Four years ago I committed the first of many acts of self-love. I went on a nine day trip to Cancun, Mexico with my best friend of thirty-five years at that time.
Now I know what you may be thinking. What’s the big deal about that? People go on girls trips all the time.
Up to that point, I had been a super conservative and reserved wife and mother who didn’t dare rock the boat of what was considered to be “normal behavior.” There was a time in the nineteen years prior that I would have scoffed at the idea of going on a trip without my husband and children.
But when I turned thirty-seven, I couldn’t seem to shake this feeling of being let down with life. With myself. I kept telling myself that moms aren’t supposed to feel this way. But I couldn’t shake it.
So I decided to acknowledge my feelings. To work in harmony with them really. I set my intention of going on a trip with friends from elementary school in defiance of the guilt I felt for wanting to be more than a wife and mother.
As time neared, I had doubt. I questioned if I deserved it. If I really needed to do this. In the end I realized I did.
That morning, as I backed out of the driveway, I bore the burden of my husband’s disapproval. He wasn’t used to this side of me. Truthfully, neither was I. It felt strange and invigorating at the same time. As I drove farther and farther away from home, burden turned to power.
I felt powerful. I felt like I was finally living and loving for me. As I boarded my flight to Cancun, I was beaming with pride. I found my courage. I found my strength. I found my power. I found myself.
And I loved the self I found.
Sometimes we get so bogged down with expectations. Expectations placed on us by others. Expectations placed on us by ourselves. But if it’s one thing I have learned, it’s that expectation is nothing more than a thief that steals your time, your sense of self and your purpose.
Finding yourself is about letting go of those expectations and accepting who you are in THAT moment. At that time. Finding yourself is about giving yourself grace, space and permission to grow. Years of unrealistic expectations and hiding in plain sight will leave you tattered and bruised. That’s okay.
Be kind. Find yourself and love the version of self you find.