Apparently my writing muse is back because I’ve been going it at it like a champ. #punintended
Seriously, my journal is filling up, so is the notebook I carry with me for ideas, quotes, and connections. And this is the third week in a row that I’ve posted more than once. I’m not 100% sure what is happening, but I love it. Writing, for me, is so therapeutic. Its, as Dan Shapiro said, how I navigate my world, especially my victories and struggles.
One particularly poignant struggle lately has been about figuring out where I fit in this crazy world. As I continue to work on getting back to myself, and battling deep loneliness + regret, I’ve started to see two common themes that may remind you of the very Disney princesses I reference in the title.
- I never quite feel like I belong. There’s always something that seems to hold me back from being part of the group, whether its my belief that veganism is not the answer for everyone, my unwillingness to give everything else up for my studies or acting or environmentalism, or my desire to take my work as a sex educator beyond doing Passion Parties and into the realms of cancer survivorship, LGBTQ rights, sexual violence prevention and response, and advocacy around of all these issues and more.
- I often feel there’s something bigger out there waiting to be realized by me. I can feel myself on the brink again here, teetering between fear and acceptance of something I can only call my destiny, of leaving my mark in this world by making it a better place through prevention and promotion, education and healing, promise, and hope.
As I look back on my life I can see these two themes running over and over again. I know this is common among entrepreneurs and healers and empaths, but, you guessed it, I don’t feel that I fit into those labels as well. I want to, so very desperately, but I don’t.
Which, of course, leaves just me.
Please don’t get me wrong…I have wonderful friends and readers and clients. My life is full of love. It took quite some time for me to be able to own that fact after my experiences in grad school, but I can now proudly say that I know its true. But, despite all of this, I often still find myself feeling on the outside, buddies with everyone but true friends with few. A recent Hopkins gathering reminded me of this and reopened old wounds I thought I had dealt with. Although I didn’t completely revert into a quieter, shadowier, more self-deprecating version of myself, I could feel her coming out of me. My inner child, who took such a beating over the course of the last year, wanted nothing more than to curl up into a corner and hide…from the potential for judgment and the reminder that I’m not like them and I blew my chance to be with them.
This all leads me to a new book I’m reading: Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. Or rather, a book I’m rereading because I sped through the first round and now I’m taking it one topic at a time, furiously taking notes and working on actually implementing the principles. Anyway, one of the principles talks about well-intentioned family and friends as being one of our greatest adversaries. Why? Because they see us, and want to keep us, consciously or not, as we are. Steven encourages us to let them go because new friends, ones who will be among our greatest aids, the people who we 100% need will show up.
Perhaps, this message is telling me to forget about trying to fit in. That the people who I constantly feel I have to prove myself to (clue: just about everyone except for a handful of dear loved ones!), are not the ones I should be spending time worrying about. That, upon “giving them up,” a new tribe will come into my life, accepting me as I am and encouraging me to be the best version of myself.
Because, at the end of the day, that’s who I want to surround myself with, is it not? Or is that just my ego talking, trying to protect me by keeping me separate? Its been hard for me to tell lately, as one of the more unfortunate results from this past year’s journey is that I no longer have a strong sense of whether my ego or my Inner Pilot Light is speaking…
probably definitely because getting quiet and tapping into the latter became so much harder + scarier.
SO this revelation is far from complete…although it has inspired me to rewatch two of my absolute favorite Disney movies.
Have you ever struggled with feeling lonely and/or not fitting in?