I often say the best way to describe me is "Work In Progress." We all are, I think. As my age increases, because I don't want to use the "O" word at all, as my age increases, I can look back and think about the lessons I have learned a long the way. I'm absolutely no expert on anything, but I love to write and I have challenged myself to write, at least, one blog per week. This week, I would like to share the lessons that I feel have made me a person i'm beginning to like. I may not be all the way there, and that's fine, but i'm getting more comfortable in my own skin. It's something that comes with age, I believe. Maybe you can find a bit of yourself in these words. Here goes. . .
Life changed for me when I finally decided to take control of my life. I'm not sure why, but I used to be led through life. Maybe I was used to parents or boyfriends telling me what to do, and that was the expectation I put on myself that in order for me to do something, someone had to tell me to do it. If no one was telling me to do something, I would feel very unloved and had one heck of a pity party. I never instigated going out, I always had to be invited out. One day, I just stopped. I took control of my destiny. Past be damned, if it doesn't feel right, i'm not doing it anymore. I felt like I was disappointing so many if I didn't attend certain events even if it was mind numbing or made me uncomfortable. I started doing things and going to places I wanted to go to. Now, this doesn't mean being inconsiderate. If your best friend or mother want you to accompany them to something they want to do, you can compromise. Just as a general rule, do YOU. My friends don't like a lot of the same music as me. Music is my life. If I want to go to a concert that no one else wants to see, i'm still going. I have traveled alone, gone to movies, concerts, restaurants alone. I have had some of the best times of my life alone. I don't sit at home wishing I was somewhere else if I had "better friends," I go do it now. I am perfectly capable of being my best friend. I am funny sometimes. I'm so awkward, it's funny.
A couple years ago, I re-developed a fondness for a certain 80s duo. It's hard to find people who share my enthusiasm for this group. This group was about to do a show in Los Angeles. I had wanted to return to LA for a long time. So. I booked a trip. By myself. I rented a car, drove immediately to the ocean, then to a sushi restaurant and then to a wine festival to see this band play! I even met a celebrity - kind of. Angie Everhart stood behind me in line at the port-a-potty. I went to brunch in Santa Monica with a dear friend who moved to Los Angeles. I saw the Selena wax statue at Madame Tussauds. I cruised around Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood Blvd. and drove down the PCH!!!! I laid at Zuma Beach in Malibu and ate at a decent Mexican restaurant on the PCH. Time of my life. And I did it all alone!!! Break out of your shell and live out loud!
As time progressed, I stopped blaming others for my sadness. If someone wasn't paying enough attention to me, I let it go. I stopped chasing people, this was from extremely important people in my life to loser boyfriends. I will let you know that I want your time and attention, if you don't want to give it, so be it. I'm not going to be bitter. I'm going to find my tribe. One of my favorite quotes is "You will be too much for some people, those aren't your people." I'm not for everyone, but who is?!
I started living my truth. Boy, I will tell you, I can be a freaking mess, but i've stopped pretending I am not. I know my flaws. I OWN my flaws. I'm ok with my flaws. You might not be, but you don't have to live with them. I will stop judging you, if you stop judging me. For example, do I host dinner parties? Heck no! My place is too messy for company. Do I forget to pay the odd bill? Sure do. Is my car dented from a brush with a hit and run driver and it remains dented because I don't want to deal with insurance? Yes. I'M NOT PERFECT AND NEITHER ARE YOU. Surround yourself with imperfect people who accept their imperfections as well as yours.
I'm constantly learning lessons. I had a moment of clarity and comfort on the drive to work the other day. I've been really struggling with something lately. Long story short, way back, I had a five year plan, I was killing it, professionally. Goals were being crushed. In ten years, I made major strides. And then it came to an end. The world stopped. I started falling backward. I fell off the mountain and slowly dug myself back, but not at the rapid pace that I had been going. And in fact, that awesome mountain I had climbed in my 20s and early 30s wasn't even there anymore. I was forced to climb a less satisfying mountain, but at least I was climbing. There were times where I was told that I was going to be invited back to climb the cool, satisfying mountain, but then the invitation was taken back. I really wanted back on Mount Cool. It got to the point where I wasn't sleeping at night because my soul felt crushed because it seemed that no one remembered when I scaled Mt. Cool, even those who were climbing with me. I found myself tormented by the fact that it seems people didn't think I possess the ability to climb Mount Cool anymore. It was starting to feel like I had to go around trying to prove myself and my abilities when others (maybe with even less ability) were being given a lift up Mount Cool. So, how has this given me clarity and comfort? I KNOW WHO I AM. I KNOW WHAT I CAN DO. AND THAT'S WHAT MATTERS. If i'm being skipped over for others to have their ride to the top, so be it. I am finally at peace with me and I can sleep well now.
I would LOVE to hear from other phenomenal women about YOUR life lessons. Oh, and one more thing, stop being so hard on yourself. You're pretty awesome and we're ALL works in progress.