The following is a story I wrote from my most recent newsletter. I had no intention of making this a blog post, but the response has been so vast, immediate and heartfelt I felt it might have a place here, in this space as well...
From about age 10 to around 30, I have felt like an outsider.
Not skinny enough, not accomplished enough, not patient enough, not talented enough, not dedicated enough. I'm 32 now and I feel like 20 years is about all the time I have to dedicate to feeling that way.
I have never been cool.
In elementary school I wore BIG thick pink glasses and loved horses. I was really tall. I preferred Breyer horses and playing outside over Barbies and Sweet Valley High books. I was smart (except in math) and awkward. None of my clothes were from The Limited, The Gap or United Colors of Benetton.
This was the perfect recipe in my town to get picked on and made fun of. A lot. I know how to build a wall and put on some armor pretty quick when I feel threatened, I found some confidence in 8th grade which quickly fizzled as I walked the halls during my freshman year. I wanted so badly to be liked. So I stopped wearing doc martins with skirts and dying my hair bright red.
I reinvented myself as a jock (hah!). I tried lacrosse, ice hockey, soccer and track. I usually quit partway through each season. I carefully studied what everyone else was wearing to make sure I blended as seamlessly as possible.
At lunch I never quite knew who to sit with, so I floated in and out of different cliques. I had one close friend, who unfortunately didn't share my lunch period. I used boys as my barometer of how "good" I was. If I was dating someone I was OK, If I wasn't, then I was worthless. This constant on and off dating didn't really help me in the reputation department, but that's a story for another day.
Midway through high school I switched to a new town, I wanted to try living with my Dad and I needed a change of scenery badly. I felt so rejected in my hometown, I figured anything HAD to be better.
I think I was interesting to the new students for about a week. Then I went back to feeling invisible. I struggled to find a group. I skipped lunch every day and painted in the art room so I didn't have to die from the embarrassment of having no one to sit with. I dated boys that treated me like shit. My 20's didn't look much better until I got divorced 2 and half years ago.
Before I became a coach I didn't think I deserved to be loved for who I was NOW. I always thought I needed to improve, change and be some other version to be worthy. Words can't explain how freeing it is to be not live that thought pattern everyday.
Why am I sharing this?
Because I know now that I'm not alone.
I know other women have felt this, lived this and continue to feel this way more often than not. I think we change that...Together. You see a lot of people picking words to guide them through the year. This year I also picked a word for my business. The word is "BELONGING".
There is nothing more damaging to our soul that to feel forgotten, unseen, unheard and uninvited.
What I most what you to hear me say to you today is that: You Belong Here.
The women I strive to gather together are smart, beautiful, sensitive and creative. No matter where they live, how much money they make or what their pant size is. You are always invited.
We share together, we heal together, we change our lives together.
Come Join us Febuary 11th and start this year a little differently.