Lately I've felt pulled in two drastically different directions. It took me a long time to get comfortable in my own skin. There are things about me that I love and things about me that I dislike. It all comes wrapped in a quirky package that makes up the real me. I think we all have that. But for the past few weeks I've felt that the real me isn't good enough. I put faith and trust in someone that I feel is trying to push me in a direction that suits his/her needs more than my own needs and rather than learn from me, he/she tries desperately to change me to fit a mold that he/she created. I'm using "he/she" because 1) I want this person to remain anonymous and 2) the person isn't what's important. The thing that is important is that I felt beat up for awhile. I took what this person said to heart and started to discount my accomplishments and get down on myself for not fitting this "picture perfect" mold. Just as people are put into your life to build you up and guide you, there are people also put into your life to challenge you.
I used to think things were all or nothing. Either you're a health nut or a junk food junkie. You're a runner or couch potato. You're laid back and easygoing or you're uptight and type A. But things aren't that black or white. And I started to see the grey in my life as well. I love to work out. I love to push myself to my limits, but when I want to relax, I want to relax! I want to veg out on the couch and watch a 9 hr marathon of america's next top model and not move. I'm all about health. I'm into fruits and veggies and have been known to fry up a mean tofu, but put a cupcake in front of me and I'll devour it. I get the importance of green tea and water, but every now and then I just need a cup of coffee or diet coke (eek!). And while I have found a love for yoga and, when prompted, will speak endlessly of it's positive impact in my life, I like to have fun with it. I love to be creative in my practice and encourage others to do the same. I like to add a little fun and flair because I believe you can have both - the wonderful mind and body connection and some laughs. I also sometimes tend to bring my tough as nails beliefs into my work outs and yoga practice - if you don't push yourself, who will!? The point is, while everyone approaches things differently, we're all headed to the same destination. Who is to say that one path is better than the next?
Don't feel funny if you whip up a vegetarian fiest (complete with tofurkey!) in christian louboutins and perfectly manicured fingernails. Don't let anyone tease you for wearing make up on a hike or thinking less of you if after your big client meeting you shed your suit and run to a Slipknot concert. Who said we have to fit stereotypes that other people create? We can drive ourselves crazy trying to fit other peoples' molds. Forget 'em!
Guess what? I practice yoga to rock music. I'm a vegetarian, plant my own vegetable garden in the summer and recycle all while being decked out in fun clothes and a full face of make up. My sneakers and workout clothes match and I like to watch Gossip Girl as much as The History Channel. I don't fit any one mold. And if someone gives you a hard time because you don't fit the "stereotype", that's their problem - not yours! So be proud that you adore chick lit and historical biographies... be true to the fact that you are as dedicated to working out as you are about a chocolate cupcake...and that you love to volunteer as much as you love Chanel handbags.