47. I just had to turn off NPR mid-way through a story on eating disorders. It was killing my morning vibe. But it triggered a thought about self-perception and and fitting-in. Fitting in, what is that? Fitting into what? It’s a ridiculous trap. I know that it seems so simple to say, but at times in our lives it feels impossible to ignore.
To find true balance and happiness, is it possible that we can unlearn what is expected of us (perceived or real), and instead learn to tune in? Tune in to that quiet truth that knows what makes us feel whole. Tuning out the noise of “yes, that’s cool, but to be truly happy you have to do all of this other stuff first”.
I’m 5′ 1″. I blush easily. I’m a hard working space cadet. I don’t have children at 41. I uprooted my life and moved across the country and essentially started over. I am doing all of the things that I’m not supposed to do, I suppose. If I were 5’7″ and could fit into clothes designed for a 16-year-old high-fashion waif model, and had 1.5 children and a predictable career. Well, I don’t worry about any of those things any more. But I did. For a while there, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be sure to DO THINGS RIGHT because that would prevent me pain. It would prevent the worst from happening, it would assure my safety, security, success and happiness. And it was all a lie. The only thing thing that came of not challenging what I was expected to do was frustration. Tuning into who you are and what you want and need is not dangerous. It’s not scary. It’s following a true path that will become easier once you commit to it. The whole world will open up if you let the whole world be. And focus instead on just on being you.
This is my favorite image from a few weeks back. I’m in the backseat of my sisters car, on our way to do a family session at the beach. Her stepson Kyle is scrolling through Twitter next to me, and I glance through his bent arm to see the precious cheeks of her daughter. Without an ounce of fitting in energy having yet invaded her little spirit.