Today I want to talk about how we come to question ourselves. And… on the flip side, how we can create our own reality.
A friend recently shared a scenario with me. At the doctor’s appointment, her physician wanted to know her age. My friend was turning 42 in only a couple of days, so… was she 41, or… 42?
Her eyes darted over to her spouse.
“42”, he says confidently.
“42”, she says to the doctor.
The doctor records her age.
But now my friend is questioning herself. Was that the right answer? After all, she is not technically 42 for another two days. Should she have said that she was 41?
“What would you say?”, she wants to know.
“Would you have said 41?”
It’s not about the two days.
It’s not even about age.
It’s about how women question themselves every day. We question our decisions, we question our stories, we question ourselves. We even question our own god damn age.
Other people know better.
Let me ask my husband.
Let me ask my friend.
Let me ask my coach.
Let me ask this FB group.
“How old am I?”.
I recall how I found myself physically incapable of buying shoes after a break-up of a long term relationship.
We were the same height, you see. And, thus, all of my shoes had to be approved by him - to make sure I was not going to be “too tall”. [We’ll just say that particular pairing was … less than ideal.]
But after years of having to ask permission on what shoes to buy, and having countless scream-stomp-cry level arguments about how thick of a sole was too thick, I remember staring at a pair of beautiful pumps at the store, and feeling paralyzed.
Theoretically, I knew I could just… buy them.
The “he” was no longer around.
But then… didn’t someone have to approve first?
Were these the “right” shoes to buy?
Were they the “correct” choice?
For fuck’s sake.
I message my friend.
“YOU know how old YOU are, thank you very much”.
My friend laughs when I send her the message about her age. “OMG… it’s that asking for permission thing again, isn’t it?”. “That sounds silly now that I think about it. Someone asks me my age, and I look at my husband. What the hell?”.
Of course, that’s silly.
As silly as being a grown woman standing at a shoe store, unable to pick a pair without a nod from… who? Her toxic boyfriend? Her boss? Some shoe deity from above?
As silly as questioning ourselves in things we know deep in our bones.
And… we know we know.
And even that is not enough.
This shit runs deep.
Because the conditioned lessons are buzzing loud:
“What do you know?”
“Who the hell do you think you are to know?”
“You are worthless.”
There it is.
Again, and again, and again, and again.
The cursed soundtrack.
Except over time, we realize that the soundtrack is just that… a soundtrack. A backdrop to our reality, not actual reality. You learn to listen carefully and separate the buzz from YOUR voice.
You get to decide.
You are 41.
You are 42.
But also, you are 14.
You are 89. You are 71.
Age IS just a number.
This is not “you are as old as you feel” diatribe.
This is “you get to decide on your own fucking reality, thank you very much” diatribe.
I get to decide.
YOU get to decide.