Once upon a time, I was in my twenties. I attended a university none of my fellow classmates were going to attend. I tried out for things. I kissed lots of boys. Then, there I was living in Chicago one block from Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan. I worked hard. I played hard. I kissed lots of men. I lived life on my terms. I was getting somewhere.
And then the end of the twenties neared and fear began to show up a lot. Where’s your long-term relationship that was supposed to turn into marriage? Gosh, we thought this dream job would really be a dream. Wow, you’ve lived how long now without getting mugged or robbed – you’re about due. Are you going to be one of those crazy drunk ladies at the end of the bar?
My roadmap didn’t really go beyond my twenties. At 28, the marriage was to appear. The thirties held foggy visions of children, running my own business with my two fabulous friends and just keeping on.
So my thirties sucked. I see now I spent a lot of time in Boo-me-ville. I wandered. I gave up hope. And when I did that, folks, my weight got beyond me. And that sure doesn’t help the old self-esteem.
But I have a strong will. Determination. I tried to fake self-esteem until maybe it would come back. I met my husband. Had a beautiful healthy son. Have a lovely little family now. But in the quiet of midnight, I wonder where I am. Where is that Amazon spirit of mine? Somewhere inside all this excess weight I know I’m there.
One of my favorite movie lines is from Hope Floats “I used to be audacious, mama.” I sometimes wonder if the self-confidence was ever 100% owned but I’m really now to own it. To work for it. I’m ready to be an Amazon goddess siren again. And for the first time fully embrace, not hide from it. Not tone it down. I can be fit and smart and beautiful and fierce. We all can. F those who cannot handle it. Life is too short for playing small or extra large.
I realize at a deep level now, How can I expect others to accept me when I really have not accepted me? And that shit has to stop.
So I’ve set myself this goal. 60 days. 30 self-love dares. And I’ll share them here – get brave in the telling.
Join me. Follow me. Walk beside me. Share your experiences.
I want every human (especially women) of any age to be good to herself, be comfortable with herself. Let our glorious lights shines in this semi-dark world we’re living in. No more darkness encroaching. Gotta light myself up.
THE LIST last update 09.28.2014
These are in no particular order. I’m not holding myself to follow a method but what feels right.
1. Find my marathon project that felt rather out of reach to do. Where would creativity take me if I just let myself have time and space for it in my life? Someone else had selected 1,008 which is a sacred number in many spiritual and mystical traditions and that sure sounds like a marathon to me. Will I do a 1,008 poems? Logos? Photos of trees? Not exactly sure what will be right.
2. Make a day wandering. Drop “the kid” to school and just take off. Drive the backroads like I did in college or check a small town a few hours away.
3. Resolve to be active in NaNoWriMo. Not just sign up and be a joiner.
4. 20 TED Talks in these two months. Each TED Talk is about eighteen minutes long, so you can watch one a day while you have lunch. (0/20)
5. Send off 5 writing pieces to five different places. Hold on to the rejection letters – remember when I held onto my Harpo Studios one only to end up working there five years later. (0/5)
6. Spend 20 minutes cleaning something in my house every day. Audaciousness is also about pure courage and some of the dust bunnies around here… If I get it under control I will feel better about myself, where we live and then can make cleaning daily a habit. (3/60) in progress
for an hour every day. (3/60) in progress
8. Starting September 25, 100 Happy Days! Joined social media experiment that asks people to stop once a day and take a picture of something that makes them happy and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #100happydays. Most have been failing at this – mmmm I like beating the norm. I’ll be on Twitter under @thekhakigiraffe (3/100) in progress
9. Dump stuff. Every day for the next 60 days, get rid of one item in your home which you no longer find beautiful or useful. (3/60) in progress
10. Dump people. Go through Twitter and Facebook; cull the masses. Take a look at LinkedIn too.
11. Visit a museum I haven’t been.
12. Go see a horse about a horse. Near my home I drive by these horses that I want to give an apple and share a little moment of love. Someone gonna shoot me if I say hello to their horse? One way to find out.
13. Write a fan letter. Reach out to the people who inspire you but who don’t know you exist.
14. Go to audition or open mic night. Stand in front of people and share some of my talent again.
15. Get connected with a dolphin. We have the marine institute down here that has dolphin tours. I think I’ll cry the whole time.
16. Sleep under the stars. Like to go to a cabin somewhere. Sit by a campfire.
17. Wear a stripe of blue/green/purple hair color for a day (or longer)
18. Write an op-ed. Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it, instead of just thinking about it
19. Identify three simple things that make me really happy and add them to my everyday
20. Go paint pottery. Paint something that will be a symbol to me of my awesomeness.
21. Write a book for children. I have ideas just want to finish one.
22. Buy an original piece from a street artist in NOLA. It could be worth a lot someday.
23. Talk to someone while waiting in line and ask what they do. I’m not great at approaching strangers unless it’s been for my job. Don’t need to wait for a specified event to network.
24. Go learn something new. I don’t have to know everything and it’s okay to get help. Take sewing lessons. Or guitar. in progress: signed up for a 4-session sewing class with the public library- how awesome is that! $25!
25. Take ten selfies and share them.
26. Finish Mystery build contest entry
27. Create a sculpture of anger. For this activity, I’ll make a physical manifestation of the anger in my life. This thing may very well get made and then broken.
28. Attach a drawing or message to a balloon. Send away negative emotions or spread positive ones by attaching a note or drawing to a balloon and setting it free.
29. Make a prayer flag. Send your prayers for yourself or those around you out into the universe with this project. in progress – got the materials need to find the time to create in a soulful manner
30. Draw myself as a warrior. A strong, capable person. Give myself a shield with my coat of arms. Choose symbols that represent my strengths.