“You become…” those words by Margery Williams from The Velveteen Rabbit hold a special place in my heart. Maybe you remember the next lines, too? “It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately. It’s hard to be real. To be authentic. To be honest with ourselves, let alone the rest of the world! To speak up for what we really want. What we believe. To walk our talk! It’s much easier to smile and nod, to say, “I’m great, thanks, how are you?” when someone asks how we’re doing. But, really, is this what life is all about? Walking around and pretending? I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to be real, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel at times. It’s so much easier to “stay in our lane,” to do what’s expected of us by the world. Grow up, go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, work hard, buy a home, work hard to afford that home and all the associated costs that seem come to with living a modern family life!
What if you want to strike out and do something new? That could mean going back to work after staying home for a decade. Or deciding that the career you’ve been working so hard at for the last 15 years is not really your passion–and you’re curious about figuring out what your real passion, what your life’s purpose might really be?!
It’s time. For you. For me. I’m taking the first step by writing these words down and then by hitting that “publish” button on my blog. It’s a bit terrifying each time I do. I love to write but each time I do, I worry, will anyone ever read this? And then, I ask myself why it matters to me if anyone reads what I write. Isn’t it enough that I find it healing to write? That it brings me peace and sometimes, even, joy?
My intention in writing this today is to encourage myself and anyone reading this to peel back the layers. To think for a few minutes about who you really are. What you wanted to be when you were a kid. Where did those dreams go? If you feel like you may have lost yourself somewhere, here’s your reminder that it’s not too late to be what you’ve always wanted to be. You can start small. You can take that first step. You can hit publish on your blog or sign up for that 5k or take that class you’ve been thinking about for years! I turned 39 this summer and it’s got me thinking about all the things I want to do with my life. I guess the thought of turning 40 has me up at night! I want to be sure that I’m being honest with myself. I want to use my life, my time, and my voice in a way that feels authentic and true to my purpose. I want to SHOW UP for my life! I don’t want to be a passenger anymore but the driver. I want to become. Sending you strength and encouragement for you to do the same!