I've never been comfortable in my own skin. As I navigate my 30s, I find myself grappling with the paradox of existence—the seemingly effortless confidence exuded by others has always eluded me. How do people eat what they want, wear what they please, and move through life with a confident aura in every situation?
For the longest time, I felt like a perpetual runner, chasing after an ill-defined "better" and never truly satisfied with the present. My obsession with what could be overshadowed any appreciation for what was. In the quest for an elusive happiness, I chased after empty love, naively hoping that someone else could fill the void within me. Little did I realize that true growth and fulfillment demanded that I confront my own discomfort and love myself first.
Honestly, that's a path I am still on... the whole self-love thing, I mean.
I discovered that happiness wasn't waiting for me on the other side of some sparkly rainbow—frankly, that mythical shit didn't exist. It dawned on me that the key to contentment lay within, and it required getting comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
I can't put into words how hard that realization hit.
This realization reshaped the way I approached life. It meant doing the inner work, facing my insecurities, and acknowledging my flaws—even when it felt like navigating uncharted territories. The journey to self-discovery became a process of accepting discomfort as a necessary companion on my road to personal growth. Without acceptance, I was on a road to nowhere.
One of the most challenging aspects of this journey was coming to terms with the concept of unconditional love. In my pursuit of external validation, I had inadvertently conditioned my understanding of love—it was never unconditional; it always came with strings attached. I repeatedly chose the wrong people. Now, I am not saying they are bad, but they are definitely not for me. From friends to partners, my choices were blurry. This revelation hit hard, forcing me to confront my own misconceptions.
It was even harder to come to terms with the fact that in order for me to grow, I had to let people go before I felt ready. Looking back though, they left exactly when they were suppose to. But, fuck it's hard.
Embracing discomfort became the cornerstone of my transformative journey. It meant dismantling self-imposed barriers and redefining my relationship with love and, honestly, my relationship with myself. The path to self-acceptance wasn't linear; it involved stumbling, falling, and picking myself back up. But with each uncomfortable step forward, no matter how tiny, I discovered a more authentic version of myself.
Today, I stand (sometimes sit) as a work in progress, not a finished product. Growth is a continuous journey, and the discomfort that once seemed insurmountable has become a compass guiding me toward authenticity. Embracing discomfort allowed me to reclaim my narrative, shift my perspective, and build a foundation of confidence from within. When I say that, I don't just mean a confidence to pursue materialistic elements or ladder-climbing relationships. The foundation I am building leads me to the confidence I need to follow my soul purpose-- the God-given gift that is my life.
To those still navigating their own path of self-discovery, I offer this: embrace the discomfort, for within it lies the key to unlocking the most authentic version of yourself. It's a journey worth taking, even when the road ahead seems impossible to maneuver through. After all, the sparkly rainbow may not exist, but the spectrum of colors within you certainly does.
To those who have been part of my transformation-- I appreciate you giving me the grace and the space I needed to grow, even if that required you to accept my absence.
PS- if you haven't heard "Learning" by Josh Radnor, I highly recommend it. To paraphrase his beautiful words, "I am learning it's okay to be lonely, and I am learning it's okay to be sad, to be scared, to be a human who feels everything."
Until next time,