Chasing, I am
I have always wanted to “be” something. I have been chasing myself for 48 years and as I approach turning 49, so close on the climb to 50, I am realizing more about who I want to be instead of what I want to be. I I grew up in a very critical, hot-tempered family that promoted shame and fear rather than love and acceptance. I came to believe I was less-than. I thought I should become a nurse, a college graduate, sonographer, Feng shui expert, homeowner, money saver – I wanted to be anything that might make me feel like I was something. I thought these things and a title would make me worthier, wealthier, luckier, smarter…enough.
My high-school grades weren’t college worthy so I equated that with the fact that I wasn’t smart enough. Eventually, I had started college in my late 20’s because in order to climb the corporate ladder, I needed a degree. I didn’t really want a degree or to climb any type of ladder, but I wanted to fit in. I went through a divorce at 30, quit school and moved to Seattle. I thought I wanted to be a Speech Pathologist and was accepted into an elite program at Seattle University. I failed an open book test and the professor told me pointblank that the caliber of students in the program were higher than what I was capable of achieving in the program. So I left the program shamed, with my tail between my legs. I went back to being an executive assistant for C-Level executives. A former friend asked me why that was good enough for me? She asked why I wouldn’t want to be President and instead merely be satisfied with being an assistant. So again I felt like I was settling and needed to do something else and be anything else that would put me in the “enough” realm of being.
In one of my attempts to be enough, I became a Licensed Massage Therapist to escape the corporate world. I also thought that I needed another skill with the massage therapist license and I added on training as a Craniosacral Therapist. So I ultimately received two titles, but nothing magical happened and money didn’t come pouring in. I was struggling financially. I thought, I should have been a Reiki master instead. Maybe I should have been an esthetician instead of a massage therapist. I went back to the corporate world.
Advance a few years and we arrive at the loss of my mother. I fell in love with hospice care and volunteering at hospice during this time. I thought I would become a Hospice Social Worker. I put myself back in school, received double degrees in Psychology and Human Services and graduated Magna Cum Laude. More titles. However, these undergraduate degrees were not enough. Now I needed a master’s degree in Social Work and I was already in school debt. So I let that idea go completely. Not only because of the money, but because I no longer wanted to be a social worker.
Sometimes I wonder if I could have changed all those experiences. If I had fought for myself instead of sobbing and walking away, what would my life would look like? Would I have found enough? My guess is probably not. Enough doesn’t exist when you operate from a place of scarcity. I finally get this fact. I also understand this is my path for a reason. There are no wrong paths, just paths that are more painful. Each time I traveled down a path, I became a little more resilient. I still haven’t found that one thing that truly empowers me, but I know that I am enough no matter what I choose to do. I am realizing and accepting of all the things that I have accomplished. I can finally be comfortable and stop the constant chasing.
Simply, I am enough.