The other day, I had a rushed morning. I checked email, chugged my lemon water, hurried in the shower, dropped Teddy off at the groomers, and ran to a meeting. Honestly, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for me, but it didn’t allow much time to think. It was just go.
The meeting was going really well and as I was sharing a bit of the background of The College Prepster, I realized just how much I had changed over the years. To be completely honest, I do not recognize myself. If I were to go back and tell my 15-almost-16 year old self where I would be in ten years, I don’t think my younger self would have believed me. Nope!!!
Growing up, I always dealt with anxiety. I had great friends, but I never would do something that I didn’t feel 100% comfortable doing. I never went to the movies on Friday nights in middle school. I didn’t go to any parties. I went to homecomings and proms, but didn’t dance. Even little things like telling a waiter what I wanted to order was hard! The list goes on and on.
I never would have believed that I was going to meetings with strangers basically every day. I would have never believed that I was voluntarily throwing myself down a mountain on skis or sinking in a pool learning how to scuba dive. I wouldn’t have believed that I was in a great relationship. I would never believe that my formerly terrified of dogs self would end up with a dog of her own.
As excited as I am to know how far I’ve come and knowing that there’s still room to grow, it does make me sometimes look back and wonder if my life would have been different had I been this “new” me from the very beginning.
But then I remember that the new me has been me all along and that everything I’ve gone through, overcome, faced is all part of the journey. It’s all part of my story. The good, the bad, the ugly.
And actually, it’s mostly the bad and ugly that really forced me to grow and change. (Yes, I know this is cliche!!! It just is so true, I can’t not say it.) That time I fainted before my college interview? That time I failed my first ever college exam? That time I dropped out of a class and squeaked by another with a D? That time I found myself on the floor of the bathroom crying at work? That time I had to decide between my job and my passion?
Those moments led me to where I am today, in a powerful, the-dots-all-connect way.
So instead of feeling sad about thinking what I might have missed growing up because of my anxiety, I just own my story and know it’s just as much a part of who I am as having green eyes is. It’s just me.
I don’t think about all these changes frequently, but sometimes it hits me. Like when I’m sitting across from a near stranger, completely comfortable, talking openly about my life and my business and thinking to myself, “Wow, I can do this. I am doing this.”
This is not to say that I don’t still have things to work on. I’ve been having the worst time trying to fall asleep every night lately. There are times when I feel sick to my stomach and frozen with fear and self-doubt. But I get through it. Somehow, someway, I get through whatever it is.