For most of my life, I’ve wondered.
Wondered what more there could be, how much more I could be.
Wondered if I was wasting time, moment by fleeting moment
or investing in something, making deposits myself or someone else would one day cash in on.
12 years (almost) of marriage, 3 kids deep, 1 year into my thirties and I am still wondering.
I feel like my adult life has only really just begun. That I am only now finding out what my strengths are and slowly discarding the parts that don’t serve me, that actually weigh me down.
It has a lot to do with expectation –
my own and others –
and the never-ending comparison of arbitrary milestones and lines we draw; a measuring stick.
But a measuring stick doesn’t leave room for growth. A measuring stick just compares to what we have known, a standard rule so we can all aim for something similar, because as humans we like order and to know how we stack up in society.
So we limit ourselves.
Instead of an expansive model of growth, one that knows no limits other than the ones we set against ourselves, we find ourselves bound to both inner and outer critical voices.
But I am learning to measure a little differently these days.
I’m inviting a new standard, an expansive one, like a never-ending ribbon
one that doesn’t say:
“you need to do more, be skinnier, be more beautiful, hold everything with strength, cover all your bases, live like everyone is watching your every move, never make a mistake, always find joy”
“look at how you are growing” and “see the good ways you influence your circle” and “you made a mistake, but that means you are trying” and “you feel uncertain and are showing emotions that make you feel awkward, but that means you are being real with others and yourself” and “you don’t have to do it all”.
As we learn to extend compassion to ourselves, we create a new space in which we can flourish, where healing can take place and we can plant ourselves on a new trajectory toward unlimited possibilities.
I hope one day I will look back at where I have been and say, “I never could have imagined…”
Or maybe, I can.