I recently reactivated an old social media account, one that I hadn’t used for almost three years. It was like discovering an old childhood diary or photo album at your parents’ house - it triggers nostalgia and the memories, with each photo serving as a visual aid, were in fact, mostly junk. I obviously took a lot of photos of food (I still do), which makes you wonder how people ever knew what you ate during the day before Instagram, right? *Insert favourite sassy emoji here.*
The collection felt like a digital time capsuIe. I deleted almost 300 photos from this account, but not before I made time to look at each one. Some were more precious than others, like the ones of the puppies, or the first time I ventured to Singapore for a dance camp. There were forgotten snapshots of my marriage. I looked at each one, said goodbye and deleted them with love. Yes, with love.
For weeks I’ve felt indecisive, holding my breath until I found the courage to make a decision. I feel like I’m gaining traction again, and saying goodbye to the past once and for all, helps to build on that momentum.
As my photo count dwindled, I felt a sense of release from the woman I was, that life. To begin to create space for new memories, people and energy to join me in this next chapter. For weeks I’ve stood at the edge of change - gingerly edging my way closer to the abyss, getting ready to jump, then taking two steps back, back to the safety of what was comfortable.
Oh be still my beating heart!
They say growth happens outside of your comfort zone - when we do hard things, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Feeling vulnerable is scary because it allows the deepest layers of our soul to be exposed. Yet what we forget, that to be our most authentic selves, we have to live our lives from a deep rooted knowing that we are enough. No one can make us feel anything less until we allow them to.
Last night I entered my second Toastmasters competition at our club - it was an evaluation competition. I had been so nervous leading up to the night, not because I didn’t think I had the skills to do well, but I allowed that doubt to build up in my body. I am my biggest critic. What if I don’t understand the message of the speech? What if I have a complete brain fart and freeze? Oh gosh, what if I panic and let out an expletive?! By fuelling that seed of doubt with my insecurities, it took away a lot of my energy, energy which I could have put to better use.
And you know what? I came second. Second! Do you know how proud I am of that second, not because I placed, but because no matter how much I wanted to quit, I hung in there. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and be your own cheerleader, and yes, spirit fingers and all.
This month is almost over, but there's still a few loose ends I need to sort out. I'm looking forward to turning 35 next month, I have some exciting plans already. Now is the time to focus that energy - no more being afraid, it's time to embrace my new life!