My belief in my own self-doubt is the only thing holding me back. I cling to it like a life preserver. Yet just now I’m shaking my head like I’m coming out of a dream, realizing the life preserver is actually an anchor and it’s dragging me down while I struggle to stay afloat.
Just because I sometimes let fear get the better of me doesn’t mean I am not also sometimes incredibly courageous. It never ceases to amaze me how when it’s something I really, really want, I can push myself through a sickening sea of extremely dark negative thoughts in order to put myself there. I’ve been wearing all of these expectations that others have of me like they are actually a part of me, thinking I have to take on every single thing. But I can’t do that. When I spread my energy too thin I wear myself down and spin my wheels. If I save my energy for the things that matter most, I can do anything.
I’ve been struggling with feeling directionless lately because I’ve been pulled creatively in about ten different directions at once. I have more ideas than I know what to do with, and more than a dozen dreams that I’m in love with. And because I create best when I follow the inspiration and allow it to pour out of me unhindered, I find myself jumping from project to project. It takes me forever to finish these projects (at least it feels that way to Miss Impatient Me) but I do eventually get there. I’m getting really close to putting a box around my latest project and getting ridiculously excited to share it. But it’s not quite done yet so I’m going to desperately try not to get ahead of myself. (Really… SO FREAKEN CLOSE THOUGH! The anticipation is killing me.) I have learned the hard way how important it is to wait until projects are actually ready before you share them. It’s worth taking the time to make them as good as you can without being such a perfectionist you get stuck in revisions forever. Patience, Tien-san.
The journey of life is very much like putting together an oversize jigsaw puzzle without ever seeing the front of the box. For a long time, you’re grasping at pieces, trying anything to see what fits. You have no idea what your goal is or where you’re going, just a blind faith that eventually some of the pieces will fit together and start to make sense. Over the years, they kind of begin to; but you still have no idea what the final picture will look like. Then one day you somehow manage to put a whole bunch of pieces together at once and a great number of things come sharply into focus. It’s been so slow in coming that all at once it seems like you can see the whole picture. It takes a while before the glow fades and you realize that it may be a big piece, but it’s not the whole puzzle. There are still more pieces that are missing. So you keep sorting, testing, searching. And then one golden afternoon you look down at the sheet of paper that came with the puzzle and realize that it says “Infinite piece jigsaw puzzle”.
It’s never, ever going to be finished. And the moment you stop fighting with that fact, the puzzle becomes a lot more fun. You realize that every single day you get to add your own brand-new pieces to it — and the picture will continue to become what you choose for it to be.
You will hurt. Parts of you might never stop hurting. But you don’t have to let yourself be defined by those hurts. They are not all that you are. That pain gives you the gift of a deeper, richer, and more fulfilling joy than you can possibly imagine. It starts with deciding to love yourself exactly as you are — millions of flaws and all, imperfections that stick like needles — not with the expectation that you have to act or behave a certain way to be a lovable person. You decide to forgive yourself for the things that feel unforgivable. You are lovable, even if you don’t always feel that way.
Today I feel the most incredible sense of peace I have felt in a long, long time. I’m a highly imperfect person, filled to the brim with flaws and fears and regrets. And you know what? I’m also fucking awesome. It’s amazing how much fear I have to say that. I’m like, “if I say that does that make me vain?” It’s a very tight shoe for someone that has spent her life feeling inferior in just about every way. But no — there’s not a damn thing wrong with me saying hey, there are probably a lot of people out there who don’t like me for one reason or another. They perceive me negatively for whatever reason. But those people don’t get to define who I am. Don’t I deserve to finally know for once what it feels like to actually really like who I am? Why does my insecurity get to be the box I hide myself in forever?
It’s such a peaceful feeling to own your power. No, I’m not going to set myself up for the expectation that I can live in that 24/7. But when I’m connected to my own heart and I say to myself I’m going to love you, Tien, even when you fall on your face, well… I feel like I can do anything.