Whiskey In A Teacup
I think at some point in life a lot of people realize they’ve been playing a specific role instead of being their true self. I know I had that epiphany this past year, and it changed everything for me. As long as I could remember I’d suppressed the fire within me with a blanket of politeness. At no point did I think I could successfully be both and not piss someone off – and pissing someone off meant I had failed at being a good human.
My lightbulb went off when I read The 4 Agreements and realized I’d been living my life for others instead of myself. The day I said “enough” I shared this in a Facebook post:
I’ve recently come to realize that while the people I admire most in life are unapologetically themselves 100% of the time, I’ve created a toned down version of myself I like to share outside of close friends and family. I’m gonna call her “Little Lindsey” because she is in fact a much smaller personality. For instance, Little Lindsey would never dream of using the kind of language she uses around her Sister online. She gauges how she presents herself based on what she perceives the internet (read: the world) will find socially acceptable, thereby putting everyone else’s opinion ahead of her own. Seems completely logical to try and be someone the entire population of everywhere finds completely unoffensive, right? Totally. Also, exhausting.
She would probably, definitely, also not share a picture of herself with braces for the first time in her 30s. No, Little Lindsey would just wait until the last set of Invisalign trays and be like “Check out my teeth y’all”. Or maybe not even share a picture of them at all and pretend like her teeth weren’t crooked af for the past 30 something years. She’s a perfectionist. Also, exhausting.
SO – watch out Little Lindsey, Big Lindsey.. Wait, let’s not call real me “Big” Lindsey or I’ll forget this whole vulnerability thing and go cry in a corner… Let’s call her Loud Lindsey. I’m a big hugger. I’m opinionated, I have lots of thoughts, laugh really loud, am a really big feeler and empathizer and thinker and I cuss like A LOT. (Sorry Mom!) Used to say “I’m working on it”, but I’m not. Words are important and sometimes an f bomb is absolutely necessary to get the point across. Especially for someone who has really big feelings. So let’s sum up… I got braces, I cuss a lot, gonna be my real-big-loud-self from here on out and stop second-guessing every little thing while encouraging everyone I know to do the same.
Since then I’ve continued along this journey of realization and embracing actual ME. It’s so fun reacquainting yourself with who you were before you let the world decide.
I always thought I had to be sweet all the time, or I wasn’t sweet at all. Wrong. That all or nothing mindset is like a brick wall standing between you and your best life.
Now that I fully embrace both my sweet and scrappy sides, I’ve begun sharing that journey with as many people as possible in hopes they’ll start learning to love their true selves as well. Another recent Facebook post:
I also love to shoot, throw axes, drink beer at the beach, read mafia books, get muddy playing in the rain with my girls and mow the lawn. Being a mom of two little girls, it’s important to me that they see you can enjoy being a girl, love glitter, dressing up, makeup etc – and still do all the things.
Stand up for what you believe in, and stand strong. You can be both kind, and firm. Understanding of others, yet resolute. Challenge yourself to see both sides of everything always.
If you really want to stop caring about other people’s opinions of you, imagine the type of person who looks to find fault and pass judgment. Do you really give a shit what they think? Nope. You don’t.
As I mentioned before, I read The 4 Agreements and it launched me into this new way of thinking that felt so much more natural than the way the world had conditioned me. Here’s what I posted after that…
It’s funny though, isn’t it? When you step back and realize that every reaction YOU have is about you, not about anyone else. You’re reacting to things based on how you see things. How you choose to live your life. If it makes you uncomfortable, if it makes YOU angry. That’s on you. You decide how to react to things, how you let things make you feel or not feel.
For instance, for a long time the word “triggered” grossed me out because I associated it with the pink hat wearing, awful women who accosted my children with vulgar signs at the March for Life rally in D.C. and the feminist movement of which I do not agree with.
Now, it doesn’t bother me. They were out there with those signs and yelling at children because of themselves. They have anger and frustration built up inside and chose to take it out on children. I chose to use it as a teaching moment for my girls.
The amount of emotional energy you allow towards those types of things, including myself with aforementioned feminist movement, is on you. It’s about you. Not the person who upset you.
Remembering this in the heat of the moment is a practice in consistency and patience with yourself.
Deep breath, ask yourself why something bothered you, recognize it has nothing to do with the other person. Repeat.
Most importantly, you have to be okay knowing that most people will not understand you. Ever. And trying so hard for that instead of simply living your life is such a waste. Value your opinion of yourself over others, boo.
I wanted to share this part of my journey with you in hopes that you’ll allow your inner everything to play a part in your everyday life. It feels amazing to be yourself! God knows the world needs you to step up and into who you are and fully embrace it now more than ever.
The best part of all of this is finding your true people. Those who don’t care that you cuss, that can agree to disagree without losing their minds. Lifelong learners who don’t think they know everything. Good Listeners. Those people are out there, and trying to please the ones who are none of those things keeps you from connecting with them.
Be Whiskey in a Teacup. Bold, strong, kind, gentle, fierce. Be You. All of you.