Ahhh, 2017. a new year.
At the beginning of every new year, there’s always so much excitement around possibility.
For many of us, we come up with a list of goals, desires, and big, big dreams. Things we want to do. Travel, move up in our career, start our own business. But there’s that lingering question, am I enough?
"Am I moving fast enough? Am I on the right track? How do I know if I’m on the right track?"
With all the excitement, there's still that fear lingering in the air.
Like many other millennials, most of the time, I just feel confused and scared about my future.
But something shifted in me at the end of 2016.
I decided to stop worrying (less) about if I'm on the right track and started asking myself important questions like... What kind of person did I want to be? And what my values were? How do I want to show up in the world? And what kind of impact I wanted to make in the world.
This may be a blessing or a curse (or both!), but I've never really struggled with money before. It's not like I have tons of it, because I don't. But I also don't go out every weekend or spend a lot on alcohol or clothing. I also have the privilege of still living at home, which means I don't pay rent. Being in my current situation and learning to be here hasn't been easy. For the longest time, I thought that living at home meant that I was a failure at life. Because in an ideal dream world, I would've been financially independent by 20 or even 18. But the truth is, most of my friends and acquaintances who did live in dorm rooms or apartments had help from their parents (or their parents paid all of it).
And over time, I learned there was nothing to be ashamed of. For any of us. Because we're all doing that best we can with what we know, and there's no shame in that. Ever.
Slowly over time, I learned how to love and embrace the journey I'm on, even if it turns out not being the "right one" for me later on. Even if it's messy, even if it's scary, and even when it feels like nothing is working out in my favor. If in two years I decide that this is no longer the journey I want to be on and there's something else I want to pursue, it'll be okay.
At the end of the day, I'm still me and I love who I am. And that's what counts.
"I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her." - Kaci Diane
We have been taught and conditioned all our lives to judge others. And to judge ourselves.
Judge people on their bodies On their grades. On the schools they went to. On their jobs and careers. On how much money they make. On their clothes. On who they're with.
We've been taught to tear each other down, instead of building one another up.
When their goals don't align with ours, we shame them. Maybe subconsciously, but it still happens. And when we do that, we learn to subconsciously judge and shame ourselves too.
That is where the fear, doubt, and shame comes from.
Sometimes, we don't even recognize it. We are our own worst critics when we should be learning how to become on our own best friends.
There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to live life.
There isn’t a manual that will teach you exactly how to get from point A to point G. Or maybe there is. Maybe someone has written a manual on how to get into exactly the right elementary, the right middle school, the high school, the right college, the right job, etc.
But do those things guarantee joy? What about purpose, passion, or love?
Here's the thing: Society has taught us all our lives what success means and exactly what it looks like.
What's the first thing that automatically comes to mind when you hear the word "success"? Money, right? There is so much pressure and weight around money. It's the big elephant in the room; everyone knows it's there, but no one wants to talk about it.
But what does success mean to you? What does it look like?
There is no right or wrong answer. This isn't a trick question and you don't even have to tell me what your answer is, but I'll tell you mine.
SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE aN INVITING AND LOVING community.
A community of women that live intentionally and with their whole hearts. Women who believe in themselves, in their passion, in their voices, in their stories, and in other women. A community built on love, kindness, empathy, depth, and purpose. Women who love themselves and embrace who they are.
Authenticity, vulnerability, and emotion. These are matters of the heart. Matters of the soul.
It may be naive of me to think so (because I haven't proven this theory personally), but I believe if you build something you love with a strong foundation, if you believe in yourself, and if you do the work, the money portion will work itself out.
I am no longer letting other people define what success looks like for me, because they are not me and I am not them.
Only you can decide if you're on the right track. Only you can learn to love the life you have. Only you can do the work and take responsibility for your life and actions. Other people can give you advice, but they cannot do the work for you.
The only person that can help come to terms with who you are and where you are is yourself. Only you can bring yourself peace.
It’s something that you have to answer for yourself.
Photo Source: Priscilla Westra, Unsplash
Hi there! I'm Molly, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wholehearted Woman. A storyteller, introvert, self-love advocate, and multi-passionate creative with big dreams and even bigger fears. I help women find their voice, share their stories, and authentically embrace who they are.
You can read more about me and my mission here.