All I’ve ever wanted was to belong. ⠀

I was the kid that prayed for the teacher to assign partners. (The greatest sin, I know). ⠀

All of my friends always had another, closer, “best friend”. ⠀

I was 2 years older than all my teammates in gymnastics, and suffered things like puberty, my first period, and freshman year of high school pretty much alone. ⠀

To my teenage despair, getting a Facebook account just meant watching all of the parties and sleepovers I wasn’t invited to, on a loop. ⠀

Look, it wasn’t that I didn’t fit in, or at least try. I wasn’t severely unliked or a pariah or anything, but what I craved was that “belonging”. Being “in”. ⠀

You know what I mean right? That type of “in” that they have in Friends, or How I Met Your Mother. You’re not only allowed to be there, but it just wouldn’t be right if you weren’t. You’re not only wanted and appreciated, but your presence is just expected, a fact, it’s just how it is. ⠀

This week I was embarrassed to confront just how desperately I have been chasing that belonging. For as long as I can remember I’ve been bending over backwards, performing, and practically begging on my hands and knees to be liked. Not even loved, but tolerated. ⠀

“I promise I’ll be quiet and nice, I’ll even help clean up, and pay whatever, please just invite me.🙏” ⠀

☝️Legit BS that I say to myself ALL. THE. TIME. ⠀

Then if I ever mess up — say the wrong thing, say too much, laugh too loud, have too much fun, break something, be too needy, be too quiet, wear the wrong thing, etc, etc, etc. Well then just forget the whole thing.💥

There’s NO coming back from a mistake — let me just obsess about it for a few months, and convince myself that everyone thinks I’m a loser with a capital “L”, and nothing I can do or say will make it better. I’ll just spend the rest of my life graveling so that I’ll be tolerated at Christmas... hopefully. ⠀

My go-to phrase is “I hate myself”. ⠀

“I know, I can’t get enough work done today, I hate myself.” ⠀

“yeah, I had an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s with my bottle of wine, I hate myself.” ⠀

Or my favorite: “ I am so So SO sorry — I hate myself.” ⠀

It’s bad guys, and it’s about time to knock it off. ⠀

While I’ve spent a lot of time learning to love myself — my body, my mind, my work, I have yet to accept that others will love me too. Not the version I manipulate myself to be, or present, but the real, honest to God Anna. ⠀

Reading Brené Brown this week (the cause for my internal work session) helped me really see that I have to belong to me. My entire life, I’ve literally been treating myself to mirror my relationships. ⠀

Present. Allowed. Not quite “in”. ⠀

Brené Brown says, “True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being apart of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to BE who you are.” ⠀

Now I’m crying.😭

Point and case is that I’m done not belonging to myself. I’m done hating myself. I’m done with my own BS, because it IS complete BULL. ⠀

I speak on Future Boss Lady and becoming your most successful self, but that’s not all about wearing the right thing and charming your way. It’s about digging deep, and I mean deep, into all of the things that scare you about yourself. ⠀

It’s about dredging up the past, checking yourself, and shining a light on all the things holding you back — because they ARE holding you back. ⠀

Whether you think so or not (I thought I was doing well in the emotional wellness category) there are lies that you tell yourself. Things that try to convince you that there is a reality where you don’t win. Where you don’t have friends, or the Prince Charming, the money, or success. Where you are a big fat loser (with a capital L). ⠀

It’s a freaking lie. It’s wrong. It’s not true. That’s not YOU. You are worthy, and I am worthy, of everything. All the love, the acceptance, the support. The friendships the “in”, the career, the life, everything of your wildest dreams. ⠀

They are there and you are worthy of them. All we have to do is finally belong to ourselves and let the magic happen.


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