I remember sitting in my first solo apartment. I was talking to my mom on the phone.
I asked “who do you think I am?” She answered “you’re kind, and empathic, and compassionate…”. I said “yeah, I know that, but, what about the rest of me? What colours to I like? What movies? What food? What would I do with my time if I had the right to choose?”
You see - I am a recovering people pleaser.
And, having spent the better part of my life helping others, and, more importantly bending who I was to meet the needs of others, I had lost much of myself.
That year, I chose to get to know myself. It felt miraculous.
I spent many afternoons, evenings, and weekends alone. I discovered I loved a good rom-com, bold colours, nature prints, and salad. I went for long walks through my town - found nature trails to cross country ski on, brought the newspaper to a local café to read on Saturday mornings. I delighted in my solo time in nature, wrote in my journal, and, found myself for the first time.
But, this was just the start. I had lost so much of myself to fit in, to make others feel comfortable, and to keep the peace.
“Discovering myself” continues today - sometimes it’s miraculous, and sometimes gut wrenching. The process is uneven and uncomfortable and soothing, all at the same time.
If you don’t do this already, it might be the right time to start asking yourself what YOU want. Start with some easier decisions: what do you actually want to eat for dinner? What show interests you? Start with these small steps forward - and the ball will start to roll.
Life is too short to not discover who you truly are.
If you want some help to find yourself and your voice in the world, send me a message and let's start the work together.
Kathleen is an anti-bullying specialist, a conflict coach, a teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend...