…”tell me about yourself…”
Ugh! Whenever I get this question sometimes my mind draws a blank. Of course how I answer this question depends on the context of a situation- after all my reply would be- and should be- completely different if the question is posed during an interview versus at a cocktail party.
Here is the thing- I continue to learn more about myself each day- so the answer to “tell me about yourself” will always be changing, shifting, and expanding. As it should- for me and for you. But we all have a history and some milestones and some ah-ha moments. So let me tell you about some of that…
…where’d you go Naomi?
I’m married with two kids and I recently adopted my baby sister so essentially I am a Mom to three kids. I became a Mom at 25 years old and it created a massive shift in my identity. Ok let me be real- the identity not only shifted- it moved out. And as I added on more kids (LOL) and responsibilities (why hello hubby, mortgage, meal planning, etc.) before I knew it -I was completely LOST in being everything to everyone and over the years I’d lost myself. On the outside I may have looked like I “had it all.” I’d checked all the boxes. I followed the “formula for success.” Yet, on the inside there was a hollowness. Today I know that when one is not working in their purpose-and not using the unique talents and gifts within-it can create a space that is looking for fulfillment. But about 10 years ago, there was a void….
So naturally- I knew the way to find myself on the inside was by working on my outside. That’s fancy talk for homegirl wanted to- no needed to- lose some weight. Because isn’t that how we all start on the road to self-discovery? Through dieting, quick weight loss gimmicks and Zumba. Because once the weight is off I will be happy. Life will be perfect. Then I will take all the pictures. Then I will go on all the fun vacations that involves wearing bathing suits. Then I will be able to look in the mirror and see the “real me.”
Oh and let’s not forget the path to self-discovery also involves talking to all the people. Reading all the books. Going to all the classes and seminars. And bible study. And journaling. And meditating. Oh and don’t forget the volunteering and being the room mom at school. Oops I almost forgot you find yourself by keeping a clean home- all.the.time. An organized home is an organized mind my friends.
So now having accomplished all of this and so much more…I am found.
I did all these things. And they are all important and critical aspects to having a full life. Except the dieting part- that’s nothing but the patriarchy keeping women distracted. Let me be clear, I believe in eating foods that are fuel for the body, staying hydrated, and getting in regular movement. I believe in feeling strong and energetic. I also believe none of that has to do with a number on a scale.
But I digress…the truth is. I was not found. I was far from finding myself. In fact, all I did was just add a lot more stuff, pressure, and expectations to my plate. The void was still there….until it wasn’t.
…hey girl, there you are!
Life is a journey. It is not possible for me to capture in a few paragraphs all the shifts that occurred to where I woke up one day, looked in the mirror, and said “hey girl- there you are!” But I can tell you this.
I asked my higher power, who I call God, to help me nurture the gift of discernment that is already within me. And when I allowed discernment to become a practice- then I was able to be decisive about what I chose for myself. The thoughts I chose to think. The people I chose to surround myself with. The books and media I chose to consume. The boundaries I chose to enforce. The opinions I chose to voice. I got real clear about that. And I will be the first to tell you- it’s not always easy- but it’s always worth it.
…I am your Outspoken Girlfriend
So we are now officially friends. I am that Outspoken Girlfriend of yours who will give it to you straight when it looks like you are getting in your own way. I am that friend that will hold your hand while you are going through some tough shit. I am that friend that will celebrate you for who you are and all the badass things you are doing in life.