It’s been a while since I’ve shared what I’ve learned with the world. The past two years have been filled with a lot of trials and tribulations, so my personal sharing has been limited. Yet I feel that it is time for me to get back to basics and share the lessons I am learning during this time of intense personal reflection.
What I’ve Learned
1. I can’t make everyone happy.
I have always tried to be everything to everyone. That has meant sacrificing myself, time with my family, my general health, and well-being. It has also meant ignoring intensely personal creative projects that I’ve pushed to the wayside in order to focus on others. My personal philosophy has always been that of the Buddha and to keep feet firmly planted in the present and enjoy the experiences happening in the right now. Instead, I found myself running back and forth with no focus and direction.
Living that way is not easy. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. And while I may sound incredibly selfish, I have had to say “no more.” I will not bend to suit the moods of others. Their moods are theirs to own, not mine to manage.
2. I can only be me.
I don’t want to discuss how often I have changed who am I am to make others happy. Typing that makes it real. Not only real but also a bitter, tough pill to swallow. I’ll be quite honest with you, I’m disappointed in myself.
But, it’s more than that. Like every other woman in this country, I’m angry, I’m triggered, and I am exhausted. And I refuse to bow to the whims of others and change because they deem it so. I have been in therapy for two years to deal with my inner self/critic.
My inner critic is an asshole who feeds into my feelings of isolation and encourages me to avoid others and remain in a cycle of perpetual loneliness.
I turned against myself, my own social nature, listening to my inner critic who told me I had to do things a certain way and be a certain thing for everyone. My isolation was the perfect breeding place for negative, self-critical thoughts.
The more self-critical I was, the more isolated I became. Which led to my dropping out of everything I loved, including this space, for the majority of the past 5 years.
I can only be me, as I am now. I’m not the same Lisa, but a new version. I don’t even know what that version looks like, but here I am.
3. I need quiet.
Even though I realize I am quite a social person, I need quiet. A lot of quiet. People would say that I’m a “highly sensitive person” and there may be some of that, but that is not for this place.
I like quiet. I don’t like the noise of social media hammering away at me 24/7. My work is in social media/communications at a high level in the nonprofit world, so I get the irony of this whole statement. But I’m pretty sure this is how I realized how essential quiet is for me. When you’re so fully connected and on call 24 hours a day, digital burnout comes at you hard and fast.
Finding quiet keeps me sane.
4. I like feeling strong.
I am pretty sure I’ve spent my entire life worrying about what other people think about me on the outside. There are countless hours wasted in front of a mirror worrying about my exterior appearance and how that somehow makes my self-worth better, or be more acceptable to society at large.
At this point in my life, I just do not care what other people think about my outside. I am more concerned about my body being strong and fit. Yes, I am fat, but thanks to PCOS and other hormonal issues I am never going to be what others deem is acceptable. I’m much happier knowing I can go to the gym and bust out my time on the treadmill, or truly sink into my poses during yoga class. I feel alive when I am sweating and moving. Truly alive. It is a beautiful thing.
There is so much more to share, so many more lessons learned. But for now, this is my stopping point. Be well, friends.