Take Me, Baby, Or Leave Me (to quote RENT)

I came across this quote on another blog the other day. I’m inclined to take it as a sign.

A little background: I had a conversation several weeks ago that convinced me that I’m just around the corner from that elusive “having it all.” The catch: I needed to recognize the signs and follow my instincts. So, yeah, seeing a quote so applicable to my life? Sign.

I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason, and that there is a plan for us – one that we may not always understand, but will be much better off once we finally accept.

That said, I’ve also been referred to as “intimidating” on more occasions than I’d care to admit. Why? I have no idea (honestly, I think I’m one of the least intimidating people in the world). Some claim it’s my looks. Some claim that it’s the fact that I have been pretty successful in just about anything I’ve set out to do. Some claim that it’s that I’m a group fitness instructor (and this one continues to stump me more than any of the others).  Seriously?

Now that I have you thinking I’m totally conceited, let me make one thing clear: I have spent most of my life feeling judged. Under the impression that I’m not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or smart enough, or funny enough, or any other something enough. I often just assume that people don’t like me, and wonder if I were just a terrible person in a previous life, and now I am left paying for the sins of a former me.

And yes, that is what has, in many ways, held me back.

And yes, I’m trying hard to stop letting it.

The fact is, attitude is everything. The way you look at a situation or a circumstance is the way that you will see it. I’ve spent a lot of time joking that I’m going to die old and alone. That my family has just stopped asking me if I’m dating anyone, because they know the answer is no.

Instead, I’m going to keep doing what I love, and doing it well. I’m going to keep positive and know that the happiness and positive energy within me is going to draw like-minded people into my life. I deserve to live my life and make myself happy rather worrying about what other people think about it. I don’t want to hold back, and I don’t want to settle. I want it all. I deserve it all. And when the time is right, I will have it all.

I shouldn’t have to justify who I am, and I shouldn’t have to apologize for my mama making me pretty, working my ass off for what I want, or loving exercise so much that I want to share it with others. You know why? Because it is the man who’s impressed by these things who is the right one for me.

A Little Reminder to Myself …

Came across this the other day (thank you, once again, Yogi Teas, for your inspired labels), and I found it particularly applicable this week.

I don’t know what provoked it, but I’ve been a little down this week. Feeling a little lonely. Alone. Ostracized. Excluded. I guess I was due for it – this year has been pretty free of lows for me.

That’s the thing I’ve never been able to quite conquer – the fact that I seem to be somewhat of a walking contradiction. I’ve never been afraid to go after the things that I want the most, but I’m consumed by fear of rejection when it comes to getting the one thing I truly want more than anything in the world. I love being around people, yet I find myself so crippled by fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, or what other people are thinking, or of judgements, that I have a hard time really being completely comfortable around anyone until I know that they are receptive to my friendship.

Much in the same vein, I do have trouble letting my guard down, and being vulnerable. Maybe it’s age, or maybe it’s just oversensitivity, but I feel like the few occasions in which I have allowed myself to open up, I’ve ended up getting hurt. I realize that pain and struggle is part of the process, but so much of me wonders why it has to be so hard for people to just be real. Say what they mean. Mean what they say. Avoid conflict. Though I’m starting to think that in my attempts to avoid conflicts, I’ve hurt myself – squandered opportunities, been passed over for someone more assertive. And that truly hurts my heart.

But I’m not going to wallow in the fallout of a bad day (which, by all accounts, should have been a great day – had I not allowed myself to feel like the outsider looking in). I’m going to use it as a learning experience, and motivation to know that something amazing is at the end of the tunnel. A reward for the struggles. To finally get that ultimate happiness that is sure to be the result of overcoming what may now appear to be impossible challenges. As much as I hate the saying “good things come to those who wait,” I do hope it’s true – because as long as I feel like I’ve been waiting, something pretty amazing has to be ahead of me.

Why I’m doing this …

I think sometimes we got so wrapped up in what we don’t have, that we forget to be grateful for the things we do. We become so focused on how perfect others’ lives seem, that we forget that everything happens for a reason, and there’s a timetable attached to it – and it may not be the same as the “life plan” we’ve set for ourselves. If it did, I’d be living a very, very different life right now.

I’ve recently embarked on year #31, and I’ve decided to try doing  something that I probably should have been doing all along – thinking less about when my life is going to figure itself out. It’s time (probably past time, honestly) that I start spending more time enjoying whatever life throws at me. Because at the end of the day, I may not have everything I want in my life – but what I do have is pretty great.

So there’s my goal for the next year – and hopefully beyond – to live my life, and not compare my haves and have nots to others’, and not to focus so much on what I’ve done so wrong to end up so “behind schedule.” Because I don’t think that it’s so much that I’ve done anything wrong. It may be that I spent so much time looking for what I don’t have that I stopped enjoying what I do have. Or that I spent so much time working that I forgot what it felt like to be living. Or that I’ve been so afraid of “screwing it up” that I’ve held myself back from things that may have left me exposed and vulnerable – but could have been wonderful.

I’ll admit that it scares me to death. I’m a planner. I’d love to know exactly what is going to happen every day for the rest of my life. But I know that’s impossible (How does that quote go? Something along the lines of “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”?) So, yes, I’m scared. Terrified. But I also know that nothing scares me as much as the thought of doing what I’ve been doing, then finding myself looking back 20 years from now, wondering what my life could have been had I stopped worrying about when it was going to work itself out and started enjoying whatever it is that fate throws at me.