The pressure women carry for having to keep up with society standards around beauty, fitness, and careers. Throw motherhood into that mix and you can only imagine the anxiety that can manifest by the innocent act of simply "trying to do you boo." I became a mother at 21, just when I was starting my very first career as a hairstylist. I wasn't married at the time and both my husband and I were barely adults trying to figure out this thing called "adulting." We both didn't come from families with money so a household with two working parents was our only option. Thankfully our parents were close enough to watch Airis at the time, which saved us on childcare expenses, but it was HARD AF! Not only did I have the pressure of building a clientele, learning how to become better at my craft, and being a decent adult, but now I had the pressure of raising another human life.
12 months ago I was laid off of my full time position at VSCO. This gave me the opportunity and chance to pursue a whole new career and jump into my passions head on. Everyday these past 12 months was filled with hope, excitement, promise, and fear, but I knew deep inside that if I believed in my dreams and that if every action was aligned with my intention I would make something out of nothing. It's been one hell of a ride and it's only the beginning which is probably the most exciting part!
I take my camera with me nearly everywhere I go, mostly because as a photography there's this part of me that just wants to document my life. The beauty about social media these days is that I'm able to share snippets of that life with you through Instagram and even on IG Stories which I've loved using more and more these days to have raw conversations with you. But sadly content online on social media is just borrowed space. Instagram stories and Snapchat are proof that content space is merely on short term lease.
Today I woke up feeling alone. And not in the sense where I'm battling another episode of depression, but just alone. The crazy thing to me is that I know that I'm not alone. I have so many blessings in my life that I'm grateful for: husband, family, and people who genuinely love me for me. But today as I sit here writing I there's this void inside that I'm searching to fill.
Growing up, especially in high school I thought the void was from not belonging to a certain group of friends. I spent most of my lunches in high school developing photos in the photo lab or working on graphic design projects from my Digital Business Academy I was in. I knew I was special and unique, but I couldn't help but feel like I was supposed to "fit in."
As soon as I became an adult I started to feel the same especially as I embarked on my career as a hairstylist. I remember not quite feeling like I could embrace the same philosophies that some of my classmates had in beauty school and quickly feeling like my choice to be authentic to myself and help my clients find their personal style with their hair, was quickly isolating me from others. I was so career driven. I knew what I wanted out of that career for myself and put all my efforts into getting it. Soon enough I found myself in a community of stylists that had the same philosophies, until I became pregnant with our first. Being the first mother amongst most of my friends made me feel really alone. It wasn't easy having to juggle a career, motherhood, and relationships with friends that just didn't quite understand the struggles of motherhood at an early age.
Throughout all of these life shifts I've learned that fitting in sorta sucks and here's why:
Fitting in takes a lot of energy and effort. Let's think about this one for a minute. There are so many different ways society tells us to fit in and there's not enough hours in the day to live up to any of those standards. Fitting in takes up so much of our energy and focus into living our authentic selves. It's like a little bit away of your authenticity chipped at every time you do something that's not truly who you are.
You stop listening to your intuition. Each person has this little tiny burning voice inside of them, its called their intuition. Do you ever notice that little voice inside of you that tells you when something doesn't feel right? How many times have you silenced it? Then at the end of the experience you sorta fall straight on your ass because you didn't listen. Your intuition is such a powerful thing and its probably something we often take for granted. Inside of each of us is this guiding light that helps us navigate to living our highest frequency, when we choose not to listen to it, we silence the truth inside us that's telling us how to thrive.
Fitting in stunts personal growth. When we fit in, we swim with the crowd and when we do that we take away from getting lost in new experiences that help us grow as individuals. Fitting in keeps us comfortable in what we do, who we know, and what we've experienced. It keeps us from living our greatest potential because of fear of fitting out.
No one likes a copy cat. Life is about self discovery and finding out who you are and sometimes that leads us into a path where we feel alone. Some days blazing a trail to create a life you're excited to live can lead to a lot of pain. But out of the struggle is always something beautiful waiting to blossom. Blazing a trail gives you and others the permission to live in their divine truth. But fitting in only gives the people around you and yourself the space to live just like everyone else.
At the end of the day feeling alone sucks. But if we attempt to fit in to all the expectations of life and society, we'll never know who we're really made of. Today I challenge you to think of the one thing you could do this week to not fit in. How would your life be different if you took that one risk to create the life you wanted? Who would you become if you chose to do something a little against the grain?
Enjoy the little video below, Inner Workings, from the amazing creators at Disney. People who are always going against the grain to create something enjoyable for the world to see. Hopefully it inspires you to follow your heart and listen to your insides just a little more.