FREE

I know myself very, very well. I feel that I know myself better than most others do, though that's quite hard to know, and maybe not even worth knowing.

I know my shortcomings, anxieties, dreams, and quirks. I sit with these voices when I go for long walks along the lake, or when I pull out my laptop to type and erase my words.

Still, a not-so-insignificant part of my energy is expended going against what I already know to be true about myself. Being louder, more daring, assertive. Embracing the mess. 

Part of this is definitely good, as it makes for constant evolution. But other times, it's just exhausting and I want to climb back into the comfortable shape of myself as I know her to be.

I recently shared an experience with someone where I felt absolutely no expectation to be anything or anyone other than myself. No need to be bolder, funnier, more graceful, seem smarter, or to impress. I was who I was, who I am, who I am becoming – and that was that.

I felt perfectly at ease to be myself in the company of someone else, which is not easy for me. To cast aside what I should or shouldn't do or say and just be and feel, was completely liberating.

It was the most free that I have felt in a long, long time. And loads of fun, too.

At a shop near the border of California and Nevada last summer, I picked up a porcelain wall tag that I have hanging to the right of a mirror in my bathroom. It reads, "Our entire life consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are."

Accepting myself as I am has always been and will always be an everyday challenge and opportunity.

The more I know myself, the more I wonder about the "what if's." About what I could do if this or that thing about myself was different.

But tonight I don't wonder, I just am. So I will sit with that voice instead.