Have you ever wanted to do something but feared failure so you never got started? That was me. Then I had a life coaching session where I had my mind blown when I envisioned what my authentic life looks like (more on that in future posts). And a key part of what I wanted to do? Start a blog.
So, here it is. My inaugural blog post. After I hemmed and hawed about starting a blog for years, I'm finally doing it.
How do I feel? Exhilarated, terrified, and embarrassed to be putting myself out there. I have faith, though, that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. I've wanted to start a blog to share the messiness of life that you don't see on social media. I want to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and celebrate how life is perfectly flawed. I want to share moments where I've lived my authentic life, the moments that challenge my authenticity, and highlight stories of other women embracing their authentic lives. I'm hoping this blog will evolve into a space for encouragement, empowerment, and authenticity where you feel empowered to embrace who you are.
Why do I care about authenticity? To me, the most important key to feeling content with your life is to be authentic, which to me means being true to who you really are. That requires two things: first that you know who you are and second that you pursue what is in line with who you are. (MUCH more on this in future posts!)
So, who am I? Well, before I tell you who I am, I want to share how I came to my answer. When I started thinking about this question several years ago, I listed off a bunch of roles and talked about how each role was a piece of my pie. Some days, I'd explain, my pie is mostly taken up by being a good employee. Other days I'm more a wife, mom, daughter, yogi, sister...well, you get the picture. I tried to tell myself that these roles and the time I spent playing each of them all came together would ebb and flow. I tried to feel content even though I felt like I was on a see-saw between who I wanted to be and who I thought I should be.
I had an epiphany one day during a conversation with my husband, Nate. I was agonizing for the millionth time about how I felt like I couldn't manage it all. I told him I had too many conflicting needs and priorities of who I wanted/needed to be. I told him my pie needed to be bigger but I couldn't figure out how to make it bigger. "There's only so much time in a day and I only have so much energy," I said. I was telling him that it just seemed like there were so many different roles and "shoulds" in my life that I couldn't quite manage a moment where I felt peace. And even if I could feel a moment of peace, I didn't enjoy it because I focused on how that peace was fleeting and going to be over any second.
After giving me space to vent, Nate said in his very calm, logical, and loving way, "Kate, it doesn't matter what role you're fulfilling at any given moment. You're always you. You have one self."
Insert a long, overly dramatic pause. His words stopped me. Completely. You're always you.
I felt his words sink into my soul. My muscles went slack, the breath I'd been holding wooshed out, my shoulders relaxed away from their usual spot up to my ears. You're always you. My mind and heart together said, "Yes! Yes! This is what we need to know!" You're always you.
I realized in that moment that I was thinking about all of the parts of myself as separate selves, with separate roles, priorities, and time needs. I unintentionally pitted parts of myself against one another, especially when it came to the amount of time I would spend playing a given role. Which meant I constantly felt unbalanced, discontent, and, honestly, angry. Don't ask me what I wasn't measuring up to because I can't tell you. All I know is that I was filling my own head with "Shoulds" and "Shouldn'ts" and never meeting my own expectations, or what I assumed were the expectations of those around me.
The result? I felt like a failure. Often. Then I would get mad at myself for feeling like a failure and try to tell myself I did my best, but the little voice of Should in my head would whisper, But it's not enough.
When Nate said the words, You're always you, it was like a seismic shift happened in my sense of self. Because my mind and heart had been waiting to ground in this truth, when Nate said the words aloud, my soul buried itself deep inside this truth and sprouted steadfast roots. Those words began my journey. My journey of figuring out who I truly am, at my absolute core, and then the adventure of figuring out how to pursue a life that makes me feel in harmony with who my true self is. Every day since, I have made conscious choices focused on knowing myself, discovering new things about myself, and being true to who I am.
So, who am I really? I am me. Anti-climactic, right?
In all honesty, I tried coming up with a description of who I am. I realized I couldn't because it all fell flat and didn't feel authentic. Like all of us, I am a complex person, and to write down who I am on paper would only give a tiny glimpse into who I am. You will learn more about who I am by how and what I write about so the answer will come, but not in a short paragraph form :)
I can, however, distinctly tell you what my lifelong goal is. I plan to spend my life seeking contentedness, balance, a sense of engagement, and presence in every moment.
Now, to the second question, how am I pursuing what is in line with who I am? The simple answer is by:
- Being a creator in my life
- Listening to my gut
- Connecting with myself and loved ones
- Staying grounded in my spirituality
I will definitely share far more detail on how I do these things in my blog because that is the central theme to my journey. To give you some teasers on what types of things I'll be sharing, I'll talk about things like:
- Becoming a mom by adopting out of foster care
- Redefining my career
- Our family's decision to move from Michigan and pursue a new life in North Carolina
- Being a creator while dealing with a chronic illness
I'll also have some guest bloggers, more details on that upcoming, who will share their stories on how they figured out who they are, and/or how they are pursuing their authentic lives. (As I was writing the list of upcoming topics, I felt such a huge rush of excitement to be on this blog journey. Thank you for joining me on it!)
But before I sign off, I ask you to challenge yourself. Ask yourself, "If I had no fear, what is one thing I would do tomorrow?" Write your answer down. Carry it around with you for a couple days. Let that simmer for a little bit. We will get back to it in the next post where I will share my answer!