I recently led a workshop and before I began, one of the participants read a bio that she had written about me.
As she read this long list of accomplishments detailing my full scholarship to NYU, the TEDx talk I gave, various awards I earned, the video production company I started (first with a partner and then on my own), I couldn’t help but laugh.
What was funny to me was that two years ago I would have felt so validated by this list, but now, it seemed like it belonged to someone else.
It was a false portrait.
I saw the disconnect between the list and my reality.
For most of my life, I’ve believed that I’m simultaneously “not enough” and “too much” and I have done, done, done in an attempt to earn my worth.
This belief led me into an abusive relationship.
Since leaving that relationship I now see that my worth is not earned by what I do, it is inherent in my being.
What was missing on that list is all the stuff that matters. Not what I’ve done, but who I am.
So here’s 12 things that make me, me.
- I am one of ten kids. My friends have lovingly suggested that I write a collection of short stories about my chaotic upbringing titled, “You Fucking Savages,” inspired by my dad’s inevitable outbursts following our wild and absurd adventures.
- I inherited my mom’s loud (and distinct) laugh & her willingness to dance in public (even if no one else is).
- Until I found my friends in college, I believed I didn’t belong. In 9th grade, I hung out with Jesus under a tree at lunch. My sister called him my imaginary friend. Now, I have a tribe of heart-centered women who allow me to be my full self. This is the best thing.
- I am a highly sensitive person. I used to think this was a curse. In my most troubled times, I googled, “Why do I feel things so deeply?” I wished I felt less, so that the pain wouldn’t be so overwhelming. You know what I found out? A lot of people feel the same way. That made me feel better in not a small way. Now, I see my sensitivity as a super power that allows me to connect with others.
- My friends call me a “meaning making machine” and laugh about how I’ll turn the most banal experiences into epic tales filled with tension and mystery.
- What my heart craves most: connection, expression, and creativity. Creation is a spiritual experience for me. Often, I feel like there is a geyser inside, wanting to burst forth and it’s my job to find a spigot to open.
- I like to be scared and live at the edge of my comfort zone. When I move from “Oh shit, this is going to kill me” to “Oh my god, it’s really going to happen,” I feel an expanded sense of possibility that makes me wonder what else I can do.
- I’m in my zone of genius when I’m connecting with people.
- I am obsessed with light. Nothing turns me into a giddy three year old faster than a stream of light with dust dancing inside. Celebrating beauty is one of my primary goals.
- “I am the owner of my life” & “I am valuable in and of myself” = my most important realizations.
- My religion is love. I believe I was put on this earth to help us love ourselves & each other more deeply.
- I believe in radical vulnerability. I want us to take off our masks and be willing to be real with each other. I want us to realize that just as we are, we are wonderfully whole. I want us to love our imperfections, as gifts of our humanity.
Above all, I believe we belong to each other and that we need each other. I want us to fall in love with ourselves and each other.
Tell me about you. What matters to you? What do you believe in?