I've been waiting pretty much my entire life for my “real life” to begin. In my teens and early twenties, it was about getting into the real world and getting my dream job in advertising. Once I landed the job, I was far from satisfied. I was clinically depressed and suffered from eating disorders.
Eventually, I realized I was called to be a writer. I felt confident that once I found success in that field, I’d feel like my “real life” had started. Letting go of who I thought I needed to be to become who I really am was the greatest choice I ever made. But, it didn’t make my life feel any more “real."
Our most daunting challenge is accepting that in this very moment, we are whole and enough.
I’m on the verge of publishing my third book. I have a booming life coaching and speaking business. But I still find myself waiting.
My professional dreams have come true — for the most part. The national TV appearance hasn’t happened yet, and I’m waiting for Sandra Bullock to be cast in the film version of my life story, but I’ve had a half a decade of success in my chosen field — and a creative field at that.
In the imagined versions of our lives, we are free of our insecurities, our flaws. We may have achieved what we dreamed in reality. But we have not become the perfect person we imagined we would be when we did. Perhaps your perfect self is thinner, smarter, or richer. You think this reality cannot be the fulfillment of your dreams, because you are not who you wished to be within it.
In my ideal version of this career path, I am sitting next to Oprah with Elizabeth Gilbert praising my latest literary wonder, then getting a standing ovation on the TED Talks stage.
When I pictured myself as a successful writer, I imagined myself with a husband, at peace with my life, and in a slim body. Yet I am still an overweight woman struggling with full acceptance of her body, in this, my real life.
After a three-year dating sabbatical — yes, three years man-free, which in itself is a huge feat — I find myself wondering if this successful, overweight, single writer can fully celebrate life instead of waiting for it to happen.
One of the most daunting challenges we face is accepting that just as we are, right now, we are enough. Life is the process and unfolding of glorious challenges intermingled with moments of inspiration.
Today, I choose to embrace all that is. My large body, my failed diets, my dating disasters, my rejected article and book ideas. Because every so-called “failure" is an opportunity for growth. Every insecurity or flaw that I think is holding me back is actually a portal to a greater understanding of who I really am.
I step into full acceptance of the journey. Today is the only day we have. I choose to accept it and all that is in it.
Waiting for your life to begin is letting fear bench you. But this is it. Each day, no matter what it holds, is a celebration. Life is a gift.