I hope everyone’s week is going well as we’re all looking forward to turkey day! I’m mostly excited that I get a single, solitary day off. Before I dive into that I wanted to follow up on my last post. I promised I would take some time to talk about the things I didn’t wait for.
With any luck this doesn’t all sound twisted but waiting is just as important as NOT waiting. And like everything else in life it all depends on you, the individual, and what you want for yourself. Most of the things I’ll talk about here pertains to my life, but I will say it all comes down to not making excuses for yourself, not allowing fear to cripple you, and not watching your life pass you by. It’s a summation of things that you shouldn’t let stand in your way. Granted knowing when it’s not your time and knowing when it is takes some maturity, experience, discernment and advice. It comes from many losses, crushing disappointments and heart-breaking failures (which is why you’ll hear successful people encourage you to not be afraid of failure). Ideally you want to be reaching so often you’ll become better at knowing what to grab (read that again).
I wish it was easy to just know when to leap, but a big part of learning (and adulting) is having no idea what to do. None. Zero. What’s the next move? No idea. Playing in the dark on one hundred. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably lying. I will always personally preface by saying I don’t know what to do half the time or what I’m talking about (all the time) in an effort to be completely transparent and also just so you know I’m there with you, I have been there, and I’ll probably be there again because life is cyclical.
I’m working on making these sections super short because I have a long list (!) and I don’t want to make this two posts…so here we go!
If at any point you figure out what the right time is for anything BEFORE you actually do it, let me know sis. I haven’t figured it out. I’m always commenting on how perfect things lined up for a certain situation after the fact. Usually I can never know before hand, so waiting for “the stars to align” and for it to be “the right time” has become an exercise in futility. I don’t know what the right time is for absolutely anything in life. So I just do it (this sounds more confident that how it actually plays out in real life—in real life just doing it is often clumsy and frightening). If nothing else is truly in your way then the whole timing thing is just an excuse.
I’m actually just going leave this right here. I think you know the rest.
This ties into the “other people” thing. If you can do it yourself, then do it yourself fam.
Cece Olisa taught me. I suggest you watch her Ted Talk on YouTube or follow her on Instagram. If you already know who she is then you know what I’m talking about! She has an amazing platform where she talks about a wealth of issues but I was particularly drawn to her mantra: “don’t wait on your weight”. Which in all honesty I denied that I was doing that for many years but when I took an inventory of what was really stopping me from pushing myself my list had two items: weight and fear. For those of us who struggle with our appearance we can (unintentionally or otherwise) use it as an excuse to isolate ourselves and to give up on living our best life. I think Cece tapped into a unique, symptomatic element of the body positive journey in highlighting that we think we don’t deserve access to certain things because we don’t look a certain way. So we limit ourselves to spaces and experiences until we hit that perfect scale goal. What an absolutely crippling way to live!
TO LOVE YOURSELF
Keeping on topic here I wanted to talk about one of the most important and longest relationships you’ll have in your entire life and that’s the one with yourself. Don’t waste time not loving you (all of you) for you. Loving yourself is a beautiful, centering experience. It’s like nothing else to be able to trust yourself, be kind to yourself, and to cherish your well-being and peace. I try not to attach my bad decisions to my persona, because in the past that has hindered me from accepting myself completely. So when I ate that cupcake or stayed in that horrible friendship I hated myself for it. But I am not my decisions and mistakes. Regret is stifling. Free yourself. Forgive yourself often. Love the parts of yourself the world tells you is ugly. Speak to yourself in uplifting words (practice if you have to). Be patient with yourself. Laugh often. Allow yourself to try. Allow yourself to fail. Give to yourself all that you can. Moisturize. Drink water. Use SPF. Prioritize your peace. Value your space. Relish your alone time. Invite people around you who feel the same way about you or even better. Don’t condemn yourself. Journal. Appreciate your body because it is both art and science. Don’t accept other people’s negative views of you. Express yourself. Don’t express yourself. Make choices. Don’t let life just happen to you. Don’t waste another day not being in love with you.
I mentioned this briefly in the previous section but making choices for yourself is incredibly empowering. But we constantly favor the permission we get either through our social environment, from family and friends, from our partners, just about everyone else and we fail to trust ourselves. We want the degree first so we can feel we’re legit, and the approval of the parents, and the support of the best friend, and the social queue that it’s the right time and its goes on and on until we stall our potential. Be the first if you have to! There may be a leader in you waiting to break free and leaders don’t need permission honey.
I spent some time talking about fear in my very first post. It’s something that we all understand on some level and it holds a lot of us back. I’ll just say this: your best life is on the other side of fear (I didn’t make this up).
This is a heavy one. I can tell you many stories about shame. Trivial things like being that girl that never wants to acknowledge what a menstrual cycle is or that she’s on it (I want no parts—I’m like what’s a tampon? What’s a period app? I’m that girl). To more weighty things like concealing my immigration status for fear of deportation. The tricky thing about shame is I’ve been in so many situations where when my shame was exposed NO ONE CARED and I was like, well that emotional baggage was for nothing. And other scenarios where exposing my shame was like a life altering revelation. In any case the possession it took on my life and psyche (trivial or not) felt the same. It was isolating. And the relief of letting the shame go also felt the same (most of the time). So what I like to do now is if I even have to just tell one person my shame (not as gossip or for them to hold on to my shame as well), it helps me to let it go so I’m not waiting to be free from it. Because until you let the secrecy go you don’t realize you were waiting to unburden yourself. This is how every episode of Hoarders ends by the way (well, the successful ones). I learn so much from that show!
Fam, the money bit is rough. But don’t use it as an excuse. Scale every side of the fence penniless. Every success story doesn’t start with money. And you are a success story.
There’s so many things I wish I did when I was younger. And now that I’m much older I’ve decided to do them anyway. I’m never going to be that young again and I’m never going to be as young as I am now as well. And I’m definitely not waiting to be older to do anything either. I’m so tired of stressing about age I’m going to think ageless thoughts from now on (I just made that up—do it with me!)
I love those memes that circle around Instagram about employers wanting candidates to have job experience but they can’t get the experience until they get the job. Hilarious and accurate right? And it applies to almost everything. The only way to get experience is to step out. We’re all unsure of ourselves but waiting until you have experience is nonsense. So you’re saying you wouldn’t hire yourself to live your life but you’re the only job candidate you’ve got sis.
This somewhat factors into not waiting for the money, and the right time, or other people…all of it. I live in the real world too and I know it’s expensive to travel and see the world. But I’m a huge advocate of city traveling and starting small. Yes we all may not be able to book that trip to the Maldives in three months but if you have a real interest in seeing the world you don’t have to start with the Maldives. But don’t just give up all together because traveling is SO worth it.
On that note I cannot wait for the few trips I have coming up so we can get back to some travel content! I love writing these self-initiatives post but I’m also super excited to take you all away with me soon. In the meantime I’m super anxious to hear how everyone felt about this post. Let me know in the comments if there are things in your life that you didn’t wait for!