#WriteWithMe Reflection: Week 7

The prompts this last week were a welcome break for me in a lot of ways. I got to reflect on how I have grown in the last year, the challenges and obstacles, small victories, and the people who help me hold it all together as I grow.

One thing that came up as I reflected was how much more assured I am this year that I am heading the right direction for myself. And, that as assured as I am, I still sometimes get these little moments when I see a friend or someone I am connected to celebrating getting to a milestone they were working for. I am genuinely happy for them, I love seeing people reach those things they’ve been working towards and also when things just come together for people. I love that and it gives me such joy!

And also, I noticed that sometimes I also feel a little pang. I labeled it jealousy at first, but as I unpacked it I noticed it’s not actually jealousy. I don’t want the thing my friends or connections worked for, and I don’t want to be them. I think they are awesome and inspiring, and the real deal is that I am too! I am very confident in this, even when there’s that little voice in my head that I swear is best friends with imposter syndrome. I know I am a badass, and I am surrounded by badass people!

Obviously this took me down a pathway that was a bit off the topic, though clearly somehow connected in my jumpy little brain.

Anyway, I unpacked this a bit more one day. I began to understand that the little sting I felt was really a bit of me saying “I wish it didn’t take so long to do the good things,” and the bigger bit of it…? A reminder that I’m fighting back against what society would tell me is supposed to be what I’m reaching for, and how far I am supposed to be on this upward climb. The expectations and what is glorified in this field, the pressure to fit into a specific mold that can be gold-dusted and set on display as a shining example of what happens when you are ‘just so.’ When you are palatable to the pickiest of eaters.

There’s a piece of me that still responds with fawn, that discomfort still shows up because my body hasn’t figured out quite yet how to release that pressure without feeling like it is linked to my survival. My body hasn’t quite figured out that I don’t need to be approved of in order to live, or to live the life I really want. My brain and my body are still disconnected sometimes, and I am a work in progress in this regard.

And as I reflected on this even more, I noticed that the little feeling subsides and turns into mild annoyance, mild annoyance quickly grows into exhausted frustration. After all this time, after all this work, after all this healing, I still find myself untangling from the traumas I have lived through.

Then it clicked. This tangled up mess is partially why it is so hard for me to put into words what it is that I am reaching towards, what I am working for. Societal expectations of what I should want, what I should be doing with my life, how I should be showing up in spaces. Those are things I break every day. But the weight and pressure of them? Though it wasn’t something I was conscious of, it is definitely something I feel.

And that’s my reflection for week seven.

Bet you didn’t see that coming either.