I’m not good at hiding it when things are going on. You guys know, I’m not trying to be cryptic. I’m reaching out because I need love and I feel like garbage. So here is it, the bone naked truth.
For the last four years my life motto has been ‘I could die tomorrow’. I’ve used it to justify massive purchases, give me the courage to book solo adventures, be honest and open about my feelings to people I care about and cut out the ones who don’t care about me.
It has led me down some garden paths, but it has also guided me to a life of courage and confidence (faux though that may sometimes be).
I’ve all but conquered my anxiety, with just the occasional hand ringing, mouth running and cold sweats when I have to do something outside of my carefully crafted comfort zone. I believe we only regret the things we don’t do, because no matter what choices we make, life keeps on rolling.
I want to be the one waving from the train window, not the one standing on the platform.
Now – that being said, I have also realised that I have developed some mad self-destructive tendencies. I mean, what person in their right mind still smokes cigarettes these days? I do. I also love a beverage and a food binge as much as the next addict. The fact is: I’ve used my live fast attitude to justify the highs and the lows of my self-care.
I’m a woman now. I’m 27, out of home, working a job I love and kicking some goals. However, I’m still doing those dumb things, like justifying online shopping when I have $100 until pay day, and buying smokes when I should be paying for a gym membership instead.
This week I, consciously, did something for future Leigh. I’m not going to deny her existence anymore because you know what? Odds are- I’m not going to die tomorrow. It would be shit if I did, because I still have a lot on my list, but I probably won’t.
In classic, heart first-head second Leigh fashion, I fell in love. I fell in love with a polyamorous person. I spent months convincing myself that I was okay with it, while deep down harbouring hopes of something more. This week I broke my own heart and walked away.
I still love him and I probably always will, but I had one of those ‘I love you, but I love me more’ moments. I’ve never had one of those before. I’m so used to things ending badly that the thought of walking away from someone I actually care about is almost incomprehensible. It still takes every ounce of strength I have not to go bounding backwards in to warmth and security but… I’m just going to hurt future Leigh even more, aren’t I?
One fabulous thing about my character is that I’m not a procrastinator. I get shit done. So seeing a maybe in the distance just doesn’t do it for me. I need a now. I am very impatient!
Future Leigh came to me and she painted a picture of a home in Margaret River with floor to ceiling windows, book shelves galore; two giant doggos, some curly, dark haired babies and a man- a man with kind eyes and gentle hands who makes a mean cup of tea and plays with my hair.
I want that more than I can put in to words. With the amount of love I put out in to the universe, I deserve that.
We only get one life, and if all you know is where you want to end up, you have to fight for it. You need to make decisions now and back yourself, because no one else will.
Most people, believe it or not, are really selfish! They will use you to keep them warm, soothed and smiling and it feels damn good to be that person. But, don’t get caught up in maybes.
Sometimes you have to be really fucking strong, and love you more.
Now that I’m an adult (note how I keep repeating this so that perhaps I will believe it) I want to start taking care of future Leigh.
I’ve done up a budget (I haven’t stuck to it but you know, work in progress), I’ve got some self-help books as recommended by beautiful friends, I’ve got some writing exercise books too. I’ve got a journal and some pretty pens and a pretty excellent system with my house mate/other half whereby we balance each other’s uselessness with the other’s strength. With her mad organisation and determination, and my charm and haste, together we make a functioning human!
For those of my fellow sweet millennials with a self-destructive streak like me, never fear. We can make a change any day we like. I’ll make my next one on Monday, because I’ve had enough of it this week.
You’re stronger than you think. We all are.
You only live once, so take care of you. No one else will do it as well as you can.