When I sat down to write this, Never Ever sung by the amazeballs Caro Emerald came up on my playlist. I’ll embed the video–she is so talented! Sometimes the Universe gives us so many signs it’s beyond amazing.
I wanted to write while this was fresh in my mind, because I did something that I’m positive I have done so many times before, but this time I caught myself IN the midst of doing it.
As many women will agree, we tend to apologize a fuck of a lot more than most men. It’s something I’ve worked hard to change in my daily speech–saying “Pardon me” instead of “I’m sorry” when two people have to pass in a narrow corridor, saying “There you go” instead of “sorry” when I hand money to anyone. No, I don’t know why I used to apologize for giving people money, it’s most likely just a genevieveism. Oh yeah, I just turned my name into a title for a group of quirky character traits. I have a lot of genevieveisms. Can you make it a thing? #genevieveism
Wow, I chased that squirrel for a hot second! What I am saying is that I say “I’m sorry” quite often but tonight I apologized for having a dream that revolves around moving to a different country.
I apologized for having a dream.
Just let that sink in for a quick second. I apologized for wanting to better my life and the lives of my children and immediately felt it in every inch of my body how WRONG that was. I have spent a lot of time lately sorting through all the steamer trunks full of memories in my mind. It’s challenging to take one of the shoeboxes out of the trunk(I have lots and lots of storage in my Memory Attic, it’s the most amazing and beautiful place) and dust it off and open it to think about something that happened a long time ago.
First you have to think about the actual event, like, be 100% about what really happened before you started applying your little stories to it. Don’t act like you haven’t done it, because that’s usually the next step–add your “story” to it. I think about how I acted, how they acted, why I felt wrong/hurt/betrayed and what my reaction was at the time it happened. Then. Oh then. Then I look at it with fresh eyes of genevieve.41 and reassess the event to see why I have icky feelings about it. Was it how I reacted THEN that is making me feel shame or blame? Was I a total drama queen about it and therefor the default asshole of the situation? Did I do everything right and it honestly is not 100% my fault? Am I feeling this upset because I can no longer repair this relationship and I have to be ok with that loss or is it able to be mended and nursed back to health? Ok, now is this something that nudges at me often enough that I need to repair it? What does repairing it look like? How will this help me be a better person?
The thing I keep discovering over and over is that in the past I have allowed my empathic self to be in charge of all the other parts of me. What I seeing is that my empathic self can sometimes be a lot like Regina George and I can totally visualize all the different parts of myself in that gymnasium when my Brain asks “How many of you have felt personally victimized by Regina George?” and every fucking hand goes up. There are parts of myself that no one else sees, and as I unpack more and more of my baggage and put it into Deep Storage with all the regular memories, the more those hidden parts are becoming brave and dare I say defiant.
Tonight, something in me woke up. It was a quiet wakening, one of the “did that REALLY just happen?” variety. It’s something that has been slowly changing as I challenge myself to really OWN my shit. Now she speaks, and she speaks loudly and confidently. She knows exactly what she wants and knows that she will fall (probably) many times before she nails it.
She remembers what nailing it feels like. It’s like walking on a stage in front of hundred of people and having them laugh at your jokes. It’s a sense of security and safety in that confidence. It’s the change in your voice when you get talking passionately about your dreams and the endless possibilities that exist with only the smallest amount of imagination. I have boundless imagination and can create alternate versions of my life had I chosen a different path at certain points in time. They are not regrets.
My regrets are getting fewer and fewer as I sift through these old memories come to terms with how THOSE memories are part of some of my more unsavory personality traits(genevieveisms!!!). I am just as flawed as anyone else on this planet. I have done some super shitty stuff, and then been the person to make amends the next day, taking full responsibility for being the bigger bananahead. I’ve put to rest some friendships with the knowledge that I take responsibility for my percentage of “wrongdoing”–knowing that it was never 100% on me. In some cases it was just something that had to happen and we are both better people for having known each other regardless if it was for a few months or a couple decades.
I’ve stopped telling myself stories. For example: The majority of my adulthood has been spent with me having the story in my head that I’m bad with money. This has been reinforced by family members who use it to discredit the possibility of my dream becoming reality. I know, that’s super shitty, right? Why would you not support* your family member if they found a calling for something in a completely different wheelhouse for where they have been? Whatevs. The point is, I am not bad at money. I can side-hustle like nobody’s business and the only time I was down to one job was a few months back when my babies were babies. I also like to spend money, and have more than a little adhd-fueled instant gratification desires. Then I thought about how my future stories about money will be. They will be that I stopped and really considered things before a purchase. I realized that I can be okay with having just one of something without buying the whole set, or having it in every color. Now I am focused on getting my finances in order and making sure that I’m covered no matter what. Once I made that conscious choice to “not be bad with money anymore” I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I don’t have to feel shame over my finances. And I will no longer allow others to try to make me feel that way. Everything about my decisions moving forward is helping me grow into a better version of me.
I take back what I said. I am not sorry that my dreams are what they are. My dreams are amazing and will make our lives extraordinary in ways that I can’t even know. I’m not sorry if my honesty makes anyone uncomfortable. Growth requires a little bit of discomfort and you can not claim to want to change while complaining about the growing pains.
I wish I had something brilliant to end on, but I can’t top some Caro Emerald!!!
*support comes in many forms–including questioning what I’m doing and why. I would really worry if everyone just blindly supported everything I do. I expect, love, and appreciate the people who care enough to bring up the hard questions. Support is NOT someone saying “There is no way you could possibly do this. It will ruin your life.”