You wouldn’t have known me a decade ago.
I gave a brief description of myself to a new friend recently, of my former self. She too said, “I can’t imagine you ever being that person”.
I’m not even sure if my former self was actually a version of myself at all, or if it was someone I had made up to prevent myself from trying, to then prevent myself from failing.
A decade ago I was working 50 hour weeks as a restaurant manager for a large franchise.
I was suffering from a broken heart and a damaged ego.
In the evenings I was drinking wine out of a straw stuck in a bottle and crying myself to sleep. All to wake up, go to work and do it all again.
I was poorly medicated, poor in general, and my mum was paying for me to see a therapist.
A decade ago, I was so lost that I took the biggest leap of my life and applied for a job in another country (weird turn of events). I applied to pick up all that I had, which was nothing, and move to Thailand for a position no one could really ready themselves for.
All of my loneliness, all of my anxieties and depression had reached such a destructive and concerning level that I felt I had nothing to lose. Luckily, instead of harming myself in a way I could never come back from, I met for the first time, what I think might have been a part of my true self. It was a brief encounter but in hindsight, I think it was my truer self that lent out its hand. But this isn’t about my time in Thailand. That’s an amazing, terrifying and hilarious story for another time (it did happen within this decade though).
I hardly recognise myself now.
I won’t lie, there are still creases in my smile from the “old” me. There are still warm embers in my mind that seek to spark a fire. But I feel these embers so deeply now, I know their triggers, and I am quick to head them off at their path.
The last decade despite its rough beginning, was also the greatest by far.
I wasn’t a mother at the beginning of this decade, but I feel like I’ve been one forever (in a good way). I wasn’t a wife at the beginning of this decade, but I feel like I’ve been in love with my husband for a lifetime. I’ve changed my career/s, I’ve moved across the country multiple times, I’ve travelled parts of the world, and I’ve pushed myself this last 18 months harder than I’ve ever pushed myself, physically and mentally. I’ve learned it’s ok to be happy.
I am not the person I was a decade ago.
I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the person I am now, is my truest self (and is hilarious). I still have work to do, growing to do. But this person that I see before me, that can say, “I’m going to run in a marathon”, can actually run in a marathon. The person that said, I’m going to finish my book this year”, not only finished it but will see it published early in the New Year, in the new decade (I’m starting strong).
A decade ago I reeled at the G-word (goal…ugh), but now I can successfully call it the G-word (‘oal’ still gets a bit stuck in my throat). And better than that, I can set myself G’s, and go for them.
I couldn’t do that before. Well, I could, but I just didn’t know I could.
Now I know (I’m a slow learner).
I’ve learned that I’m bigger than my anxieties (I still have them, but they don’t own me anymore).
I’ve learned that the only person stopping me is, me (cliché but true).
The only person that has any real control of changing my attitude, my smile to a frown, my being up to being upside down, is me.
It’s a lot of work…took me a whole decade (not including the previous decade of teenage self-loathing) to acknowledge this part of my self.
This part whom I believe to be my truest self.
Are you walking into 2020 your truest self?
Have you met her yet?