you will have to say goodbye to people who were once in your life. It's all part of the process. So show up, just as you are.
Social media is not "real life" but you can generate "real connections" from it
Our immediate connection to what others are doing on Fb, IG and all the other social avenues out there can make us feel, well, less connected with our own lives. When you feel this way, revisit my "just be who you are" mode :) I found it best to stick to the best of what social media is intended for. It has the power to fuel positive change, make waves in how we view our world and generate genuine connections. You can meet really amazing, talented and authentic people. Your tribe can extend beyond where you are. So cool, right?! We can develop relationships that before, weren't as easy to foster.
Flaws can give you wings
Recognizing the imperfect in ourselves can be the catalyst for compassion. Not just towards ourselves but to others as well. Compassion allows me to pause on quick judgements that can easily taint what we are trying to develop. Which are relationships built on integrity, love and anchored with moral grit.
I've learned the most from people who were different from me. That's the cool factor of diversity. You get to pick up bits and pieces of knowledge from those who's experiences have taught them something that differs from yours. To me, that's worth sharing. Our opinions might differ and this is a good thing. We cannot all think the same way. The underlying current of these real-life conversations should come from a place of respect. It's recognizing our ability to influence these vibrant discussions, through kindness. The things that challenges us, at times can be the most difficult. The growth and progress from it, is *so* worth it!