FAKING it no more

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When Michele sent me a new post to read this weekend, she was so excited to be coming back to the blog. Over the last year or more, she has transformed her life – new job, new status, new path. I am so proud of her.

I wasn’t so sure, though, that I wanted to jump back in. We both write for a living and started Women Overboard because we wanted to throw off our corporate masters and write about what mattered to us. But by this time a year ago, I felt that I was just repeating myself. Since I felt trapped in my life, this made sense: despite my vows that things would change – that I would change them – I never did. I started to feel, frankly, like a bit of a fraud.

But I have a competitive streak. The thought of handing the blog over to Michele, as much as I love her, has been gnawing at me for the last couple of days. It’s our blog. And it wasn’t that I had nothing new to say: My life, too, has taken a 180. From the outside, you’d never know it: I’m still at the same job, at the same company, in the same house, and yes, I’m still single.

So what’s different? I am standing in the same place, but I live in an entirely new landscape. Whereas before I saw nothing but walls, now I see footholds. I have rekindled my dormant creativity. I am increasingly living my own life, instead of someone else’s. Most important, after living for decades in the reflection of women who found me wanting, I finally believe that I am enough just as I am: worthy of success, worthy of praise, worthy of love.

I’ve got a 10-year post-divorce head start on Michele, and I’ve certainly had help. At work, a new boss and new leaders have been champions who offered their full-throated support while challenging me to do more. I’ve had a couple of wonderful therapists, and my friends are amazing. But I’ve done a lot of hard work on my own, and as my childhood scars and years of failed relationships and professional bullying have slowly dissipated, they have re-formed into something completely new: a growing confidence, first attempts to set boundaries, and a slow shedding of the fears that hobbled my everyday existence and kept me from living up to my potential. I’m still a work in progress, and I hope there’s always room for growth.

Years ago, a fellow traveler in a therapy group stopped me one day as we were leaving a meeting. “I don’t get it,” she said. “I keep telling my husband that there’s this woman in our group who’s funny, confident, smart and seems so together that I can’t figure out why she’s in therapy.” It took a few moments to realize that she was talking about me. It took 25 more years to understand her confusion. It remains to be seen whether I can keep finding something new to write about.

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About Mindy

I am divorced, no kids, working full-time in corporate communications. There are never enough hours in my day, mostly because I insist on hygiene, food, exercise and clean dishes. Really, how do women with kids do it?!?
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5 Responses to FAKING it no more

  1. mmm61 says:

    Nice to see you both back!

  2. Suzanne Ryan says:

    Love hearing from both Mindy and Michele! Looking forward to reading the powerful and insightful words that both of you have inside of you waiting to get out. Much love to you both.

  3. Mindy says:

    And much love to you, too, my friend! Hugs to all the Ryans this Thanksgiving!

  4. Michele says:

    I am very happy that we are back, too. I have missed us, and our friends who follow us. And I am very proud and amazed to see that we have just passed our 4-year mark. Which frankly blows my mind.

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