I had another great coaching session this afternoon and want to write about a concept that I explored with my coach, Erika – that of leading my life like I’m the leading lady in it.
Since I was younger, I’ve had the impression that (for the most part) I’ve been the side character in other people’s stories. I’ve listened, consoled, been part of things but have not been the central character in my own tale.
I’ve, of course, had moments, relationships and twists in my life where I’ve felt at the centre of my own universe. But for a great part I’ve felt like someone on the side lines.
If I’m honest, I think this is a large part of why I suffered with various eating disorders in my youth. Trying to push myself down to fit into a smaller space. Feeling like I should need less from others. Complying with what I felt was being asked of me even if it wasn’t something I had the energy for or if it was in my best interest.
I lived small.
But I’ve started to unfurl over the past years and I’ve realised that I’m sick of playing a minor character in my own story.
I want to be my own leading lady and I want to take some time to ask myself what this means.
It means recognising that I only have set resources, energy and time. Especially when I return to work in July. I’ll be split between my job (which I love), my son (who is my top priority) and everything else. I won’t have time and space to give away freely and even if I did, I want to live intentionally. Not saying ‘yes’ to everything, I want to choose what I spend my time doing.
It means allowing me to be myself. Embracing all that I am. The parts of me that are kind, funny, thoughtful, generous and interested in others. But the other less palatable parts of me – like how I feel like I’m stubborn and difficult instead of being easy-breasy. How I’m complex and need time and space to process things. How I’m a geek, I love my work and love learning new things – I need to be constantly challenged to be happy. Acknowledging that this will mean that not everyone will like me, but that’s ok.
It means viewing myself intrinsically as a leading lady. Being the centre of my life and sharing what is going on for me in whatever way I choose to do so. I see my life as leading lady being one where I have my close circle of friends who I invest my energy into – it’s in these close relationships that I truly feel at my best.
And I also see myself being present to all the lovely people I have the pleasure to cross in my life without feeling obliged to give more than I can to them. No need to accept invitations I don’t want to accept. No obligation to invest more than I am able to.
I felt scared about writing this post and sharing my thoughts with you, dear friend, because I worried that you’d think me big headed (wanting to be the leading light – I sometimes don’t feel worthy of this) or would take offence at the notion that I’m anything other than grateful for the interest that other people show in my life. But I thought I’d act like a leading lady and start to do what is right for me – part of that is writing this.
And I also decided to share my thoughts because I believe that we don’t act as our own leading ladies (or men!) enough and I wanted to encourage you to be your own leading star in your life. Go after your dreams, create a life you long to live.
Because as much as I think that I deserve to be my own leading lady, I also think that you deserve to be yours.