Just As I Am / by Michelle Cowan

As I sit down to write this entry about the importance of being okay with where I am right now, the only sentence that flies to my mind is: Am I okay with where I am?

I don’t think that I am completely okay with me. I feel perpetually in-between. I’m never perfect but never in the gutter. I’m doing some of the things I want to do and not others. I want to be doing better than I am.

This reflects my consistent inability to stay in the moment. I’m always a few steps ahead, to the career, the love, the vacation, the success, the serenity, or the wisdom I will have “one day.” Shortly after I picture that imaginary future, all the things I have to do to get there pop into my head. The moment is interrupted by a barrage of things I need to do. I’ll have to write this many songs and meet this many people and go to this many places and wear these sorts of things and look this sort of way and learn these types of things and become, become, become…until I can’t remember who I am right now.

Am I okay right now? Is it okay to accept myself, even though I don’t measure up to so many standards I created along the way? Can I erase the potential futures from my mind and enjoy what I do have and, most importantly, who I am.

If I stop fixating on images of the person I foresee myself being, I may discover that I am not the sort of woman who really wants to match those images—or who even could match them if she tried. I may grow in a different direction. By accepting myself now, as I am, I open up the possibility that I could be completely successful in this very moment. Instead of dictating to myself who I should be and laying out maps to where I will go, I can discover who I actually am and let my feet do the walking.

It troubles me that I dislike so many of my behaviors. I like myself, but I don’t always understand the things I do. I seem so strange at times, so contradictory. When my behavior doesn’t synch with who I am, maybe instead of focusing on the behavior, I can focus on looking into myself. Maybe I have misconceived of myself somehow. I’m not saying that I’m not who I think I am, but there may be an additional part of myself in conflict with my current self-image. There may be something in me I have not explored.

I’m sure there are vast regions of yourself that you may have neglected, intentionally or not. I hope we all slow down and make it into a conversation with the people we really are, so that those selves can come out and live life. I bet that reality is far better than the ideals we strive so hard to attain.