So…I’m pretty sure that I’m head over heels in love with Rachel Hollis. If you don’t know this author, you want to.
Her last book “Girl, wash your face” kicked me right in the feels. Obviously, I pre-ordered her next book, “Girl, Stop Apologizing”, and you guys… it is fucking fantastic!
I’ve never been much of one to read personal growth or the self help genre, but her writing is so raw and honest! I really just can’t get enough. I love EVERYTHING she has to say. I love that she’s saying it! I wish I had said it!
One of the exercises she has people do in the new book and at her conferences is writing a letter to yourself to give credit for things you have already accomplished in your life. We’re SO hard on ourselves about the new goals we are trying to accomplish, we don’t even give ourselves 5 fucking minutes to just reflect on everything we’ve already achieved!
So I sit down to do this exercise and it goes like this…
“Dear “Your Name”,
I am your persistence,and this is what I want you to know. ”
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been staring at those 2 lines for a couple of days. What on earth have I been persistent in? What have I actually done with my life? What have I achieved? I didn’t know what to write.
This morning I woke up to a rare sunny Saturday in Anchorage, Alaska. It inspired me to do something I have been putting off for a while, go for a run outdoors!
Just 2 years ago, I went for runs all of the time. I loved it! I signed up for 5k’s, 10k’s, twilight 12k’s, and any other race that sounded fun. Running was a way for me to connect with myself for the first time in my life. I completed a half marathon with 10 minute miles…and I injured myself. Afterwards, I saw a Dr. a few times and did lots of stretching and other exercises to strengthen my legs and feet, but never quite got back into running. I jog a bit here and there but nothing like I used to. Why? Because I hurt myself and I’m scared of going through that again. I walked with a limp for weeks, the pain in my foot was excruciating. I had to wear flats….and if you know me at all….I don’t do flats unless it’s my bare feet. Give me 3 inch heels or fancy boots, that’s more my style!
I completely gave up on running. In doing so, I really feel like I gave up on myself. I’ve gained 30 pounds back that I had lost. Do you know how long it takes a woman in her 30’s to lose 30 lbs!!!??? How did I let that happen?! I was so mad at myself.
I started living on the couch more than I’d like. I started putting myself down and chiseling away at my worth. I stopped writing, and I stopped caring about everything. I surrendered to that fear and let it take away my most favorite parts of myself.
After my divorce, I swore I would never break promises to myself again. And you know what? I have broken them all here lately. I feel like a completely different person and I miss that girl I was growing into. I miss her fearlessness and her passion. I miss her self compliments and beauty. I miss her honesty, even when it was inconvenient. Maybe that’s why I’m in love with Mrs. Hollis. She reminds me of that almost person I was trying to be not too long ago, and in her guidance I think for a split second….maybe there’s a way back to that girl? Maybe, it’s not too late. Maybe, just maybe, I can STILL be that person I had worked so hard to become.
So I’m staring at these 2 lines after my run, and I walk around a bit and then come back to it. I sit down, and go through 5 pens before I find one that actually works…
I am your persistence and here is what I want you to know.
You survived a traumatic childhood, and you graduated high school at 17. You left that same day with absolutely nothing but your 1988 Red Toyota Celica with the pop up lights. You got a job at McDonald’s and saved up for things you wanted. You went on a killer road trip and discovered your love for the ocean. At 18 years old, you had your own apartment in Tampa, Florida with inflatable furniture and a Jim Morrison poster. You had less than $20 a week to eat on. You made it work. You always made it work.
Your car caught on fire, and you hitched a ride home with a circus van. Because if you can’t trust a fire eater, a dwarf and a lady with 3 arms….who can you really trust?
You soon met a man you thought you couldn’t live without, and in a heartbeat you dropped everything and married him in Vegas on New Year’s Day. That marriage would last 9 years. By your 21st Birthday, you worked 2 jobs and were enrolled in a California college full time. By 23, you took in your mom who had become disabled and cared for her, while continuing to work and go to school. By your 25th birthday, you had not one, but 2 college degrees. Your mom walked with you to the graduation.
At the age of 26, you lost someone very close to your heart, and all you could do was love her even more. You decided to move to Alaska with only what would fit in your new Toyota Corolla. You drove miles and miles away from a place that had long been your home, straight into the wild Yukon. You got a flat tire, ran out of gas twice, and you saw coyotes. You hit that really strange creature whose biological definition is still unknown…but definitely not human. Nevertheless, you made it to Alaska and the mountains immediately took roots in your heart.
You had nothing but a credit card and clothes. Within 2 weeks, you found work. Within 2 months you had an apartment. Within 6 months you had non-inflatable furniture again. High fives! 🙌🏻
At 27, you were told you’d probably never have kids of your own, and you accepted that. At 29, you got a divorce, because you knew you deserved better.
At 30, you had to start your life all over, but you did buy new furniture. You got lost in bad relationships and familiar addictions. You got through it, and you found yourself again. You flew to Seattle just to see Pearl Jam for a weekend.
You received a job offer with a fat annual increase just when you were wondering how to pay rent. You nailed it.
You ran many miles and races. You climbed to the tops of mountains and rejoiced in their solitude.
You started a blog and a bucket list. You gained 50 new followers in your first 6 months. People told you that you had inspired them so much, and that made you keep going.
You stood up for things you believed in. You became an ambassador for suicide awareness and mental health.
You traveled to the Bahamas to swim in Atlantis with dolphins, and to the beaches of Miami just because you could. You followed Pearl Jam to both of their Florida shows back to back.
You met the love of your life when it was most unexpected.
You bought a house, all by your fucking self.
You paid off your car.
At 34 and 5:28am, you answered the worst call of your life. You dropped everything, flew mountains and oceans to get to that person and you’re all working hard to make things better.
Your dad died, and you got through all of those emotions. You are still here!
You don’t give up on anyone. You love people relentlessly. You should do this for yourself.
So what I want you to know, is that you have done and are ALL of these things. Life gets hard, and you get through it. I am your persistence, and you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to.
You can, and you will. Now get yourself a very large glass of wine, and calm the hell down.
-Your persistent, ass kicking self.”
Ps: I am so happy you are here.