Ninja! (Why I need to be more authentic)
I have a confession to make, and it may surprise you. It may not though, you may have guessed this all along. I have no idea how many people will be surprised by this admission, or relate to it, or have their suspicions confirmed, or just plain not care, but here goes:
I have no idea what I’m doing.
My life plan has always been simple: be awesome. Sometimes I feel awesome, other times I don’t, but it’s ok because my plan has nothing to do with feeling anything; it has to do with being something. And while my goal is simple, it’s also not measurable in any way. So far, I’ve liked it that way. See, to my way of thinking, awesomeness is such an elusive thing that I have to strive constantly to meet it, and only sometimes do I ever feel that I have achieved it. I felt awesome when I started my interior design business and started to get jobs, but then the jobs weren’t frequent enough or prestigious enough to remain in the awesome realm, so I fell. I felt really awesome when I met my husband and fell in love, but then we didn’t achieve enoughas quickly as I thought we should so I fell from awesome again. Over and over again, no matter where my life takes me, I follow up my feelings of achievement and elation with a plunging sadness and despair at not doing, achieving, or being enough. I logically know that I have so much to be grateful for, but I’m nagged by a persistent feeling that all of my blessings are on credit, and have yet to be earned by my future, awesome, accomplishments.
While I know this all sounds ridiculous, I look around and get the impression that I’m not alone. Especially for the women I know, achievement and perceived success seem to be their drug of choice. We are never pretty enough, fit enough, smart enough, successful enough in our careers or with our families, we don’t earn enough, we don’t see our friends enough….we don’t have clean enough houses or cook all our kids meals from scratch! Now we have pinterest to keep a visual reminder of all the things we should be or do, just in case we forget. And I’m am not knocking pinterest by any means: it’s a great idea and can be used to get ideas for lots of stuff we want to do. But many of us use it to further enslave ourselves to the new “shoulds” of life. Our “shoulds” seem to have taken precedence over what is. And the problem I have with this in my own life, is that what is isn’t even bad, it’s actually good. My life is far from my lofty ideals, yes, but shouldn’t I be experiencing the wonder of what it is rather than making myself miserable over what it is not?
So this morning, I couldn’t stop crying. Like really, it was a scene out of some instructural psych depression documentary. I miss my husband who I haven’t lived with for almost a year. I’m sucking at school right now. I haven’t lost the weight I gained over a year ago. My life is not living up to the picture I have in my head, and I feel really far from making it what I want it to be. On top of it, I’m absolutely terrified that you’ll know where I’m actually at. I want you to think I’m together, that I don’t ever have to learn a lesson twice. I want you to see that I am amazing! The problem is, that’s not what I think. I think I’m lost, confused, and tired of pretending I know where I’m going. I don’t.
I went to one of my favourite places today for lunch: Ninja Sushi. I ordered something a little different aqlong with what I usually get called a skinny ninja roll. If you are what you eat, this is exactly what I want to be: lithe, fast and fierce like ninja, skinny like a supermodel. When I got it, I was surprised though. It was slathered in sauce, and looked so far from skinny that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to try it. And the ninja part? There was nothing ninja about it at all. But I tried it anyway, and you know what? It was delicious. It did not look like what I thought a skinny ninja should be, but that didn’t change that it was indeed a skinny ninja. So I thought: maybe my whole life won’t look like what I thought it would: should that cut back on my enjoyment of it’s deliciousness? If I chose not to eat it, I’ll never really know. If I’d sent it back without tasting it, I would have missed finding a delicious new lunch option. If I’d nibbled at it, convinced I wouldn’t like it, I would have not given myself the opportunity to really taste what was right in front of me. Maybe sometimes not knowing is half the fun, and just going with it is the other half. Maybe if I did life more like sushi sometimes I’d be more satisfied. I’m really glad I tried the skinny ninja, and you know what? It was so good I ate it all 🙂
I’m going to take some big bites of my own life starting now, whether it looks palatable or not. I’m going to feel what I feel and be what I am. And if I don’t like it, I’m going to change it. But I’m not going to avoid living it in favour of what it should be instead.
Hope your Tuesday is delicious 😉