The other day my awesome sister sent me a link to a blog post by a woman who was celebrating her eighth year blogging anniversary. She had a list of “things she thought was supposed to be” eight years ago.
I thought that was pretty interesting so I quickly jotted down my list of “things I’m supposed to be”. I did it really quickly because for an over-thinker like me, doing these kind of exercises quickly doesn’t give the self-editing filters that “protect me from the truth” time to snap into place.
Here is my list –
I am supposed to be married
I am supposed to be thin
I am supposed to wear high heels and dress stylishly
I am supposed to be desirable to men
I am supposed to be moving up the corporate ladder and managing a team of people
I am supposed to have enough money to pay off my mortgage, have nice things and travel several times a year
I am supposed to be happy and attractive all the time
I am supposed to be independent and not need anyone
Holy crap!! Literally!!
Where did all that come from?!
Add to the list that I must do all these things perfectly and it’s no wonder that some days I don’t feel like I’m enough. That I struggle with feeling like a failure. That I want to hide before someone calls me out as a fraud at life.
Some of these messages clearly come from our culture – movies, TV, advertising. Who knows where I picked up the others – childhood, irrational emotional self-defense, other people.
And, while I imagine I probably have things in common with other people’s lists, there are also things that don’t appear on the list that could easily do so – supposed to have children (not in the cards and that’s okay), supposed to own a house (no, thanks, too much work), supposed to be a good cook (ugh, the kitchen). And, none of those things bother me or make me feel like a failure.
So maybe today is a good day to call bullshit on my list. To take the weight of it off my heart and my spirit. To accept that I am what I am supposed to be as I am right now and that it’s perfectly okay to strive imperfectly to be the kind of person I want to be in the world.
The kind of person I want to be; not the kind of person I think the world or my inner gremlins are telling me I should be.
I’d be interested to hear other people’s lists, if anyone wants to share. And, I think I’ll check back in next year at this time and see if my list has changed. I’m hoping it’s at least smaller.