Dear Girl, You Don't Have To Be All The Things

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Dear Girl,

Are you like me? When someone says, "how do you manage it all?!" do you blush in the glow of everything you carry? Do you pride yourself on being able to say "yes!" to every little and big thing, and then do them well enough to prove that you really have this? When people ask you what you do for a living, do you love just a little bit the amount of time it took to give them the quick rundown? Are you like me in this way?

Girl, I prided myself for years on my ability to be it all. To be a loyal volunteer, to carry three impactful jobs, to have the constant social life, to be present in my family, to portray only my best on social media, all at the same time. I loved being that presence that was always constant in people's lives yet always had another thing or three on deck. I loved pinning so many important roles to my chest and showing them to the world. "Look how much I've got this, World. Look how much I can carry!"

But, do you want to know a secret? I couldn't be all the things. The pressure to be all of them was crushing me from the inside out. Just behind the glow of my heavy load was the want to smack the person standing in front of me for pointing it out; "yes, I do know it's a lot. Thank you for reminding me of how much I still have to do". On the heels of my energetic "yes" was the swelling of the ever-present knot in my stomach as anxiety filled me, wondering how on earth I was going to make this happen too. As I caught my breath from the minute long rundown of my jobs, I was ashamed at my pieced together existence as the person next to me said, "I'm a teacher." Trying to be all the things led to a white knuckled life full of anxiety of when I was going to send all the plates spinning to their destruction...to my destruction. I thought for sure I had to earn my place in this world, and I thought a sure fire way to do that was through being everything it needed me to be. Tell me, dear Girl, are you like me in this way, too?

Can I just tell you, you can't be all the things. But what's more, you don't have to be. You don't have to say yes to everything, because you don't owe a yes to everyone.  You don't have to earn your place in this world. The world made room for you when your tiny lungs first swelled with its air. You don't have to prove your worth because we already value your life so much. This balance thing is incredibly difficult but Girl, you deserve it's peace. You know what you're good at. Do that thing. Do those things. But dear Girl, do them for you, because they bring you life. Don't do them because of the pressure to be all the things.

Turn the pressure off. It's not for you.