My friend Al is my best friend. We first met in the 5th grade, and she turned my life upside down (in a good way).
Up until that point, I had always been “the good girl.” I was the teacher’s pet. I was a daddy’s girl. I was the apple of all the grown-ups’ collective eye.
I drove myself mad trying to be everything to everyone. Trying to be perfect. And good ALL THE TIME. It was suffocating.
So, when I met A, I was in awe. Her reputation preceded her. She was a “cool girl” who had been to many different schools and was friends with the older kids. I didn’t think there was any way she would want to be my friend, so I didn’t even try.
I don’t remember exactly how Al and I got placed together, for the first time, but the bond was instant. She thought I was funny. No-one had ever thought I was FUNNY before! It became my new mission in life to make her laugh. For the first time, I felt like someone saw me for who I really was and delighted in that person. Her friendship gave me confidence, courage, and the ability to just exist as myself in the world. Her family became my family and we began a journey of growing-up together.
I write about Al, today, because I have lost that confidence-the ability to exist in the world on my terms and be okay with that; to be okay with who I am and what I contribute. I need to practice seeing myself for who I really am, again. I need to renew my energies and focus on seeing myself as others see me and to regain comfort in the world. And trust. And faith.
Al’s simple presence in my life was always reassuring, good friends do that. So, without Al by my side everyday, I need to be my own friend. We all do.
People treat us how we treat ourselves. I have not been treating myself very well, lately. I am learning that my entire identity became very wrapped-up in academic/career success and a quest to create this mythical “perfect” life in an attempt to please others. I thought, as my family life crumbled around me, that my accomplishments would bring happiness back to my family. It was a ton of pressure. Mostly self-imposed.
So how do we break those patterns as adults? 3 Steps:
3.) Work…actively breaking thought patterns/shifting perspectives/reality checks, etc.
It is my belief that we have a responsibility to be the best version of ourselves. It is the topic of this entire blog. Whatever YOU are, be a GOOD one, right? Why wouldn’t you want that? If I can be the best version of my imperfect self, then I am pretty damn good.
But let’s drop the perfection myth. Let’s keep it real. Let’s see each other for who we really are (like A did) and honor that. Including for ourselves. It really is life-altering.
I will start with 3 things I know to be true about me (positive):
- I see the best in people and situations
- I am hard-working and capable
- I AM funny! Quirky. Silly. All of that stuff.
Be kind to one another and to yourself today, please 🙂
Comment back with yours, please! I can remind you when you need it!
If you can’t find a kind word, I have plenty to spare. I suggest calling a good friend, like A. It always helps!