Selfish is such a dirty word. We are taught, as young girls, that SELFISH is something you should definitely not be.
And then we grow up.
We give ourselves to school. We give ourselves to our friends. We give ourselves to our boyfriends. We give ourselves to our husbands.
OK, occasionally, we get our nails done or we go for a pedicure or a girls’ lunch, but when do we give ourselves to OURSELVES? When does that EVER happen?
Have you ever spent an hour, sitting quietly, cross-legged, all by yourself, asking “WHO AM I?” I will tell you, it’s an interesting hour. I had no idea what I would discover and, frankly, I thought I would discover that it was a waste of precious time. But, I was wrong.
I discovered that I am peaceful. I think about all kinds of things that have no relation to making money or to forwarding my career or to any result whatsoever. I discovered so many things: I am absurdly curious about the people of the Polynesian Islands. I would like to be more fluent in French. I really like to run as fast as I can until I can’t catch my breath. Sometimes, I worry I should go to South America, just to see the Mayan ruins before something unforeseen happens. I love pounding Natalie Merchant songs on the piano until I’m sweaty. I wonder about people who live in apartments in midtown Manhattan for 40 years, and have sitting rooms and drawing rooms and ballrooms . . . and do they throw balls? I hate long fingernails. I love soft, silky pajamas and fuzzy, oversized sweaters and I love strawberries at their peak. I love Joss Stone and anything James Taylor wants to sing. I get all furry when I listen to a deep, rhythmic bassline. And I like to drive really fast and take corners on the accelerator. Hmmm. That’s who I am. When I’m not taking care of anyone except myself, that’s who I am.
Most women I know never allow themselves a moment, let alone an hour, to breathe and ask the questions they need to ask. But, until we find ourselves, we are unable to show our girls how to be whole. It’s scientifically impossible. Our girls do what we do. If we neglect ourselves . . . guess what? We are their ultimate. When my four year old and I put on our matching aprons and start making pancakes, she says “Look at me! I’m just like you, mommy!” She wants to BE me. And that’s a beautiful reminder to me to be the kind of woman I’d like her to be.
Thank you. Thank you. I have felt the need to fight for my own space sometimes. I needed to be reminded.
Reblogged this on A Transparent Life and commented:
A poignant reminder to take time for ourselves as women… Thanks so much for this, Megan!
I don’t think most of us have been ourselves since we were 11 years old. Great post and an inspiration to go outside and clear my head.
Wow Megan, such beautiful, inspirational and eloquent writings..Thank you for the encouragement I needed on this quiet Sunday morning to “pardon” myself! Sometimes we all need a little reminder to afford ourselves the luxury of self discovery…So glad to discover you too!
Megyn– it turns out, taking a moment works for men, too. Or would, if they’d let it. Yesterday I lost a half hour, watching the stupid rabbits eat my stupid plants. 20 years ago, I would have thrown a rock in their direction: this time, it was the high-point of my day. Thanks for being on our 11 a.m. news, (And I hope you don’t mind: I took the liberty of linking to your site from my FB account.)