Perhaps it’s something that is inevitable as we journey through life from childhood to adulthood. Or perhaps it’s something that is more innate in us as women to feel. Whatever it is, I have noticed it in my own life. As a child and young adult, I was bursting at the seams with energy, with vibrance and with confidence. I played every sport imaginable. And I was a dancer, I was a performer, I was an artist. I was outgoing, I was friends with anybody and everybody and I never apologized for being good at something for fear of how it might make someone else feel. I did my best at everything I worked towards and I congratulated others on their own accomplishments.
Now, even today, some of that still rings true, but somewhere along the way I started to feel more self conscious about things. About my talents. About all I wanted to accomplish and achieve. I’m a dreamer and always have been, but it’s easy to fall trap to the monotony of ‘real life’ and the supposed role we have to play as adults in order to call ourselves ‘responsible’. Whether it be because of reactions from those around me and even people I didn’t know or perhaps it was my own reflection of insecurities that were growing inside of me. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what it ever was. All I know is that my light started to dim. I started to put too much worry into what others might think. I worried about standing out too much because if I failed, there were more eyes to witness it. And perhaps with that worry came another of someone being able to point out if I was a fraud in thinking I could do what I was setting out to do. To achieve what I had set out to achieve. Because after all, who gave me permission to go these big dreams?
It’s never easy – hiding who you really are for fear of overwhelming others. And it’s never easy to quiet your own heart to protect those dreams from possible criticism. It’s something I have had to focus on letting go of as an adult. That, no matter my stage in life or age, that my dreamer’s heart has plenty of room to beat. And that dimming my own talents does nothing for anyone, especially myself. And those that are drawn to it and accept it are people I am meant to walk this life with. And that my worth isn’t based on someone believing in me or not.
I will tell you that being on the other side of it? Allowing myself to be just who I am, to go for everything I want in life and to do it with all of the talent and energy I possess? The air is so much sweeter and much warmer over here. So from one passionate and bursting-at-the-seams human being to another…
Burn bright, darling.