Today’s epiphany is a simple one, yet I know its struggle will remain for the rest of my days.
One of my favorite Tori Amos lyrics is I know the truth is in between the first and the fortieth drink. (This relates, I swear.)
Whether that means booze, cold brew, or some nine-dollar magical elixir sold at Whole Foods, I do not know. But I think she may be on to something.
Because there seems to be a sort of Goldilocks Zone of self-realization, when you feel like the rawest, truest version of yourself.
Each day consists of a unique concoction of factors: the weather; the quality of last night’s slumber; my choice of meals, music, and social interaction. Sometimes that concoction is as satisfying as homemade mac n’ cheese, and I just want to write down its recipe in my best cursive hand. And other days? I wonder what the fuck the non-existent gods were thinking.
But when I woke up this morning, I had a Goldilocks Moment.
I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and dressed. Poured myself a glass of orange juice and sipped it slowly at the kitchen table.
Today will be a good day.
Because I realized that while there are many factors of my day-to-day–many of which I have no control over–my worst moments? Yeah. They come out of my own head.
I’m overweight. I’m unemployed. I call myself a writer and have yet to publish a single sentence.
I’m a painter, but balk at the mess of it all so therefore wait another day.
But you know what I remembered this morning, in that beautiful moment of clarity?
Not once has anyone criticized me for these things.
Not. one. time.
It’s me. (gasp!)
I constantly live in a state of self-judgment. I really am, as they say, my own worst enemy. Because what kind of prick throws out words of hate at another person? You’re fat! You’re lazy! You’re fake! I would never say that to someone, and would stop being friends with anyone who did. But when it comes to myself? Christ. I’m worse than the meanest mean girl there is.
So let me try this again.
I love my body. I really do. Sure, I could work out a little more. But I also love the way this chocolate glazed donut melts in my mouth. I’m a human being, and I think I’m pretty. Period.
I write and I paint when I feel like it. I have goals for myself, and I know I will accomplish them. But no one is standing in the doorway with a stopwatch, arms crossed and blowing a whistle for me to get moving! Why haven’t you done something yet?
I’m the only one I have to answer to.
And finally (and probably most importantly) I always try to treat people with respect: my family, my friends, and the strangers of suburbia I will likely never meet again. I need to remember that there are different levels of intimacy to the different relationships in life. It does not mean that I am responsible for making all of the people happy, all of the fucking time.
So, Dear Reader? Love yourself. Give yourself a break. Remember that not even one of us has it all.
But you are you, and I am me, and we’re in this thing together.
And maybe that’s all we need.