getting older [it's not so bad]

9:22 AM

The other day I came across this Oprah quote on my Starbucks cup "Live from the heart of yourself. Seek to be whole, not perfect." Cheesiest line you've probably read today, yes, but it just really stuck with me all day. The idea had been on my mind lately and unsurprisingly Oprah had put it into words beautifully.
For as long as I can remember I had struggled with wanting acceptance and not just from friends or classmates but quite literally everyone. Ironically this need was coupled with the fact that my parents moved us around every three or four years and we all know that the "new kid" is never the popular kid. I lived in a constant state of trying to augment my personality to be more appealing to kids at this school or that school. And I always failed, predictably.
A few years later in came blogging and social media and I found that it actually intensified that desire for acceptance in me. And at least initially, I seemed to have more success with getting people to like me, approve of me. The trick of course was that although people acted as if they liked me initially they would sooner or later become disenchanted and I would be left confused and lonely once again. The fact was that without face to face interaction it's difficult to gauge how authentic someone is being and conversely I'm sure it's difficult to truly understand the personality of someone you met. Relationships take time and although in the beginning online relationships seem like they move faster, in essence they move even slower than a relationship you would create with someone in person. You must sift through a lot to really chisel out someone's personality. It's easy to tweet someone something nice, to leave lovely comments or like their photos but only time will tell if you're willing to invest your time and heart into a relationship with someone.
It's tempting, especially for someone with my background, to want to make myself more appealing to as many people as possible. Things like pinterest and instagram can quickly whip one up into a frenzy of feeling that you must be effortless in everything that you do, you must appear incredibly sweet and down to earth, thoughtful and deep but also not take yourself or anything too seriously, witty and hilarious, smart but not too smart, silly but not an airhead, genuine but also reserved, real to whichever degree that those around you are measuring "realness," post enough but not too much, etc, etc... Sounds exhausting doesn't it? That's because it is. The irony of course is that often the very thing that one person desires to see from you is the thing someone else finds offensive. Thus one becomes caught in a never ending cycle of attempting to please while feeling like all you do is disappoint.
And although I made a decision to stop this insanity a long time ago I still catch myself feeling hurt when I see that I didn't quite measure up to someone's expectation of me or when it turns out that I'm just not someone's cup of tea. That's why I was so glad to come across that quote the other day. It was a good reminder and a wake up call. Every day I wake up and I hope to be the best mama, best wife, employee, friend and person I can be. And then all day long I try my darndest to accomplish that. Sometimes that's just not good enough for some people but I need to remind myself that it needs to be good enough. Although I endlessly beat myself up for letting my toddler watch too much tv or not cooking dinner more often or commenting enough on other IG accounts or blogs I simply can't do it all, I can only do my best.
Because at the end of the day if we live every day according to what others value or want we will lose ourselves very quickly. It's an incredibly confusing and frustrating way to live, I would know. All I know is that I value kindness, honesty, loyalty and joie de vivre and I set out to uphold those values every day. I certainly don't execute perfectly every day but all I do comes from my heart and that has to be good enough. I can't be everything to everyone, I can just be myself.

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5 notes

  1. P.S. I would leave a lengthier, more thoughtful comment, but my brain is mush almost all the time. :)

  2. Oprah has done it again! That lady is wise. I really appreciated reading this post. I have recently been starting to feel the same way. I started blogging properly a few months ago and have already struggled with those feelings even though I don't have a 'fan base' and most of my readers are family/friends. I want to be real, but get so caught up about what my 'real' voice is that maybe it doesn't even end up being my real voice? It's a hard one. Anyway, Oprah is totally right and you do need to just be whole and not worry about the perfect part. This was a great, thought-provoking post that I will be coming back to read when these feelings arise again (which they probably will daily!). Thank you.

  3. Very well said. I loved the thought about how it translates into the blogger world.

  4. Oh goodness, this post is perfect. I really enjoyed reading it- adore you lady.


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