November wasn’t an easy month for me. It brought with it some tough personal choices, the kind that meant I wouldn’t feel great no matter what I chose. Every path was sure to bring on guilt, sadness, a touch of heartbreak and more tough choices. But I knew it was something I had to deal with now.
(I know I’m dramatically
During all of this deliberating I noticed the return of a common wishful thought I’ve had: I wish someone would show up and tell me the right choice to make. I wish there were some wiser, older, better person coming who somehow, magically, knows better than I do.
Waiting for someone who has all answers
It was in the middle of all this that I saw Frozen 2 with my family. You know, for fun!
Instead, I got read for filth by lyrics belted out by Elsa near the film’s climax:
All my life I’ve been torn
But I’m here for a reason
Could it be the reason I was born?
I have always been so different
Normal rules did not apply
Is this the day?
Are you the way
I finally find out why?
Here I am
I’ve come so far
You are the answer I’ve waited for
All of my life
Suddenly, I was ugly crying. Yes, girl, I think. I’ve been waiting for someone, too, Elsa. Someone who will somehow have all the answers and solve all my problems.
It felt like I, too, had spent years feeling overwhelmed by the weight of living life. Feeling like a failure, like my life was a mess and I was only making things worse. Terrified of accidentally making a bad choice, frustrated with my apparent inability to always act right.
I daydreamed that some Actual Adult™ would show up and give me the answers. Tell me who I am and what I’m meant to do with my life. Help me make all the right choices. Clean up my messes, solve my problems. Stop overspending, do better at work, and stop blowing my budget.
I wished, in short, for someone to come rescue me from myself.
You are the one you (and your money) have been waiting for
But at some point I had to look around and admit that all this waiting was a waste.
No one was coming to save me. No one would show up with the answers. And in the meantime, life was passing me by and opportunities were slipping past me unseized.
Eventually, I got tired of waiting. I had to admit that this particular daydream was anything but helpful. There was no Actual Adult™ waiting in the wings to swoop in and dump money on my financial fires and put them out as just the right moment.
There was, is, has always been just me. I needed to start counting on the one person who would always be there to help: myself.
As Elsa sings:
Step into your power
Into something new
You are the one you’ve been waiting for
All of your life
My reverie and crying was interrupted by my three-year-old, hands over his ears, insisting to be taken out of the theater because it was “Too Loud!” (Me or the movie? Who knows.)
Be your own ally and champion
The truth is I never need to be rescued — I needed to start saving myself. I have something, now, that I haven’t in the past: a feel for my own power.
I’ve seen myself dig deep for a reserve of strength. I’ve picked up the pieces and put them back together. Managed the money,
Part of being my own ally, I’ve also learned, is being a soft, safe place to land when life is scary or ugly or hard. And to be on my own side, unfailingly, no matter what. I’ve grown a deep faith in myself, my good intentions, my ability to get through hard things.
Through turning inward and growing my self-awareness, I’ve found my own wisdom to make the hard but necessary choices. The resilience to let go of helplessness and embrace my own power and agency.
I’m on the other side of the tough choice I’ve been working through the past couple of weeks, and it was as rough as I expected. I’m still broken up about the ways life can be hard, disappointing, and painful sometimes. But hard times I have a powerful ally: myself.
I’ve grown myself into that tougher, wiser, older, better person I always felt I needed. For maybe the first time, I’m experiencing what it’s like to have myself as a person I can count on.
And it’s pretty damn beautiful.