You May Not Be Who You Think You Are

Have you ever moved into a new home or a new office and just put things away out of necessity? Never giving them a second thought, regardless of whether the placement works for you or your needs change? That’s where it landed when I got here so darn it, that’s where it’s going to stay!

woman with pensive look sits with a bookLiving Life Like a Junk Drawer

Believe it or not, our lives can be just like those cabinets and drawers. Most of us have heard about limiting beliefs. This is the idea that there is negative self-talk that lives rent-free in a continuous, unconscious loop in our heads.

This piece isn’t really about that, because we’re not necessarily saying negative things to ourselves when we’re in this mindset. Maybe we’ve just found a comfortable space where we can exist. A place where we’re good at what we do and we don’t have to think about much. We’re not in a rut, we just aren’t stretching right now.

Wait… Who Am I?!

I’m a huge podcast listener and one of my favorites is Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen is an author who writes about happiness and good habits. She co-hosts the show with her sister, Elizabeth Craft, a Hollywood writer and showrunner of the recent Fantasy Island reboot. In a recent episode, Elizabeth shared that she had completely upended a long-held belief that she had about herself and she was thrilled with the results.

For years, she’d proclaimed that she had no interest in being a pet owner. It just wasn’t for her and she knew it. But her son and husband both truly wanted a dog and after many conversations, she relented. The family added a Corgi puppy to the brood and guess what? She loves having a dog! She proclaimed that she had changed her mind and was a proud dog mom now. Even more surprising, the family added a second Corgi pup within just a couple of months!

And while some in her life may have commented about her abrupt about-face, she never made a mention of it. She just plowed forward with her enjoyment of this new identity. It got me thinking about times in my own life when I’ve held myself back from making a change because of how adamant I’ve been about something either being exactly ‘me’ or exactly not.

You Can Go Your Own Way

As a teen, I’d been drawn to participate in pageants, something that was basically unheard of in my tiny hometown. I didn’t mind being on stage {then!} but there were still certain things I’d never do. The major one was that you’d never catch me singing, on stage or even just among friends, hanging out. I was terribly self-conscious about my singing voice then and I still am.

But then an amazing opportunity came my way that required me to put myself out there in a way I’d never thought possible. I took a position working in a library, specifically in the children’s section. I’m now the proud host of toddler storytime. And as you might suspect, storytime requires singing – lots of singing! Every week for the past several months, you can find me belting out nearly 20 songs to a {mostly} admiring crowd of 2-year-olds.

I still critique my own voice from the front of the crowd but getting those sweet hugs after the performance is enough to make me look past my off-key rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It’. Trust me: You owe it to yourself to consider whether there might be areas you want to explore in life that you’re allowing an outdated version of yourself to control. I have never been happier in my career than I am now and I could have missed out on this joy by letting fear of public singing rule me

The Choice Is Yours

Sometimes we’re not necessarily the ones standing in our own way. My best friend was inspired to try something she never expected while talking to an experienced runner about the last time she’d run. After responding that it was during elementary school and that she’d hated it because she was being made to do it by her PE teacher, she was encouraged by the runner’s advice to run in her own way, at her own speed and pace, to set her own course.

This advice helped her to let go of the negative feelings she’d held about running for so many years. Making her own choices made running fun and even inspired her to participate on a marathon relay team, raising funds for blood cancer research.

Never Say Never

When another friend left our home state of Alaska a few years ago, she had every intention of never living there again. And guess what? Yep, she’s baaack! Though others may have said, ‘I thought you were never coming back’, she doesn’t care at all. Being away helped her realize how important her family is to her. Having daily contact with her family is worth so much more than some arbitrary promise she made to herself.

So, give yourself permission to ‘go back’ on grand proclamations, even if you made them publicly, on TV, or on a Jumbotron! Your happiness is worth so much more than any snarky comments you might get {and even then, they’ll likely never say anything to your face anyway!}

What Will People Say

Okay, so what if they do say it to your face? This is a tough one, because it’s very easy for me to tell you not to care about what people think of you. But since turning 40 last year, it’s become increasingly easy for me to take my own advice and in fact, I wish I’d known this secret of adulthood sooner… nobody cares! Seriously, people are so involved in their own business that you might get a passing ounce of judgment from someone but even then, I beg you, please pay it no mind.

There’s an incredibly powerful line in Hamilton that’s always stuck with me. It goes:

You get love for it

You get hate for it

You get nothing if you… wait for it

Keep doing you, mamas. You are amazing just as you are and as you will be.


 

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Bambi is a Kingwood transplant by way of Fairbanks, Alaska. Her Houstonian status was fast-tracked by her family’s disastrous Hurricane Harvey experience just 2 months after arriving… but she’s never looked back! She spent 14 years doing meaningful work for the University of Alaska Fairbanks before landing her dream job as a children's library worker for the Harris County Public Library. She has been happily married to Richard since 2004 and is an extremely proud mom to Miles {April 2012}. When she’s not scouring Pinterest for story time craft ideas, she enjoys reading, blogging and vegging out to British TV while eating pasta. Her family loves Disney cruises and will sail any chance they get! Bambi's goals are to create a Little Free Library in her front yard and to volunteer with local child-centric services. She a bit obsessed with personal development and would be happy to suggest several books and podcasts if you dare mention a similar interest! She can't wait to connect with Houston families through her writing and Houston Moms events.

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