Time for me

You may start to notice a theme arising in the time I post my musings and general thoughts about life…they are starting to coincide with the 30+ minutes I have to myself as I travel to and from work. These minutes are truly time for myself.

Time where I don’t have to think about the well-being of my little man or tasks to do at work or things I need to do at work (although all those thoughts are permeating somewhere in the back of my mind).

This transit time is, I firmly believe, going to become the firm ‘me’ time in my day.

Time where I don’t talk to anyone.

Time that I can use for myself and exactly what I want to do.

Time that I don’t hold any expectations about.

And if I was the leading lady in my own life, I know I would protect this time fiercely. I’d choose to take the train alone and kindly tell people who made conversation with me that I was busy during this time (I feel ashamed saying this, like I should be grateful for people wanting to talk to me or that I’ve just outed myself as being the hermit I truly am!).

I’d do things I wanted to do in this time – read a book, listen to messages from friends, stare out the window – and only what I wanted with this time.

I’d stay off social media and messaging apps that sometimes muddy my head with the constant flurry of input. I’ve got other time for that in my life. My ‘me’ time doesn’t need to be filled with that.

I’d enjoy writing here to you, dear friend, but only when I wanted to. With no expectation about how many posts I should write a week. Writing to you (and for myself) is a passion of mine that I want to nurture with energy and love, not strangle or stifle with expectations.

I suppose I’m writing about this to you because it is dawning on me just how important this time will be for me (for my sanity, my wellbeing, to feel energised for the coming day, to thrive in my life) and I want to give myself permission to seize this time for myself.

I’m also grappling with how to be selfish boundaried with this time so that I consistently get it to myself. How do I tell people that this is my time for quiet and reflection without being rude? Or more so how can I be ok with being seen as rude to get this time that I most desperately want?

And I suppose, if I’m honest, my grappling here comes down to fear.

Fear of not being accepted.

Fear of being too much or not enough.

Fear that I’m not acceptable.

And the frustrating thing is that I know in my head that I am enough as I am. That I’m allowed to want stillness, that my need for stillness and solitude are just as important as other people’s needs for companionship and conversation.

It feels like I’m on the edge of a diving board. Knowing what I want and being at the precipice of jumping in but still being fearful of what this could mean. And it will be scary until I take that leap and jump into the life I want to live.

Crossroad

It seems like an age since I wrote my last post. In reality it’s been a few weeks but so much seems to have happened in this time. I’ve prepared for a month-long trip away to Asia with my husband and 5 month old baby, I’ve spoken to work about my imminent return to the office, I’ve started to be regularly coached, I’ve spent quality time with my son enjoying everything we (ok, I) love in Brighton – baby groups, ice creams in the sun, time with close friends – and I’ve had a visit from my very close friend, Nadine, who flew over from Texas to stand by my side for a bit and support me with looking after Jenson.

It’s been a very full time and so I hope you’ll forgive me for my silence.

I wanted to take a moment before the day starts to ponder upon what I explored in my recent coaching session – the thought of being selfish.

I know that I can’t do everything I want to in life now that I’m going to become a full-time working mother. Or more I could do everything but it would mean that I can’t do much of what I want for myself.

And what do I want for myself?

I want to live a life that lights me up.

A life full of time with close friends instead of saying ‘yes’ to every offer made to me. A life with time to spend playing with and loving and treasuring my husband and son instead of rushing around. A life where I have space and time instead of rushing around from commitment to commitment. A life where I have time to coach those looking to find freedom from comfort eating and people pleasing instead of having no time for this vocation that I so love. A life where I can save up to travel around the world instead of frittering away money doing everything offered to me.

But the thing that is holding me back is this one big, dirty thought that I can’t seem to shake.

That taking this path I so long to follow is selfish. 

Selfish – such a loaded word. It blunts the enjoyment of pursuing my dream of a life that lights me up as I feel that to do what I want, I’m trampling on others and am taking up too much space in this world. It makes me feel like I’ll stop being loved if I show my true self and follow my own compass instead of being easy-breezy and always going along with the flow.

And then I remember this amazing quote by Nayyirah Waheed that my friend, Heather, sent to me:

What about this theory – the fear of not being enough and the fear of being too much are exactly the same fear. The fear of being you.

Because who am I? I am someone who is both selfish and selfless. And for that matter, I am so much more. I am also someone who is both strong and weak, loving and hateful, patient and impatient, opinionated and shy. But I try to push down that which I deem to be ‘wrong’ – being selfish, weak, hateful, impatient, shy.

But I am these things.

And to deny who I am is to deny my true self.

I don’t know if any of what I’m saying is making sense. I feel like it’s only half-sense to me.

But the bit that does make sense is to embrace who I am. To acknowledge that I’m selfish sometimes and that’s ok. And I’m hateful sometimes and that’s ok. And that I’m weak sometimes and that’s ok. And I’m impatient sometimes and that’s ok. And I’m shy sometimes and that’s ok.

It’s only in writing that paragraph above that I realise the feelings I am ‘ok’ with are those which don’t take up too much space in the world – I realised this because I wrote ‘And I’m shy sometimes’ but felt that it was more ok for me to be small and shy than loud and opinionated. I’m ok with showing the emotions that don’t clamour for attention. Being loving, patient, strong, shy, strong, selfless are feelings that seem ok because they take up less space in the world…but when I’m my true self – the Amy who is both selfish and selfless, loving and hateful (you get the gist…), that’s not ok because it demands me to take up more space and be seen as something that might not be accepted.

Oh geez, this is tricky.

I’m getting to a space where I’m starting to see what it would be like for me to accept exactly who I am. It feels scary because I feel that to be me would be to show the ‘true’ Amy that might not be loved by everyone or anyone.

I know that’s not true – I know that most people in my life will love me exactly as I am because as much as I try to hide that which is unacceptable to others, I can’t help but be me at times. Plus, I don’t think that most people’s love for me is based on me saying yes to their invitations or me doing things I didn’t want to do or not speaking my mind.

But some people may not like me as much. And it feels scary to risk that love, even if it is a love paid for by being less than I am.

And so here I am at a cross roads. Knowing that I want to become more ‘me’ but unsure how to start that journey. Feeling the fear of showing myself but knowing that it’s the only way to be, dreading  the discomfort of this journey but knowing that it will be worth it.

It is the only path I can take for it is the path I want for myself – one where I show courage to take a route I’ve never taken before. Where I speak my truth, even if it’s scary. Where I start to love myself for exactly who I am without hiding.

A life of courage, truth and love.

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