Oh what a week, sweet September back in ’63.
First, I am wondering how you are all doing? I’d love to hear from you. It would also be wonderful for me to hear what you think about this Monday night mailer? Are you enjoying it? Were you hoping for something different? Would you like to hear my insight or opinion on a specific topic? Please, let me know by responding to this e-mail 🙂 It would mean a ton to me so I can tailor my content to you!
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting over the past few months, and one thing that has become very clear to me is that at some point in our lives, we get to/must decide if the person we are is just who we are, or if it’s a person we have become through societal conditioning.
That is a difficult concept for me because there are parts of me that I have strived to change my whole life. I’m sure you have them too. For example, some of us may want to get tasks done early, but are really big procrastinators. Society seems to reward and praise people who do not procrastinate, so do you try to be an early taskmaster your whole life, or just accept that you are a procrastinator and work with that with hopes that you can make your own path?
Or, maybe you have always wanted to be a beach person because being a beach person is deemed cool, but you actually hate sand and salt water and sea weed, and you have to decide if you’re going to force yourself to love the beach, or just admit to yourself that you are not a beach person, and be okay with that.
I could go on and on with examples, but I’ll share one of mine with you even though it’s vulnerable AF for me.
It’s really difficult for me to maintain close friendships. It’s just not something I prioritize heavily on a daily basis because I’m so close with my immediate family. The grand narrative about friendships, however, is that they’re incredibly important for mental health, and for just being a straight up human (which I fully agree with).
I love having friends, and life is so much more fun with them, but it seems like I just don’t have the bandwidth to keep multiple deep connections alive. I miss replying to text messages, forget to call people back, and then I feel terribly like I can’t do something that’s supposed to be so innate in humans.
This is something that has plagued me, and I feel like such a failure about it. It makes me feel weird and selfish when I reflect on it.
But then I got to thinking (which happens a lot to me lol) about what if that’s just who I am? What if I just don’t have the same desire or need for a huge friend group? Does that make me a terrible person? Only if I decide that it does.
I’m realizing that I’m extremely close with my family, and right now, those connections are a priority for me. I am not shitty or weird because I have a tough time with friendships. It’s just who I am right now.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this kind of question, and I wonder if we’d feel less terrible about ourselves if we just kind of did our own thing and didn’t let societal expectations of us dictate how we feel about us.
Regardless of whether or not I have a ton of really close friends, I know that I am caring, and considerate, and thoughtful and kind. I know that I bring other’s up, and I genuinely care about human beings and I love to feel deep emotions. It drives me.
So yeah, friendships are tough for me to maintain, and I’ll strive to do better in that realm, but I’m not going to hold myself to a standard of a certain close friend quota just because I know a million people who have had the same really close friends since high school.
I think we can apply this kind of owning our oddities thinking to so many different aspects of our lives.
Our love lives, our sex lives, our parenting, our work choices, our education levels, our fitness endeavors and on and on and on.
I think women have a particularly hard time with just being and accepting and embracing who we are. Wouldn’t it be cool if we weren’t disappointed in ourselves for not being what others expect us to be? I think it would.
This e-mail was incredibly difficult to type for me tonight because I am so conscious of the fact that this friend thing is a really unpopular experience. I know most people love having lots of friendships.
I think most of us are really nervous or reluctant or even ashamed of the way we feel about whatever the unpopular opinion we have is, but that’s okay. Being vulnerable and allowing ourselves to be seen for who we are is so incredibly important.
Being true to you and accepting yourself for all your weird quirks is part of the self-love journey.
Regarding shame, this is one of my favorite videos, and I think it’s majorly worth a watch. If you’re not familiar with Brené Brown’s work, I highly recommend her.
Please watch if you struggle with shame/vulnerability surrounding your unpopular topic area. It will take 20 min of your time and likely change your life.
I love you all. As always, thank you for being here.
Reminder to respond to this e-mail and let me know how you’re feeling about the mailing list! I will appreciate the feedback SO MUCH!