My life’s forest has always been invisible but for my own trees. I’ve always known I can’t see me but now I believe I’ve blocked my view. I need to get the heck out of my way. Maybe you knew this about me and I thank you for keeping it on the down low until I figured it out. I can tell you I have stood at the edge staring at where I thought my forest was for a long while. But there’s no chance to appreciate the beautiful forest if it’s invisible.

I feel like I’ve been waiting for others to tell me what I have that is of worth. To tell me what’s interesting about me. As Po’s Dad in Kung Fu Panda said, to tell me what my “secret ingredient” is. But what I really have craved is my recognition. My affirmation of me and that internal faith that whatever “it” is, it’s there.

Like the child who is so desperate for her parent to like her and pay attention to her. “Please, Mama, can you tell me what you like about me. Tell me what I’m good at.” As Supertramp sang, “please tell me who I am.” Whether you have kids or not, you are your own parent for the rest of your life. And that parenting includes giving yourself the recognition you crave.

Hansel and Gretel in the forest in

I have often felt so impatient about my blog, my writing, and finding my purpose. I wanted to hire someone to help me get on with it. Hurry up and become already. And then it began to happen. I started to hear what people were saying, what they enjoyed, and which things inspired them. And slowly, the person that I already am, that I want to be, that I want to work hard to become better at being, is emerging. She’s just been hiding among the trees in the invisible forest.

It’s dawning on me that I’m not too sucky. And I may have a talent or two that are slightly impressive. If I step back and give myself the time and space to see it, I just may see the forest for how really beautiful it is. Purpose and positivity only help when you recognize and value them.

I find danger to my self-esteem comes when I’ve compared myself to others who are in another league. For example, in the design world, people who constantly devote their lives, money, and extreme experience to design are going to have great spaces. And of course stuff done on the fly cheaply is going to look sucky compared to people with a lot of money, experience, and taste. So I think I can’t even stick my pinky toe into that stream of water with those people. And it’s such a good excuse to avoid doing this kind of work or anything that you love.

more of my forest on shalavee-staging-1.local

Yet my vision and creations are good, just practiced in a smaller league way. Experienced blogger and coach Kathleen Shannon points out that we’re all at different levels of doing, blogging, or writing. I’m a B girl looking up to the A girls who don’t really see me because they’re looking upwards to their A girls. Kinda like it was in high school when you admired your upperclassmen and they didn’t know you existed. But I can shine if I hang with other B girls and I look pretty kickin’ to the C girls. It’s me comparing my Bananas to their Apples that’s freaking me out.

Who cares what anyone thinks really. If it’s crap, it’s still my crap to be proud of. And I suddenly felt a bit better when I realized all of this. And I’m ready to put that part of myself out for review. Because not only is everybody doing it, but I’m an original. I’d like to give myself a hard time for having to do everything so differently but that is what keeps my style so interesting and endearing. Did you catch Fiona’s bedroom makeover? Stay tuned for more design fun.

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  1. Comparisons are in a different league now, too. When we were younger, we might just be comparing ourselves to the girls at school. Now, with social media and blogging, you have an opportunity to compare yourself to people all across the world! It’s crazy, isn’t it, and soul sucking if you let it get to you. We’re all interesting, all unique, all talented. But you’re right. We need to hang with the right tribe in order to experience our own fullness. AND we have to figure out a way to stop comparing. It really does steal one’s joy! xo

    1. Yes, it is about asking the right people to be here with you and then having faith that you are meant to be here now. Because you honestly never know what others might be grappling with in their lives. Your insides to their outsides. Idealism and fantasy. Suzonne, I have always appreciated your support and generosity. Thank you for being in my tribe, like it or not.

  2. Yes. And Yes. I so hear this one. I often am so hard on myself, I totally discount anything different or beautiful about myself. I love that you are becoming…and embracing. I love that you write and design and try over and over again. Super proud of you. The only real comparison is to ourselves and where we have been in comparison to where we are. Keep becoming my friend – and thanks for allowing me along for the process!

    1. I asked my husband about this concept last night Patti. I said do men do this? He said that men covet eachother’s cars and girlfriends. And he again stated his beloved golf analogy. When he plays golf, he is always playing against himself he says. To be better than he was the time before is the only way to play. I am so very happy that I have you reading along and if you were the only one, I’d be just as happy. Because knowing my writing and journey made a difference to you is such a joy to me.
      Love to you,

  3. I love this post – your writing and the overall tone of it. I feel you embracing yourself, your talents, and your confidence. Share away, my friend. So happy for you! Love to you! Xo

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