“Your standardised ideologies will not always fit your life, because life is messy.”
-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2015 Wellesley College Commencement Speech
Life IS messy. You go into the wrong field and work your ass off proving a point to an audience that couldn’t care less, calcifying your soul in the process. You fall in love with the wrong person then try to re-invent yourself to be someone that they could fall in love with too – if ever there was an exercise in futility! You seek validation from people whose opinions you really should only pay dust. Life IS messy.
By the time you trust your inner voice enough to leave that job, switch careers, dare to be single into your 30s *gasp* #fail because you haven’t yet met the man whose word you can trust and who doesn’t bore you to tears (punks and fuckboys all round); by the time you trust yourself enough to listen to your heart’s truth and act on it – by that time you’re also dealing with the consequences of choices you made when the external was more important than the internal. You’re damaged by the neurotic asshole of a boss; you’ve got several pieces of designer luggage from years of fuckery in relationships that never should have happened and never should have lasted as long as they did; you have to kill yourself in the gym to try and mitigate the damage done to your waistline by comfort eating and cortisol, and in between visits to the head-shrinker and midnight tears because dear God why is your life like this, you still have to do the whole adulting thing, because reasons. Face it, life IS messy.
But you know what?
Live it anyway. Live YOUR truth anyway.
You’ll be lonely at times but eventually like-minded women will come alongside and walk their own truth journeys with you and you won’t be so lonely anymore, because you’re not the only one who’s trying to live true: other people get it.
Eventually you’ll meet a man who won’t be intimidated by the belly-fat nor by your ascerbic wit; who won’t tell you you’re what he wants while he chooses someone else; who’ll appreciate the person you are and not punish you for the person you’ve been; a man whose growth game is all the way as strong as your own, who wants to give more than he wants to take. Well that’s the dream, right?
Be open to the possibility that the people who ‘get’ you won’t necessarily be like you, and that they won’t come in the box you expect. Maybe they were raised differently or practice a different religion or practice no religion.
Be open to the possibility that valuable relationships can be found in the strangest -in comparison – of people.
Remember that just as much as you want to be accepted and loved and appreciated as you are, other people are dealing with their own mess too, and you need to extend the same generosity of spirit that you expect to receive. As the song goes – “what you give is what you get returned.”
Most importantly, forgive yourself and be kind to yourself – you can’t expect love from others when you don’t love yourself, nor will you know what love looks like for you.
Here’s to living your best life as your truest self. Life IS messy, but you’re not doing yourself any favours by lying to yourself so you might as well be your true self. What have you got to lose?