I have been trying to figure out who I am lately.
After a couple of decades of defining myself solely as a mother or someone else’s girlfriend/fiancée, I lost track of who I was, and now (before my eldest graduates from high school and changes our whole dynamic) I am actively searching to find myself.
And I am not going to lie: IT IS SO HARD.
Sifting through years of lies and disguises and self help books that I wouldn’t allow to help and sorting through all of my baggage and internal scripts is all at once eye opening and unmooring.
It’s like learning to sail a boat by casting off from the dock and hoping and praying you know what you’re doing as you drift out towards the open ocean.
Before you decide to tear everything you know about yourself down to rebuild, you have to have something to grab onto when the waters get rough, because they will. That’s what a life-changing experience entails – rough waters and hard work.
And it’s glorious.
So here are 5 things you want to have in your emotional toolbox to survive the time you throw your whole life into upheaval:
- A self care routine. Something you do for yourself either at the beginning or the end of your day without fail. While you are ripping out the insulation and false covers of your soul, you’ve got to take care of the gooey center. You are removing all the fake armor that you built up over a period of time and exposing the soft parts.
It’s like ripping off a scab- you have to take care of what’s underneath. Find something sustainable to do to show yourself some grace and love. It doesn’t have to be super elaborate – I wash my face with fancy face wash in the morning and at night, and make sure I turn off electronics an hour before bedtime, and I make sure to not check social media until I’ve been up and awake for over an hour.
Find your soothing thing and do it daily.
- Your Person. Get your person on board. Be it your mom, your best friend, your husband/wife/partner, your cousin, your pastor, your mailman. (Maybe not your mailman.) Find one person that you can rely on to reach out and help keep your head above water during really bad times.
Someone who will say “hey hey, you’re ok. Here’s a reason why you are awesome.” Someone who will remind you of good things that are true to you. Someone who knows you and understands you.
- A journal of some sort. I find that journaling how I’m feeling and being able to look back and see how far I have come. I write down how I’m feeling on any given day and then try to poke through that feeling to see where it’s coming from. I write without editing to find what’s truly at the core. The core is who I am.
You can blog, you can write notes on your Facebook (and set them to private, you don’t have to share this if you don’t want to) or you could scribble on the back of a receipt. Get it out any way you can.
- At least 10 minutes every day to go outside. This is ESPECIALLY important if you work from home. A lot of us in the WFH (work from home) squad can go hours without even getting up from our desk.
When you are in a complete state of upheaval, it is so important to remember we are human beings. I go outside and put my bare feet in the grass when I have really bad days
- A library card or a budget for books. We cannot do this alone. And we shouldn’t. And we don’t have to.
There are plenty of authors out there who have done this before. People who have ripped their lives out and went Through It and want to help others survive an upheaval and thrive too.
Here are some of my favorite books I’ve read lately:
– For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. A great book on how to be yourself in a gracious way. (A little religious)
– You Are a Badass. (And You Are a Badass At Making Money) Jen came to awesomeness later in life, which really speaks to me. Both books are straightforward and not at all preachy.
– Love Warrior. I have to be honest, I find the author a bit annoying and confusing on social media, but I went into this book setting that aside, and am glad I did. This is a passionate story about finding herself after a long history of burying herself under other things so people couldn’t reach the real her. Love it. And Carry On Warrior as well.
– Give and Take. I haven’t gotten to this one yet in my book pile, but so many people recommended it to me, it has to be good!
When it all boils down to it, you know you’ve got this. You are doing this for a reason and it’s a great reason: because you want to live your best life.
And you can totally do it <3
There are some Amazon affiliate links in this post – you don’t pay anything extra, but you do help keep my family in shoes that fit, glitter and bath bombs.