Outfit choices, text messages, cuffing in the club—all documented sources of my own anxiety.
If I’m being honest, I can still get frustrated with myself about awkward moments circa 2007, so when I’m somehow unsettled by a situation in the present, I’m basically having a panic attack.
Like, care-free black girl, who?
Fundamentally, I’m most fulfilled when I’m being myself and most dissatisfied when I’m doing otherwise, so when my actions, their outcomes, or my circumstances don’t reflect who I see myself to be, that’s when I begin to lose it.
And in those moments, when positivity feels unrealistic, when self-confidence is limited and insecurities are overwhelming, I’ll scold myself—for not reaching some personal or professional markers, for spending too much time on a failed romantic interest, for saying or doing the “wrong” thing that one time. I hold on to sentiments of discontentment, and I spend my time and expel my energy for the purposes of my own battery. I re-imagine and re-invest in those spaces of discomfort, but for what?
See, our lives are our platform for adventure, and on this unscripted journey, we get to learn to improvise—to figure it out as we go. So when we “mess up” (whatever that means), we are gifted with the opportunity to celebrate our new self-awareness. With each new experience, we discover the actions, feelings, and thought processes that most align with who we wish to be, and with a fair amount of honest lapses, we are able to opt in to being our best selves.
It’s okay. You’re okay.
May your peace prevail.
- Ivana Tucker