Nobody knows us better than we know ourselves, and none of us is fucking up like we think we are. When people ask me what I write about, that is what I say. Oh, so like, self help? they reply. Oh HELLA no! I say. I just tell my story, so that other people might feel a bit better about sharing theirs. Because we all have a story – and we all want to know that it matters.
That’s basically what humanness is, I reckon. It’s asking, do you hear me? Do you see me? Do I count at all?
I’m in love with myself. With who I am and what I believe and how I see the world. I’m proud of myself, too – imperfect and wild and confused and messy and trying, always but always trying – and that’s because, whilst I might not know much about anything, really, I have mastered this one thing. I’ve mastered the art of being my own best mate. The amount of judgment I place on me, myself, and I, is exactly FUCK ALL. I know that the boss of me, is me. I’m in charge. I do not need permission to be who I am.
And that attitude? It’s freeing as all hell.
I do not only like myself when I am “good” or “successful” or “popular”. Those are external definitions, really, that I have no control over. Because my self-love isn’t contingent on my behaving a certain way, or being received a certain way, I’m never going to break up with myself. If I fuck up, I’ve still got a forever friend. And that’s magical. The only rule or regulation myself places on myself is that I give a shit. That my intentions are true and authentic and real. It makes me one of the happiest people I know, even on the days that I am sad.
I’m not trying to be competitive. Competitively… “complete”? Competitively “whole’? Competitively happy? No. I don’t mean it like that. I’m owning my truth, because I’ve worked hard for this relationship with myself, and it’s a bit rare, really. I know because I get told so. I get told that people – women – are seldom as unapologetic for chronicling their narrative as I am. I get told, incredibly generously, that I’m adventurous and bold and one day it hit me: I am, in fact, all of those things, and that’s because I LIKE MYSELF.
Even when I’m writing stories about a one night-stand, or uncertainty over where I should build a home, or the realities of how much money I make (or don’t, rather) – I never not like myself. And as I’ve turned that fact over in my mind, I realised: I worked really, really hard to be able to say that. To get here, knocking on the door of 30, as my own number one fan. And I got here because I absorbed the stories of the women who went before me. The ones who forged a path wide enough for me to take up the space I believe I deserve.
Look. I am wildly distrustful of advice. Especially on the Internet. It seems to me that many a blogger gets to a certain follower count and starts launching e-courses and e-books and e-retreats that peg them as some sort of authority on any given subject, but normally you. Well. Sorry, sugartits. Nobody has the answer for your life. Nobody else can solve your problems, nobody else can provide the staggering level of confidence and attitude and out-and-out bravery it can take to even get out of bed some mornings. Life is an up-and-down, conniving and miserable motherfucker, and to be honest we can’t guarantee from one day to the next that any of us will scramble through it unhurt. In fact, pain and upset are pretty much par for the course.
It’s pretty shitty, really.
But, when we share our stories about our hopes and dreams and tripping points and loves – when we talk, openly and without judgment, about our humanness – somehow, the beauty is belligerent enough to shine through. To remind us we’re okay. That we’re all in this together.
I’ve written a book. An eBook. It is called The Book of Brave and it isn’t advice. Go somewhere else for that. I do not have any answers, and I will never pretend to. But I can tell you, over and over again, that you count. Are important. Deserve your voice. That you aren’t fucking up like you think you are. This eBook is part of my story. The story of slicing open the scaredest parts of myself so that I might not be afraid of them any longer, and how that has made me superwoman.
This is a hundred pages reflecting on my version of brave. How it’s brave to say no, and brave to sit in silence with yourself and brave to tell somebody when they’ve upset you. It’s brave to say sorry and brave to do the thing you say you’re going to do and brave to eat lunch alone and change direction and tell them I love you and it is NOT being fearless but feeling fear and going balls-to-the-motherlovin’-wall on the adventure of your own life anyway.
Listen to me: you fucking matter. You count. You are writing the story of your life every minute of every hour of every day and you’re doing it bloody brilliantly. You’re doing it in a way nobody else can. You’re not “right” and you’re not “wrong”, you just are and so is everybody else. And that is enough. You are enough.
But, if you need a wee reminder of any of those things, I’ve got you covered. You can buy the story of the ways I found out I was enough here. You’re a goddamn rockstar. And you should know it.