4 years ago today. This relationship has made me challenge my own worth—accepting love when you don't know if you are lovable is very difficult. I've had to face my biggest fears by trusting this man would be there for me. And I've had to overcome countless challenges in order to give and accept love freely. This marriage is my constant source of growth and I'm so glad I get to be with someone who knows how to love, who came from a family with an abundance of it. I didn't think marriage would be for me but it has allowed me to stay when I wanted to flee. It has given me a sense of security that I didn't know I needed. It has provided a space for intimacy I used to be terrified of. Houssem has been a gift to my life—I am so proud to be loved by him.
📷 @kyleheppphotography 💞
My library haul this week is NEXT LEVEL. Best decision I ever made was joining the library. I've read more books in the past couple months than I think I've read in the past year combined. Let me know if you need book recs because OH IVE GOT THEM. 🤓🤓🤓
what do you want when you’re not proving your adequacy?
what do you want when your soul is at peace, when there are no more validations to collect from others?
what pictures play in your mind when you are at your most free?
what would you do without your expectations, your entitlements, your tiny mind-prisons that keep you lost within a 4-walled room?
who do you want to be if you do not need to be anyone for anyone?
who will you be when you decide you do not need to be anyone for anyone?
who, darling, who?
It's been a good day and a good weekend and a busy week. I'm trying to get super crystal clear on what I want out of my life—not just what I can achieve or how much money I can (or can't!) make or which ways of expensive happiness I thought for a long time I *needed* to attain. What is simple? What is free? What is there always, ready to be grabbed up? What sources of joy are not a privilege portioned off for only a few? What do I want from my life that is not my ego, scratching for approval, steeped in need, wanting to want without analysis? I yearn for something purer. Something real. Something that is not on layaway to earn, always out of reach, never as satisfying in reality as in my mind. I don't want to end up one of those people who get to the end of their life and wonder why not, why didn't I, awash in regret that cannot ever be reversed. It is, certainly, a privilege to be able to question myself, to have choices, to be able to linger before choosing a definitive path. Perhaps that's why I take it so seriously, why I am so earnest in the pursuit. I don't want to waste that privilege, acting as though this is a life everyone can have. Maybe it's an overwhelming gratefulness which drives me. I want to take this gift—of choices and options—and spend it wisely, not thoughtlessly. So, I take my time as other people—peers of mine—whizz by me with their certainty. It will be my time in time. This is what I tell myself. Over and over. Like a mantra. It will be my time in time.
Always, always, always. When you don't know what to do or what feels right, turn off the phone, put down the laptop, and breathe. Breathe until you're calm. Ask the question. Listen. Always. (This is a reminder to myself, honestly, because I always fuckinggggggg forget this!)
Here's the thing: I've decided I need to be happy. That being happy is not delusional. It's not about ignoring how I'm feeling or excusing away behavior or living in some fantasy dreamland. It's about reacting favorably, calmly, and with one goal in mind: to get back to peace. I am a person who typically dwells on worst case scenarios. My sunny outlook is hard-won, if I am able to have one at all. I am flooded with negative thoughts. I really am. They are constant. It's anxiety, which I am treating. And it's the writer in me, which I am expressing. And it's my propensity for protection and control. If I am able to conjure up the most negative scenario, perhaps I will be able to thwart it or not feel it if it happens. It's all about protection. Even worry and anxiety is a protection—to stave off the present, to relinquish the need to feel what is happening in the moment. I'm learning (and relearning) how to see through the fog of negativity and find something purer, truer. I want to be happy. A kind of happy that is not based in momentary circumstance. A happy that is strong enough to relinquish control, let down the protections, and live. I'm not there yet. But I'm trying. And that's all that matters.
Spending every Tuesday this month with a group of women talking about our businesses and how to get at our goals. I love @jigplussaw—a female-only coworking space. I really needed this support from other women, to talk shop, and to get the motivation to take myself and my business even more seriously. 💪🏼
What once was difficult is now ease. That is the nature of growth. ✨
Nothing profound to say except I like this look and this picture and my body and my face and hey? Wait? Maybe that's a profound progress for me so hell yesssssssss 💁🏼💁🏼💁🏼
Nearly every insecurity that plagues you, keeps you trapped, keeps you disengaged from your life—is based in what other people think of you. Every insecurity at the root is the question: what will other people think of me and will they love me less if they knew? If they saw me without my masks and protections and walls? We do not need to spend any more precious time battling ourselves. What is the point? To conform to other people's idea of what is acceptable and valuable? To wait for approval? To sit around hoping for permission? I know it's not easy but this is YOUR LIFE. Your ONE precious, wild, limitless life. Remember that. Play it like a mantra until it repeats automatically. Until you can't be anything other than free. That's where I'm at. Done wasting precious hours. I am ready to be unburdened. 💃🏼
Learning to love my face without any makeup on has been an ongoing process. I'm working on resisting the idea that I look "better" with makeup on—where better is a comparison. Enough comparisons! Can a woman ever be as she is without better or worse or before or after?! Can I like my face with or without makeup on it without drawing some huge comparison? I am exhausted by how much I must think about how I present myself to others. I really am. I want to live my life without having silent battles with myself every day. Am I pretty enough? Am I good enough? Am I better than her? Am I successful? THIS QUESTIONING IS COMPULSIVE. Enough with trying to be ENOUGH! All I want to be is me, forge my own path, find a way to exist without limit. I don't want to spend time thinking about whether I should wear makeup or if my skin looks good enough or if this shirt is 'slimming' or if I'm 'hiding' enough in my swimsuit or if I'm adequate enough to be worthy of the life I desire. No! I choose, instead, liberation. I deliberately choose liberation until it's my habit. Until it's my expectation. Until it's the only feeling I will tolerate. Libe-fucking-ration!!! 🙌🏻
Self-doubt sounds like the truth, right? You haven't done X thing because you're lazy. Because you don't want it enough. Because you're not talented enough or good enough or enough enough enough. You know, it's perfectionism. It's control. It's saying that things should have been different than how they are—but based on what? Based on comparisons. Based on expectations. Based on how we think our lives should have panned out if only we'd have been perfect and inhuman and robotic. Self-doubt kills dreams. It kills creativity. It kills joy. It kills uniqueness. It kills what's special about OUR story, OUR path. This perfectionism masked as reality kills growth. Perfectionism does not inspire innovation. It does not make for juicy, intriguing stories that make others feel they are not alone. Perfectionism strips you of your humanity. Now, I know all this. I really do. And yet, here I am, in a self-doubt spiral because someone else's success feels like an indictment of my perceived lack. Deep breaths. Take my own advice. Tell the truth. Get the doubt out into the air so it doesn't eat me whole. I am in my own story. That's all. Nothing to compare to. Just me and me, figuring it the fuck out.