It’s almost October. Here in Virginia the weather is getting crisp and rainy. Fall will always be my favorite time of year. The cold makes me feel like I can breathe. I can wrap myself in sweaters and jackets, they make me feel protected and less vulnerable. More prepared for what is to come that day. I feel simultaneously more awake and alive, and yet cozy and protected.
I am in the middle of a big transition, as sure as the change in season. Very soon, I will leave my current position in student affairs and step into a brand new role with a company that I can’t stop raving about. I’m leaving the known and stepping into a new challenge. A few months ago, if you told me I would be entering an entirely new career with excitement and challenge, a place with a fast paced environment, established culture and yearning for relentless excellence- I would have called you a liar.
That’s not who I saw myself as. I’m the quiet, happy, contented girl that wanted to work in the same place forever. I told myself over and over again that I was okay with complacency, that comfort was my most important value. I lied over and over again to myself repeating the phrase, “I’m not good enough for more, I don’t deserve it.” We all do it. We have roughly 70,000 thoughts a day that play on a loop- for many of us? Those repeated words are, “You’re not good enough.”
I’m here to tell you that you are. You are so much more than you think. You are a child of the universe and the stars. You are made of love and light. That imagined ideal self you have always wanted to be? You have everything you need to become her. If you live in a privileged enough country to have choice then you have everything you need.
I used to tell myself that I was not that “go-getter” type. I told myself that I hated blazers and that anyone who was constantly reaching for more was greedy, or came from money, or some other lie that excused my complacency.
I think slow living and simple living have been mixed up and confused with laziness or living a life that is quiet or less than. Slow living is about being present in every moment you can. Being mindful enough to stop and play with your little one, noticing the sun coming through the leaves on the gravel road, sitting for five minutes to really smell and love and enjoy your herbal tea.
Slow living is not an excuse to not live your life. You can live intentionally, environmentally and slowly while still being a total bad ass.
When I picture my ideal self, the Bonnie I want to become I see myself in great boot cut jeans, a comfy sweater and a Patagonia winter coat, vegan work boots- taking Miles and our two other children around our farm sanctuary. We’re greeting the animals and feeding and loving on them. The ideal Bonnie is effortless and kind, she does not judge others- she uplifts and sees the best in everyone.
She is a warrior for Mother Earth, she is zero-waste and off-grid. She is hard working and sought after. People ask for her to speak at conventions about how you can save animals and the earth and be rich enough to travel, run the sanctuary, and care for friends and family. Money is awesome and supports my happiness and goals.
Ideal Bonnie puts her children and husband above all things- they are the great loves of my life. Ideal Bonnie hikes and camps every week. She’s outdoors more than she is in. I have a great team that cares for the sanctuary when we’re away.
I am on my way to becoming this Bonnie because I stopped telling myself I wasn’t good enough. I stopped repeating the lie that I am a quiet caretaker that exists solely as a support for other people. The world has told women for too damn long that we can’t strive for more. We can, and we are.
Take the time you spend tearing yourself apart and start telling yourself you are good enough. The universe is waiting for you. I promise if you believe in you, and you remind yourself every single day about the ideal, about the person you have always wanted to be- you will get there.
Change is scary and uncomfortable and your brain is going to work really hard to make you feel like you’re doing the wrong thing. At the first sign of challenge or failure we want to retreat back to where it’s safe, but safe doesn’t mean good. Comfort is not progress. Have the courage to try.
Let go of other people’s expectations for your life. Don’t allow your fear to cloud out every thing you’re doing so right. You’re already doing better than you think.