(7 minute read)
Another year has come and gone and here I am facing another birthday. What can I say about this past year? Well it wasn’t without its own set of challenges.
I started last birthday by listing everything I was grateful for in Diary of a Restless Rebel – 5th February 2019 . In hopes that saying and writing those words would allow me to actually feel satisfied with my life. I’m not saying that expressing gratitude is pointless, but behind those words I still held high expectations of what and where I wanted to be at that time. And I was damn sure going to get there! “That’s right, 2019 is MY year!” Anyone else declare their New Year’s intentions with such determination?
I thought that statement made me look impressive and powerful like a lifeguard on the beach holding that orange rescue buoy as my gratitude, while running through the water to save a life. Have any of you actually tried doing that? It’s really fn hard unless you’re athletic and have legs for daaaays. But I stand at 5’3” and don’t spend my spare time pumping iron. So at times last year it felt as if I was the one who needed rescuing and it was my gratitude that kept my head above water. So in my case gratitude was simply not enough and I was settling and not living. I was forcing all the pieces to fit into where I wanted it to be, and not allowing things to happen that was in line with my true self.
You could say I was basing many of my expectations on some limiting beliefs very common in our society. But fuck it, I thought this list was my recipe to a happy life!
*I must earn a $$$$$$ salary. Because that means I take life seriously.
*I must get married. Because it’s what a woman my age should do.
*I must return to my interior design career. Because that would validate my intelligence.
*I must have a “perfect” man in my life. Because that would demonstrate my value as a person.
*I must continue to live a compelling lifestyle. Because it means I am interesting.
We’ve all been there at some point. And if you’re reading this and say you have no idea what I’m talking about then I’m calling you out. Because the mere fact you’ve read this far, means a little part of you agrees and your list likely looks similar to mine. With words and terms added or deleted as necessary and gender roles switched accordingly. However the underlying statements will be the same themes showing a lack of self love, unworthiness, low confidence and keeping up appearances for the sake of others.
The really silly thing was none of these items were a true reflection of who I actually am. And I knew it! I was just too afraid to say it out loud and accept responsibility. I put others opinions ahead of my own and every time the items on my list were not checked off, I felt deflated and incompetent. But I had no one to blame apart from myself.
I’ve gone through a few purges over the years and an awakening that I wrote about in Diary of a Restless Rebel – 19 January 2020 . Now I can say I’ve finally accepted my circumstances. I’m definitely not at a point where I can say I’ve mastered things, but I do feel more aligned with my true self.
Something I’ve learned on this road of living life the way I want, is you have to defend yourself and stand up for what you believe in. Bending to the expectations of others is fulfilling their goals, and it may not be yours. There’s a lot of “do you” or “I’m doing me” these days. But do we actually believe ourselves when we say it? Often we hear it in a context where it serves as an apology to others for what may be perceived as selfish behaviour. But in reality this is just you following your passion and excitement that is different than their passion and excitement. The challenge here is accepting your circumstance and following your heart regardless of the fears that will arise. The other person only needs to understand they are required to do the same for themselves.
So what happened to last year’s recipe for a happy life? Well it was no surprise that none of it happened because none of it was what I really wanted anyway – well for those reasons at least. Besides, I’ve never been the type to plan things down to a T and being uncompromising turned that list into a recipe for disaster (no pun intended). I’ve had to shift my perspective and accept my life on my own terms, so I threw the life plan out with my interior design career. And replaced it with following my heart, because I know I’m at my bliss when I “go with the Flo” (pun intended). I’ve learned that when you allow yourself to think, feel and act in a way you truly want, you automatically become aligned to your true self. And this act will reveal what your true purpose or calling is, and only then you will begin to attract the life you want.
I’m not saying a new life will magically appear, for me it’s “under construction”. And I am by no means advising you to throw a career out the window, these shifts will be different for everyone. But understand it took time for this breakthrough to happen in me and the universe will always have your back when you follow your passions. Now I’ve begun to see synchronicities, clear signs for me that I’m on the right path. New opportunities have also begun to show up that I believe will allow me to live the life I want. All I’ve had to do is follow my heart.
Happy Birthday to me!