I am finding new confidence in who I am. I stand a little taller, and feel a bit more certain of myself in any given situation. Others around me, even those who have known me forever, might not see a difference, but I know it's there. And I love this new version of myself, better than I've ever been before, and only an earlier version of what I will eventually become.
It's a good thing to stop and record the difference in ourselves. When we push so hard that we don't slow down to notice subtle changes, we miss the opportunity to marvel at the new person we have become. I don't think I've ever really noticed these personality differences before because I was working so hard to be what others wanted me to be, and not who I really was. I couldn't measure anything because the metrics were so changeable.
But now I know who I used to be, and who I am now, and the new version is standing on much firmer ground. I feel rooted to myself in a way that is fresh and exciting. I can dig deeper and find substance there. It's the difference between pretend and real, imitation and true, false and genuine. I know I have a long way to go, but beating myself up over my shortcomings does nothing but make me feel bad, and I don't want to feel bad any longer.
Learning to forgive myself and others is an important piece of this puzzle. I am not perfect, and never will be, and neither is anyone else. We are all stumbling along, trying to improve but often failing. As long as we are open to the possibility of growth and change, and willing to accept responsibility for what is ours and only ours, we are on the right track, and that is the measurement for setting my own goals now.
It's a messy process, and I'm finding the beauty in the rubble. I used to work at projecting an image of having it all together, but I can't be bothered with any of that now. It's a lie. No one has it all together. We are all inching our way through our personal journey, soaring sometimes and the rest of the time we fall and skin our knees so badly they bleed and sting. I'm not sure it ever gets any easier, and accepting this as fact encourages me a little bit.
For now, I am enjoying who I am becoming. I am myself, filled with flaws and more self-centred than I want to be, but also loving and sensitive and always reaching just a little bit higher in everything. I like this feeling of real confidence and certainty. I want to find ways to build more of it into my life, and to model it for my kids and for other women, as I have been inspired by it when I see it at work. True always trumps pretend, and truth is the only safe ground on which to stand.