I mean, who are you really?
Sometimes, it feels like I'm trapped in a narrative that doesn't quite feel like mine, and let me tell you that its exhausting trying to live up to an idealized version of yourself. To feel like I need to justify my decisions and behaviors because they're "not characteristic of me", or to feel pressure to explain myself to people because who I actually am doesn't quite fit their understanding of who I should be? Exhausting!
"Oh, I could never." - Bri in moments where she really wants to.
"Oh, that's not really me." - Bri in moments that are totally her.
"Oh, no I should really go home." - Bri when she actually doesn't want to go home.
To be fair, in some cases, I've actually chosen to take on the traits that others assumed of me, and have actively participated in creating the narrative that I now find myself trying to escape from. I've spent so much of my life (read: the ~27 years up to this point) defining myself by who or what I'm not, that it's become really difficult to tell who I am. Its like, at some point I got so caught up in defining myself that I lost track of actually figuring out who I was and what I wanted. On the eve of major life transition, now feels like a good time to stop worrying about shoulds and shouldn'ts. It feels like a great time to actually ask 'what makes you happy?' It feels like the perfect time to get rid of that which doesn't serve me.
Sometimes I do want to go to bed at 9pm.
Sometimes I don't,
Sometimes I'm totally okay with having my photo taken.
Sometimes, I'm not.
Sometimes I want nothing more than to fade into the background.
Sometimes, I'll loudly declare myself queen.
I'm not perfect. Neither are you. Nor should we try to be. But here are some things that I am trying:
I aspire to be radically honest. For me radical honesty is the practice of saying what I really feel. When asked a direct question, I give a direct answer. But also, I want to stop being afraid to share meaningful things with people. Why is it supposedly a negative thing to be a 'touchy-feely' person? Tell your friends you love them. Tell people you enjoy them. Say those things, now.
I aspire to be genuine and open. We all have things about us that we don't necessarily want on display, but I'm a firm believed in the fact that our greatest strengths are found in our greatest weaknesses. I think that shedding light on the things that we most want to hide (in a safe, and manageable way) gives us two things: control over our own narrative, and a way to connect with others.
I aspire to seek out relationship and connection with people who add to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm fairly insecure, and pretty anxious (see:... this entire project) and as an over thinker, to intentionally select people to connect with, and then pursue those people can be a painful and nerve wrecking process. But in the end, it's almost always worth it. Also, I'm worth it.
I aspire to say yes to things I want to do, and no to things that I don't. I want to try new things, but that doesn't me that I have to do everything. I want to stop asking myself "should I", and start asking myself "do I want to?"
I aspire to be more selective about who I let tell me who I am. I spent 10 years of my life telling people that my favorite color was pink because a woman once said to me "you look great in pink, it must be your favorite color." I'm suggestible, and easily impressed, which are things that I like about myself, but the more people I choose to share myself with, the more careful I need to be about how I internalize people's reactions to me. Also, my favorite color is yellow.
I aspire to smile more, laugh louder, and go deep on what makes me happy. This one feels pretty self explanatory. 💖