The Secret to a Balanced and Fulfilling Life

authenticity mental health perserverance Sep 18, 2023

“Am I doing things to purposely drain my bucket? Did I punch my own hole in my bucket? What should I try to plug and say, this isn't serving me well?”

I am loving these conversations with our honorary sisters – it has been such a blast! This was such a good convo with Jessica! I loved this statement, rather question, she asked – “Am I doing things to purposely drain my bucket?'

What a question! As I pondered it, I came to the thought that I *think* I am not intentionally choosing to drain my bucket, however, I am also not intentionally trying to retain the water in my bucket. Which led to the question of, what can I let go – what isn’t serving me? And I say this so cavalierly – but in reality – I am the worst at this. I have THE hardest time letting go of anything. I personally call it my sickness, but really –it goes way back to my own personal hurdles from childhood, teenaged years, young adulthood, and even to this day being told I am one thing when it was in such opposition to who I actually was.  My constant drive and reason for saying yes is because I want to be told “you are such a hardworker,” instead of “that wasn’t good enough.” I want to be told “You are so kind,” instead of “you are so harsh.” I want to be told “you are so giving,” instead of “you are so selfish.” The list can go on and on. Why? Because I have been told all these things before –as I am sure all of us have – and it stays with you. And these moments are not the moments where maybe I did do a half ass job, or maybe I was being a little selfish. No, these moments are when I stood up for myself and drew a line in the sand, created a boundary, or even poured my whole self into a project- and I was met with criticism attacking my character or work ethic.

And while for some they may shrug it off, I challenge it. I want to prove every single person wrong, which means I say yes way too often. You want me to prove how giving I am? I am going to make you 10 freezer meals after you had a baby. You want me to prove how kind I am? I am going to sacrifice my time, my energy, and my finances to make your life easier, even it makes mine miserable. You want me to show you how hard I work? I am going to give 200% everyday, work until midnight, wake up at 5am- yet, what I do is never enough and no one else is held to the same standard. What it has done is literally drain me to the point where I resent everybody and everything. And I KNOW that it is my job to intentionally keep “the water” in my bucket – but what happens when no one around you respects that? What happens when you are met with criticism that challenges who you know you are to the core?  

What do you do? Well, you turn almost 40 and say Fuck it. I highly recommend.

But seriously – the thing I have learned on my journey to 40 (6 short months away), is that no one can tell you who you are other than yourself. The truth is you will never prove yourself to anyone. Because the person who is making you prove how loyal, kind, or good you are – will never actually see who you are. They will always mislabel you and hold you to a standard that they themselves will never reach. So, Fuck it. Let it go. Plug those holes. Get rid of what isn’t serving you. Stand up for yourself. Challenge the narrative and say – you are wrong, period, end of discussion. And as my good friend Don Mamone says, “Live your life unapologetically.”  

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