There have been many times in my life that I felt like a complete failure.
Someone else’s idea of how my life should look and function caused me many years of turmoil. It is
a lot massive amount of work railing against how you want to be. When you know, deep down inside, you want something different than what you see around you.
I never made a conscious decision to marry. I has never one of those girls that spend her days dreaming about Prince Charming, a fairy tale wedding and how many kids I would have. There was no ideal career plans nor adventures concocted.
I got married, the first time, for reasons beyond love and none of them good reasons. My mom loved my first husband and she told me once, You need to marry that boy, he will calm you down. I wasn’t sure, at that time, what needed calming down, but I married him anyway. Looking back I suppose it was my desire to embrace everything that my mom was uncomfortable with. She was the epitome of stand by your man, and did so through affairs, sexually transmitted diseases, poverty, violence and alcoholism. It made sense that she would tell me, at the ripe old age of 19, to get married.
I got married the second time to please his mother. (Hmmm do we see a theme here?)
I am now twice divorced. This fact used to make me feel like a complete loser. However, time does heal most wounds and allows us to gain distance from a trauma, which in turn allows us to gain insight. You don’t have much clarity in the middle of a crisis. What you want to focus on is the crisis. Today, I do not myself as a failure/loser.
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Because I didn’t have a plan for my life, I can’t say my life didn’t go as I planned. While in high school I wavered back and forth between being a model and a marine biologist. Playing in the high school band was the highlight of my academic career. My first year in college, after high school, I wanted to major in Special Education. I didn’t follow through with any of these.
I was too fearful to strike out on my own and explore. And by my own I mean without the constant supervision and guidance of what others thought I should do, told me to do. Both times I was married, my husbands life became my life. I stayed in jobs I didn’t like for too long. I kept toxic people in my life for years. After I graduated high school I’ve spent over 30 years being not who I was.
No wonder I drank so much. Ok that wasn’t funny. But it’s true.
I didn’t really have a plan and maybe you did. Maybe your life hasn’t gone as you planned. Maybe you didn’t have a plan either and life sort of happened to you. Either way we may be in the same boat, so where do we go from here?
Know that it’s okay if life doesn’t look like what you planned or wanted. Let all that go with the awareness that life is fluid and doesn’t understand rules and plans. Know that today is the day you can start to create a life you want while riding the bumps and waves and enjoying the adventure.
Be open to what is in front of you. There were many years I dismissed otherwise perfectly good options because I was ____________. (Fill in the blank because there were hundreds of reasons I would come up with.
Let go of the stories that keep you down. Don’t stay the victim or be the martyr. I spent so much time whining about how others had treated me. What a waste of time and head space! When you let your stories control your life, it becomes too easy to justify why you can’t move forward. See, didn’t I tell you, nothing ever works out for me, I am just unlucky I guess. My story was always about how others had treated me: If only my parents had done a better job of raising me, if only my second husband hadn’t cheated on me, if only my boss wasn’t so demanding.
Try something new…all…the…time!!! I have tried so many new things over the past
three five years. Some I have kept and some I will never do again! But you don’t know until you know and you never know what might tickle your fancy that you want to explore further!
Embrace who you really are-Even if you have to do it in private for a while.
Be kind to you. One of the most damaging things you can do is engage in hateful talk toward yourself. Speak to yourself as if you were talking to a loved one. Put good food into your body. Dance, run, walk, laugh, do all those things that make your body happy and healthy. Treat yourself like the Queen you are!
What can you do, right this minute, to start living the life you want? Pursue an old passion? Start keeping a journal? Get up and go for a walk? Sign up for a class? Call a friend you miss? Spend some time alone? There are many things you can do and they don’t have to be big. They just have to be something you want to do.