I’ve been pretty quiet on my blog and I gotta be honest, I’ve been feeling less than inspired as of late. Starting a new path in life is hard, and the past few months I’ve allowed a lot of self-doubt to creep in to my head and I’ve been struggling with feelings of inadequacy and wondering if I’ve made a mistake or if I’m truly doing what I’m meant to do.
Where do these feelings come from? For starters, I know these feelings come from years of being less than kind to myself and allowing others to be less than kind to me too. I grew up in a household where comparison was constant because I have 5 siblings, and the worst comparisons were made (and still are) between my twin sister and I. She was the skinny, pretty twin. I was the chubby, smart twin. It sounds silly but those really were our identities when we were younger and it did not lead to a great place in our relationship. My twin and I were estranged for close to 20 years because of all the repercussions of those stupid labels. What a waste of life, feeling like part of your heart was missing, all over labels that people forced on you. On top of that, as the ‘smart’ one (which drives me nuts because my twin is incredibly intelligent), I still had a parent tell me that I’d never get in to college. So these feelings of ‘less than’ are deep-rooted.
And labels are hard to move away from. Beyond my chubby, smart label, I was also the independent, rebellious kid who left my home state for the farthest point away (in the contiguous U.S.) after college with both middle fingers in the air, vowing never to return. At 22, I was dealing with these same feelings of inadequacy. I wanted so badly to build my own identity that I could be proud of. And, for the most part, I was proud of who I was becoming. I had a budding career, overcame some serious health issues, was living on my own and paying my student loans and medical bills, and was really proud of myself never once asking anyone for help. But, despite all of that, I still allowed certain people in my life to treat me as though I was inadequate. I allowed a boyfriend of mine to ‘encourage’ me to lose weight, while constantly putting down my family’s blue collar roots. I allowed a boss to repeatedly call me a ‘bitch’ (NOT KIDDING) because I beat him at xbox, in addition to allowing him to control nearly every aspect of my life. I had another boss who deliberately scheduled an out-of-state work assignment on what was to have been my wedding day, and because I was dumb enough to be committed to that job I actually cancelled my wedding plans and we got married at the courthouse (I lost that job 2 days after we got married)… and it’s hard for me not to feel as though I’ve brought it on myself. On the other hand, these experiences make me value and appreciate where I’m at today. I have the cutest husband, a restored relationship with my twin sister, I have my own business… so why am I feeling so freaking insecure at this particular moment?
Truthfully, it’s just a bunch of different little things. I have had a couple conversations in the past week that didn’t sit well with me. One woman decided to share with me that I’m irresponsible for having left my corporate job, while another told me it’s cute that I sell makeup… I didn’t feel the need to try and validate myself to these women who know nothing about me, but it did get in my head a little. Then, I’ve had friends send me links to jobs they think I should apply for, and while I know it’s well-intentioned, it makes me wonder if they believe I should be pursuing my passion because if they did believe in me, why the hell are they sending me jobs to apply for? And on top of all that, I have been in my head a lot lately about my own self-worth. I left a cushy 6-figure career to start my nutrition therapy practice and there are times when I think “WTF DID I DO?!” I love the work that I do, I love helping people take control of their health, and I love building awareness on the simple things we can do to live happier, healthier lives… and I can’t lie, I do miss my old paycheck. I tied a lot of my identity to my salary, and even though I don’t actually notice a difference financially, it’s still something I struggle with. I know I’ll get there again one day, but not ‘contributing’ to my household the way I used to has messed with my head a little bit. (And no, at no point has my husband ever brought this up- this is all me. He’s been incredibly supportive of this transition.) Then I think that people won’t take me seriously as a nutritionist, and this imposter syndrome/attitude comes up. Looking at other nutritionists on social media, they seem to have it all figured out. Beautiful profiles, fancy pictures, the perfect captions… and then the actual physical comparisons we go through…‘Nutritionists should be skinny, I’m not skinny, nobody would want to work with a nutritionist who isn’t skinny’. Comparison is the root of all evil, I know this, but when you’re feeling insecure in the slightest, this is where comparison will just pummel you down even more. I am so f-ing done with it, I just want to get to the point where I’m comfortable in fully owning ME and who I am and what I stand for.
I’m not writing any of this to get any amount of sympathy, I just felt it on my heart today to share what I’m feeling , why I’ve been quiet, and how I plan to tackle it head on. My husband and I do a 3 week cleanse every year to reset ourselves before we start our (literal) hunt and gather season. We eat pretty darn healthy to begin with, but we’ll be 100% plant-based for the next 21 days. On top of that, I’ll be stepping back a bit from social media. I’m giving myself space to work through these thoughts and emotions I’ve been having lately so that I can release what no longer serves me. I know deep down that I have something to give, I know I am meant to do this work and I know that I add value. Toxic thoughts and emotions have energy and that energy can weigh us down, and I am so ready to get rid of it and move on.
So, I’m going to come back refreshed and energized. I’ll be keeping a journal of my experience and will share when I’m ready. This level of self-care is much needed.