Growing up I used to try on a bunch of different personas. I went through phases of wanting to be: skater girl, surfer girl-yup, surfer girl southern Michigan, emo chick, scene queen, punk-ish, goody-goody, hippie, preppy, etc. The list goes on and on. One day I'd be wearing pearls and reading vogue, the next day I'm painting my nails neon pink and asking to go to thrift stores. I had no freakin clue who I was. I felt like I had to choose one of these "characters" and stick with it.
There were things I was always interested in, but again felt like I needed to fit into a mold in order to belong and feel loved. I wanted to wear tye-dye and long flowy skirts- which I kind of started to do in middle school... but I would wear an American Eagle polo with the flowy skirt because I needed that logo to determine part of my worth. I was interested in angels, elements, tarot cards, etc. I was fascinated with mediums and intuitives. The idea of being a free spirit that traveled and created art filled my soul- but I ignored it. That didn't fit with my "go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, buy a home, have kids" plan and definitely didn't fit with my goody-goody, work hard to get the hell out of this town character I felt stuck in. My last couple years of high school I started to branch out. I started to explore this free spirit idea in my head, but it wasn't always in the healthiest of ways.
I got in some trouble. I learned some hard lessons. Those are for another post on another day. Let's fast forward a little bit to where I am now...
I have done two rounds of May Cause Miracles, read countless self-help/spirituality books, had energy healings done and got some coaching. By releasing blocks, doing the shadow-work, connecting to my spirit guides, praying to God, and asking my angels for guidance- I have gotten to a place of confidence and happiness. I feel connected to my truth and who I am. I have learned that truth is not stagnant- I am always evolving and growing, so my truth must too.
I have a daily meditation practice, a growing crystal collection, and 3 decks of angel cards. I use affirmations, prayer, and journaling as tools to keep me in alignment and cope with stressors. I wear what I want to- I do not feel the need to fit one particular style. I will wear my lularoe leggings with my flowy dress and crystal jewelry every damn day if I want to. I wear make-up and do my hair when I feel like it and I don't worry about what others think of me when I am not all done up. I love going to craft fairs, farmer's markets, book shops, and metaphysical stores. I enjoy watching reality television and eating chocolate- things I used to consider guilty pleasures and NO LONGER FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THEM. I love nature, especially any body of water. I love animals, but I don't really want to touch them (unless it is a cute puppy/dog). I am a feminist who strongly believes in equal rights for ALL on ALL levels & platforms. I have a Master's degree in therapy and I want to use that degree to help others, but on a spiritual level and through a soulful perspective.
I am passionate about serving and healing others. I know that my purpose is to love myself unconditionally and to teach others how to do the same. I understand that I have a chronic illness that causes me physical pain so that I can have a deep understanding of the mind-body connection and use that understanding to help others heal. I am creative, compassionate, empathetic, and intelligent. I am a strong, wise, spiritual badass with amazing healing capabilities. I am divinely guided on how to use my gifts & passions to support my purpose and serve others. I am unconditional love. I am my authentic truth.
When I was in preschool, they had an optional dance class that you could go to and you would get to wake up early from nap time. I obviously took them up on that offer because hello less nap time, more play time? Yes, please! At first the class was fun, I have memories of twirling around to the music and just being so happy to not be pretending to be asleep on my mat. The teacher had us do this exercise where we made facial expressions based off of the word she said- I remember when she said the word "queen" I must have made a strange expression because the rest of the girls started laughing at me. As I'm typing this, I can't believe how vividly I really remember it. I intended to write about the first time I felt judged in the second grade and then this memory came back to me! Dance class was never the same after that. I started to notice the ways I was different from them. At such a young age I learned the art of comparison. They were all really tiny. I was not tiny. They were flexible. I was not flexible. I stopped dancing and went back to pretending to be asleep on my mat.
The older I grew, the more intense this fear of judgment became. It hit way new levels when I moved in the summer before fourth grade. The value of popularity became everything to me. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to belong. I did everything I could. I begged my mom to take me to Limited Too for clothes- side note: my first Limited Too shirt was a tee with my zodiac sign (Pisces) and signed up to play basketball. Being the new girl was hard, trying to fit in with the popular crowd seemed like the answers to all of my problems. The harder I tried to fit in- the clearer it was that I did not. I seriously tried for YEARS to be accepted into this crowd. I tried to change every single thing I could. Again, the harder I tried, the worse things got.
I was lucky enough *sarcasm* to be in the ever vulnerable pre-adolescent stage of life when AIM and AOL became popular. I had to try to fit in at school and online. I'd be so excited to get an e-mail from one of the "popular" girls only to be destroyed when I would read words like, "you are fat and nobody likes you." "your lisp makes you sound stupid so shut up": "you are selfish and annoying." "everyone would be happier if you died." "go kill yourself." It didn't stop for years. When this happens, you try to change even more to get these hurtful words to stop.
I would change my hair, my taste in music, the slang I used, the books I read, my interests, my clothing, etc. I was so afraid to be myself because she seemed even weirder than the girl trying too hard. I thought back then that I wanted to be popular, but I really just wanted to be loved.
Eventually, I surrendered to the fact that I did not belong in the popular crowd. I found a group of friends that accepted me and supported me through some dark times. The fear of judgment can come up in so many different forms. Fear of being judged for our looks, bodies, interests, hobbies, etc. This fear of being judged based off my popularity was holding me back from genuine friendships.
Today, as I continue to embrace my truth and express it, I am finding myself surrounded with beautiful, like-minded people. I am grateful for releasing this fear and being blessed with an abundance of amazing souls as friends. If I hadn't gotten out of my way and past this fear of judgement, I might not have all of these wonderful people in my life. I have friends who are entrepreneurs, adventurers, creators, etc. They inspire me DAILY to be my best self. I have friends that go on road trips, travel to other countries, meditate, play guitar, etc. Their talents are limitless. I needed to release the fear of being judged based on my popularity in order to create space for these friendships to bloom and blossom.