I’ve been getting some cues from the universe to take a serious look at what I’m supposed to be doing with my talents, ambitions, and insights. I’m successfully self-employed as a content marketer. Overall, I love working with my clients to develop results-driven content, whether we’re talking about blog posts, ebooks, case studies, optimized web pages, etc. I’ve been working in marketing for twenty years now and it makes sense that I’d continue focusing on this “line” of business, right? Not so fast.
The Times They Are A-Changin’
The short answer is “yes,” and I plan to keep my day job. But the long answer is…there’s something else brewing that may ultimately take hold. I have a health and wellness story I’ve been sharing here–to a very limited audience–and have always suspected I have more to say. As a creative professional who connects-the-dots for a living, I have a natural affinity, if you will, for personalizing a story plucked from the larger context. Translation: I think I may be able to help people, like me, who struggle with “self” issues that impact their food relationships.
Can I? Am I supposed to? I’m still ON my journey (but aren’t we all?) and discovering new insights, every day, that bring me closer to the “real me.” There’s someone inside of me, pushing toward the surface, who wants to create and enjoy a full life unencumbered by “shoulds” and “not enoughs” and “what’s wrong with me’s.” I’m pretty sure I’ve got to keep moving her along! Is she ready to speak out? Along this journey to lose weight (or so I thought!), I’ve learned that my goal is not to lose weight–it’s to find myself. That’s not an entirely comfortable thing to say, but I’m ready to say it.
How sad, really, that I’ve been trying to “fix” myself from the inside-out so I can fit into size 8 jeans, never feeling like I’m “enough” as long as my muffin top spills over the snug waistline. That’s the reality, folks. And it’s really, really, I promise, not vanity. But I do confess, I don’t like people asking me if I’m pregnant and I do prefer a smoother, roll-less look. But the AUTHENTIC struggle has been driven by trying to answer this question:
“What’s wrong with me?” My stream of consciousness goes like this: “I have accomplished so much in my life and have so much to be grateful for–but I just can’t get rid of this muffin top? Why can’t I eat like a ‘normal’ person? And on that note, since we’re talking about what’s normal, why can’t I be like my normal friends and neighbors, who don’t get so irritated by their kids? And why do all of my peers have bigger houses and take cool vacations? I’ve worked just as hard, maybe harder, and we can’t even afford to get the windows replaced on our house or replace our 1959 vinyl kitchen flooring. But I’m so grateful to have a house–a lovely, albeit small, and not-quite-as-vintage-as-I-pictured-myself-in house across the street from a park in a great community with fun neighbors and tons of kids. Why am I complaining? I’m such a jerk. I’m SO blessed, and I’m sitting here complaining like there’s something wrong with my life–like I’m just wrong. I’m just wrong. This hurts. I hurt.”
And around I go.
Everybody Hurts, Sometimes.
Please, don’t get me wrong, no pun intended. I actually function quite well and I do consider myself “happy.” I don’t really believe, intellectually, that I’d be happier if I slipped into the size 8s and rolled home into the driveway of my c.1915 home and started packing for my upcoming European adventure vacation. I believe, in my HEART, that I have everything I need in life: a loving family, a warm home, and a stream of first-world problems that aren’t really problems at all. And a burgeoning spirituality that’s bringin’ it all on home. (Hallelujah!)
But there’s still a disconnect, obviously, because I feel remarkably uncomfortable in my own skin and my thoughts can be so discouraging! Those internal scripts that run–the ones that tell me (sometimes I can barely hear them, but they’re there) I’m not good enough, rich enough, mom-enough, sexy enough, confident enough, entrepreneurial enough, ad infinitum–are the scripts that signal to my brain, “go eat and comfort thyself because this self worth stuff is icky business!”
How many times in this blog have I addressed the fact that this isn’t about food and weight at all? Human beings are very intricately wired–and everyone’s wiring is a little screwed up, somewhere. Let’s embrace that and love each other for that. A whole hell of a lot of us don’t recognize that it’s OK to be inherently complex, and maybe a little inherently crazy. And that maybe, learning to accept who we really are–the good, bad, and the crazy–is all we need to feel free. Free from substance or behavioral compulsions, the shame cycle, the compare-myself-to-others trap, and all of that other junk that stands in the way of joy. (How’s that, Brene Brown?!)
Riding Off The Rails On A Crazy Train
I want freedom and joy. It’s that simple. But because this is so much easier said than done, even with a spiritual program (e.g. 12 steps, scripture) to guide you, there’s a need for real, authentic, “I’ve been there and we’re in this together” support. Not just peer support, although that’s critical. I mean professional, coaching support from voices that comfort, heal, empower, and celebrate what makes us uniquely human. A voice that God (the universe, higher power, etc.) can speak through. I don’t know if I’m being called to BE one of those voices. I don’t know if I’m just meant to consider it for a few moments. In my last post, I talked about finding clarity, and obviously, I’m still seeking it.
I’m actively waiting for the answers, let’s put it that way. I’m open, I’m manifesting! Bring it on! So it’s possible, dear reader, that I’ll soon begin a career shift and start using my voice, officially, to help people on their health and wellness journey. That means getting educated, exploring new business models, and experiencing loads and loads of personal growth and development (which includes making peace with my muffin top). And sure, there are literally thousands of professionals in the health and wellness coaching space, but if my single voice is meant to connect a certain circle of people with their higher selves, then so be it. If not…then this has indeed been an interesting stop on my journey, and that’s got to be worth something.
Thanks for reading!