A sizable chunk of my teens and twenties were spent going to concerts with friends.
Then one time, as I stood sandwiched between no-name musicians and a group of squawking tweens drunk off hard lemonade, I realized — I don’t really like concerts.
Matter of fact, I spent a lot of my life doing things I didn’t like to do because I wanted to seem cool, fun, evolved – day drinking and bowling being two that come to mind.
But like me, I’m sure you feel pressured to do, be and maintain a lot of things that you’d rather not:
Party on a Friday night when you’d gladly trade stilettos and grape-bombs for ragged pajamas and Sex and the City reruns.
Sustain cardio routines, endure lip waxes and schedule weekly manicures when you despise the gym, love your moo-stache and would rather drink poison than let some remarkablly-aggressive nail tech claws back your cuticles to your wrist. [oh, just me?]
Be the perfect gold star of a wife, girlfriend, fiancé. Freshly baked gluten-free brownies, anyone?
Keep a flawless business, spotless apartment and an immaculate social calendar.
Devour kale, chug vitamins and excitedly bathe in super foods. Because what the fuck are superfoods?!
You feel pressured to get over it, to get after it, to grow, to learn to shift to change to fix to heal to FIGURE IT ALL OUT ALREADY.
Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Drop the home waxing kit and Stop.
And consider for just a moment:
Who YOU want to be? What YOU want to do? How do YOU want to move through life? And at what speed? With whose vision? Is there room for error? Can you learn as you go?
They’re big questions. And deserve lots of oxygen, feelings and time to answer.
But I totally 100% get you.
Precisely because this past week my lovely little life erected impeccably behind one of its last lovely little facades crumbled like the fucking Berlin Wall.
Pressure finally caused a massive personal implosion.
And while the exact circumstance is beautifully mending in the arms of love and time, it took a battalion of my most kind, conscientious and shoot-from-the-hip friends [who are the best friends in the entire WORLD, ever ever EVER] to shake a priceless lesson right up to my surface:
That even though we feel pressured to do it all, be it all, have it all together.
We don’t have to.
We don’t, you don’t, I don’t have to have it all together.
We’re not ready to. Ever.
Because we’re human. And as humans, we’ve got just one task to fulfill in this lifetime — joy.
The inside kind that radiates through ourself, others, the world.
But in order to experience legitimate joy, we must also learn to experience (gulp…) conviction and rejection and resilience and frustration and the twinge that comes with screwing things up BIG TIME.
Be unapologetic about what we like, love and need.
Lead with integrity and vulnerability.
Break our hearts wide open and stay there.
Revel in the lessons.
Say yes to life and no to everything else.
Which will take at least a lifetime to learn.
Because here’s the thing…
People want YOU to show up. All of you. Because YOU are relatable, lovable, real.
The you that needs weekends in, prefers chipped nails and hasn’t quite nailed down this whole relationship thing.
The you that burns the brownies, that’s growing at a snail’s pace, and that sometimes fucks it all up.
The you that has it all together and still needs space to fall a part.
You know what people don’t want? A manufactured, tight-lipped, anxious-on-the-inside version of who you think you should be.
At least not the people you want on your journey.
Authenticity wins. Authenticity triumphs. Authenticity — as cliche as that word may be — is all that really matters in this crazy game of life.
And the people who matter, you included, will love and accept and celebrate you for it.
So be YOU. Messy, kale-hating YOU. And damn proud.
What do you feel pressured to do? Why? Who would you be if you didn’t feel pressured to have it all together? Let’s chat below.