Last year, I wrote a poem titled, “I choose me” (it’s at the bottom of this post if you’d like to read it), and in having the opportunity to reread it, to remember where I was when I wrote it, I can tell you that simply realizing that I was MINE to choose was only the tip of the iceberg.
If last year was me waking up to the truth that I am mine to choose or reject, then this year has been walking the talk, or put more poetically, actually practicing the art of it.
I guess ‘practice’ is the right word to use here, because boy, does it take practice.
Over the past few months, I have begun to take a long hard look at what it would actually mean to my everyday life if I lived out me choosing me.
So far, it’s looked like closing a business, getting off social media, going for walks in the woods every other morning, and therapy every other weekend. It looks like no more self-help books, and poetry only. It’s looked like weaning myself off my addiction to stress and chaos and, tending to a ravaged garden space slowly and patiently as a metaphor for my own healing and transformation.
I am worried that even that description sounds too romantic, a quick flip through my journal would reveal angst, anxiety, fear and, frustration as I submitted myself to the process I have been avoiding for decades:
Feeling the things, rather than just ‘understanding’ or ‘knowing’ them.
Choosing ‘me’ has cost me the labels and identities I’ve been hiding behind for years.
In the end it came down to it, either I can keep my armor and lose my self… or I hold onto me, but surrender all the ways I sought meaning, purpose, and protection.
I choose me.
‘I choose me’ – March 2022.
For as long as I can remember, I have been waiting on some or other grand romantic gesture. I’ve been waiting for my mother to choose me, for my father to choose me. As a teen, I started to hope for a boy to recognize what was right in front of him all along, to notice the priceless treasure everyone had overlooked, and choose me. I got married, and I am still waiting…
Waiting to be more important than the trauma or the pain.
To matter more than a career,
Or a girlfriend,
Or a business deal,
Or another girl,
Or his boss,
Or his parents.
Waiting for a grand declaration of love that would in some way, shape or form finally declare my value.
They would choose me, and I would have value, I would be worth something. I would finally feel worthy.
Except, what if I would always be waiting?
Rationally speaking, I know it is ridiculous, and yet here I am.
If they won’t notice, maybe I can show them.
Maybe If I was beautiful, thin and amicable enough, they’d choose me.
Maybe if I accomplished enough: got the best grades, earned the title, all the titles, if I gave more of myself away than she did, if I expected even less than she did in return. Maybe then they’d finally see what a good deal I was.
If I attended enough church, read enough books, did enough ‘work’, if I scrubbed or hid or boarded enough of my unsightly bits… would I be unbroken enough?
Would they love, care for and, tend to me?
If I traveled far away enough? Crossed enough oceans, gave enough of myself away…if it was convenient enough for you, if you didn’t even have to get up off our couch, or put down your phone, would I have gone far enough for you?
Perhaps, if it is true that I am yours to give, push, scrub, and polish away.
But I am not.
What if I am not yours to appraise or to value? Or to not value? What if I am not yours to accept or reject?
What if I belong to me?
What if I am mine?
What if I have been mine all along?
I belong to me. I am mine.
I am waiting for me.
I am waiting for me to stand outside of my window with a bouquet and a boombox.
I am waiting for me to notice and see what’s been right in front of me all along.
I am waiting for me to choose for me.
In big grand romantic gestures,
In small, steady & consistent choices.
I am mine.
I belong to me.
I choose me.
Even if it was July.
Even if it was August.
Even if it was the 999th of November
Or way down in February
I choose me.
I choose me Over and over again
Because that is how it should be.
I choose me.
Lauren da Silva has been a mother and entrepreneur for over 10 years and helps other women just like you overcome co-dependency and people-pleasing, and reclaim their power to succeed in life and business. Connect with her at laurendasilva.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org