I used to be afraid to take time off.
Now I realize that the more frightening thing is what happens when I don’t.
I used to be afraid to dissent.
Then I watched RBG and learned the power of the dissenting voice.
I used to be afraid to say no to my kids.
Now I say no when I’m clear, and sit with my discomfort of displeasing them, in the name of something bigger, usually involving self-sufficiency and/or safety.
I used to be afraid everything would just crumble.
Then I found out that I could survive and keep going when it did.
I used to be afraid the work would dry up.
Now I practice coming back fully to the present moment and not letting my fear stories run amuck.
I used to think I should only share posts that were amazing.
Then I just started sharing writing as I wrote, without the amazing part.
I used to think other people were racist.
Now I know that racism lives in me, because I grew up in America with white skin.
I used to think I wanted to have a sexual experience with a woman. You know, just once.
Then I realized I was one million percent gay and my whole life flashed before my eyes like in a movie, and all the longing and searching made sense.
I used to look at what other people were doing enviously, achingly.
Then I started learning about the insides of other people’s lives, and saw that the grass is never actually greener once you get up close to it. It’s all just grass.
I used to be good.
I used to be nice.
I used to be a kid who loved eating.
Then I stopped eating. Then I learned to love eating again.
I used to be afraid of taking up room.
Now I see that that shrinking and narcissism live on the same spectrum, and I don’t wish to inhabit either extreme.
I used to believe you had to have a degree or certification in something in order for it to be legitimate.
Then I hung my first shingle and not a single person asked me about my credentials.
I used to need everyone to like me.
Now that is not a priority, though I still struggle with it sometimes and worry about being enough.
I used to think I had to be endlessly positive and bright in order to be my “best.”
Then I learned that the people who love me love me even when I’m feeling depressed, lost, doubtful, angry, confused, or sad.
I used to be a lot of things.
Now I am also a lot of things.
I could not be this me without having moved through every single one of those moments.
Nothing is wasted.
We’re here to grow.