A year ago, I first wrote about Spring Cleaning for the Soul based on a challenge from CHAARG founder, Elisabeth: give up one thing and give birth to another. As I was settling into a full-time job post-grad and was “getting my shit together,” I challenged myself to let go of judgment and toxic relationships, and to allow room for deeper relationships. It’s funny what all can happen in a year’s time.
I feel like I’m still in the process of getting my shit together. I’m moving into a new apartment, gaining more responsibilities at work, rethinking my teaching schedule, oh, and still trying to promote my book. I’ve been really questioning my personal brand, mainly because I hate self-promotion. I honestly am overwhelmed by social media and the pressure to stay relevant, and I kinda want to go off the grid for awhile. But then when I stop posting much other than my book, I feel salesy and annoying and not like a real person. I’m definitely still working on that balance.
I still struggle to let go of judgment, but in different ways. I’ve accepted that no matter what I post on social media, people will make assumptions about me. It’s almost comical to hear people — even close friends! — claim they know every detail of my life based on what I post. It’s exhausting to constantly correct people, so I usually just ignore it. I can only try so hard to “keep it real.”
Even though I’ve accepted it, I still fear the judgment. So often in the last few months, I’ll delete a post because I realize someone out there is going to misinterpret it. Maybe it’s because people are surprised I have a dark sense of humor, or maybe it’s because they don’t realize that I don’t take myself seriously. Either way, I’m hesitant to say or post anything misleading, which bothers me because 90% of people are ghost followers. Why do I care?!
Thankfully, I am happy with how many relationships have improved since last year. I continue to gain acquaintances and “build my network” (bleh), but my best friends have become even closer. It’s slightly concerning how many close friends SWEAR that I’m not an introvert — “What?! No, you are totally an extrovert. You’re always with people!” I’m finding a balance in my social life, and I’m beyond grateful for friends who love me unconditionally. I still don’t call my parents enough, but my mom is still my best friend and I’m way closer with my dad since last year, and I’m so thankful for that.
This year, I’m still working on letting go of judgment, and I also want to let go of control. When I feel particularly anxious (which got pretty bad with my book), I realize it’s because I hate not knowing what the future will bring. I over-plan everything, so I want to give birth to more spontaneity. Sometimes, the most fun parts of life are when things don’t go the way you expect. I feel most alive in the moments when I’m surprised, either with myself, others, or the world. This can be good or bad, but my goal is to find more of the silver linings. And more yoga, but I always say that 🙂
What can you give up and give birth to this spring? Let me know on Insta!
++ Mary K