Have you ever heard the advice, or the rather judgement deflecting phrase “You do you”?
I have a friend who says it often when she doesn’t exactly understand another’s choices, or on the opposite side of the spectrum when she is encouraging me to stand in my truth and be brave enough to live my own life.
Example: Wearing a dress that is too short for my taste but happens to look fabulous on my friend. “You do you.”
Example: I love seeing my parents twice a week even though I’m a grown woman. “You do you.”
The concept is similar to Amy Poehler’s phrase, “Good for her, not for me.” Constantly pulled in a thousand directions, it can be challenging to remember that all we can do on this planet is capture “you.” You being me… you are following this right?
But what happens when “you do you” results in the fear of isolation and loneliness? I know that at times I don’t like to make decisions that are going to benefit myself for fear of disappointing others. Personal growth and embracing new opportunities gets thwarted because I much too often let others define how I am going to “do me”. Oh heavens, you don’t want to tag that phrase in a blog post. But do you know what I mean?
Let me try to explain. I’m starting a new job in a couple of weeks and am excited about the opportunity to go in a new direction with new prospects and responsibility. I had stomach aches giving notice at my current position when I knew that my leaving would disrupt the flow of things in my current situation. When I gave my news I was met with the most gracious response a boss could provide and support and good luck for my next step.
I am scared about what leaving behind a group of people I have grown to know over the last year will mean. Relationships are hard enough for me to maintain; what happens when I am the one changing course?
And yet, this is something that if I’m being honest with myself, I want. Me being authentically true means learning to live in the wake of the discomfort I am causing others and saying ‘we are all going to be ok’. I think women all over the country struggle with this. The idea of taking care of ourselves goes beyond getting a manicure or taking a nap. I’m learning it is also being beautifully brave in taking the next steps that are going to help me continue to grow. To “Lean In” as Sheryl Sandberg would say, or to embrace all that God has given us so we can develop into who we are meant to be.
In a recent post on Brene Brown’s Facebook page she was encouraging individuals to set healthy boundaries around the holiday season and her quote, “Be willing to choose discomfort over resentment” struck a serious chord in me. How often do we stay quiet, go with the flow, remain comfortable for fear of what others with think, or say, or do and then get angry. Angry at ourselves, angry at our situation, angry at others.
I’m noticing this pattern in myself and I’m wanting to put an end to it. No more anger for allowing myself to put me on the back burner while others glow boldly in the front. Instead, here is what I hope for in the year ahead as I continue to be me.
- Growth – being ok with being uncomfortable
- Keeping up this blog. Will you continue to read along? I’m going to write anyway.
- Camp – the mountains are calling and I must go
- Find a small group – I’m craving community and want a group of people to walk through life with. I don’t care your religion – let’s find a chance to connect and discuss all that is life over chicken noodle soup.
- Start a retirement account – financial goals are becoming a reality
- Continue to read. This year I think I’ve reached 43 books. Next year maybe more.
Being beautifully brave is a conscious choice that requires energy and discipline and self- care. I’m not feeling incredibly brave tonight, so write this as an ode to myself knowing I’ve got what it takes within me to continue to boldly step into the next stages, paying attention to what I need.
What helps you feel beautifully brave as “You do you”?
Essie Nail Polish: Jump in my Jumpsuit
Biscotti: None – but heavens have I eaten enough Christmas Cookies to last me until next year. I did make my dad this Shortbread Recipe