My Journey

I love teaching. I really, really do. But as all teachers know, at this point it is an uncertain career path. And being the perpetual newbie (thanks, military!) means my job is always going to be the first to go when those inevitable cuts are made. It is also a profession of “the box”. You know, the one you’re supposed to think outside of. And while we do have a certain degree of “creative freedom”, that often feels like a bit of an illusion. Sometimes it feels like “Teach this/don’t teach that. Say this/don’t say that. Do this/don’t do that. Do more of this. Do less of that.” And while I do understand the necessity of these parameters, they can feel more than a little confining. What I have learned about myself is that as the Perpetual Newbie, I have also become a Professional People Pleaser. This Triple P side of me likes to say and do whatever is necessary to feel “liked”. Why? Well, I like people to like me (don’t you?) but I also need a job next year. And I will the year after that, and the year after that. And no one is going to hire or re-hire the girl who rips off her pretty little green-eyed, freckled mask to reveal a frustrated, spade-calling, articulate monster. So I don’t always say what’s on my mind, I don’t always stand up for myself when I should, and I don’t always feel anything like myself at all.

Needless to say, this does not feel good. I am not proud of this alter ego who goes around smiling and saying one thing but feeling something else. I do not like feeling like I can’t be myself. I don’t like feeling like I can’t win. I don’t like feeling like someone else’s opinion of me is actually truly affecting not only how I act but also how I feel about myself.

And before you read any further, let me say this: this has nothing to do with you. Yes YOU. The person who is reading this thinking, “Is she talking about me?”. Nope. I’m talking about ME. Because it’s MY blog and these are MY thoughts and MY glass of red wine has empowered me to be in THIS kind of mood. So get over yourself for just a moment because it isn’t always about you. Got it?

Those who know me know that I have started a business in the health and wellness industry. As I’ve mentioned before, if you want to know more about this please, please ask me because I’m psyched and pumped and will talk to everyone and their goldfish about it because I love it that much. But as I have also said, this blog will not become a personal advertisement so I’m leaving the details at that.

What I will say is this:
I have changed.
I started this business in February but didn’t really dig my heels in until school was done in June. In that short time I honestly and truly feel like a different person (except my left foot. It currently doesn’t feel like anything at all because it has gone to sleep because I sat with my legs crossed for too long. Damn. Anyway, I digress…). Owning this business is allowing me to own myself, and that’s something that I didn’t realize I wasn’t doing. It has opened me up and calmed me down. It has inspired me, empowered me, enlightened me. I work with incredible, incredible people. I have my own cheer-leading section, like, all the time (GO MEL!). I am constantly in contact with people who are successful, open, honest, driven, and positive. They (who, exactly? I don’t know, ok? Just roll with this) say that you are a product of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time. Think about that for a second…is it true of you? It was of me that’s for sure. This summer I am spending time with empowering women, thought-provoking personal development authors, my family from home, my amazing husband and most importantly, my son, who I can’t even think of an adjective for because I just think so highly of him. Put all these 5 people together and that makes for one pretty content woman, don’t you think?

I didn’t know I needed to change. I didn’t realize how yucky I sometimes felt. I didn’t realize how heavily other people’s thoughts, opinions, and judgments were weighing on me.

I just posted a quote on my Facebook that says, “She knew this transition was not about becoming someone better, but about finally allowing herself to be who she’d always been”. I’m pretty sure that was written just for me.

What I have learned so far is this: don’t make excuses for yourself. Don’t say, “Oh, I don’t like this, I don’t like that” but then make excuses not to change it. I’m not saying confront every person in your life who has scorned you. That’s actually a really horrible idea. No, don’t do that. You can’t change other people. You can’t change how THEY think or what THEY do. Trying is frustrating and very rarely successful. You can’t go back in time to have a conversation over again so that you can add your, “Yeah?! Well let ME tell YOU a thing or two!” (oh my gosh, how many times have we all wished we could?). You cannot always make people understand your point of view no matter how many times you may try. You cannot always prove you are right. You cannot make someone like you.

But you can do this:
You can change yourself.
You can change how YOU think and what YOU do.
You can forget past conversations. They are over. Let them go.
You can know in your heart when you have done your best, regardless of what others may think.
YOU can know when you have been misunderstood.
YOU can know when you are right and you can know when you are wrong.

You can be respectful to others even if they are not respectful to you.
You can have a service heart.
You can laugh.
You can cry.
You can like yourself.
You can love yourself.
You can embrace yourself.
You can be yourself.

Regardless of all others.

So this is the journey I am on. This blog is a little more personal than others I have written and although I am hesitant to open myself up so much, it doesn’t feel right to keep my new-found “aha!” to myself. I feel strongly about this and I love to share things about which I feel strongly.

I look forward to where this journey will take me. I am so excited for where my business will take me. What it will allow me to take and what it will allow me to leave behind. Choices. Freedom. A kick-ass car. (Wait, what? Oh yes, my friends.)

So I’ll leave it here…partly because I’ve said all I can say, partly because my glass of wine is empty and needs to be re-filled, and partly because the timer on the washing machine keeps beeping and the only way to make it stop is to go downstairs and switch over the load. And it’s really, really annoying.

Have a great day….and when it’s socially appropriate, get a glass of wine. Because it’s so good. And because you deserve it.

🙂 Mel

2 Comments

  • You're a damn good writer Mel. Glad you had an "aha!" moment and I hope you get that car!!
    Stacey K.

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