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TikTok Angels

To the insecurity within.

When I was growing up, we were a pretty average family. I grew up in Austin Texas in nice neighborhoods. We rented for a long time, we were not rich, but solidly middle class. My parents never drove new or nice cars, we ate a lot of boxed dinners. We watched Lord of the Rings. We played Nintendo. We shopped for our clothes at Mervyns (similar to JC Penny). We were off-brand. I had subscriptions to Teen, Teen Vogue, Delia’s, and a few others and in High School graduated to Cosmo and Glamor. I listened to Shania, Mariah, and Sublime. My mother was a good Christian and my father stayed at home on Sundays. My mother was not a debutante, and neither was my Dad. Neither one focused on their appearance at all. There was a lot of discourse about politics and lots of vitriol about the haves and the have-nots. There was anger about people and their life choices dissimilar from my parents’ choices. As is natural. We were not cool. We never thought about it. Okay, my brother, mother and father never thought about it…

I thought about it constantly. Starting all the way back in 4th grade for sure, but noticeable differences between my own confidence and the confidence of some of my classmates was apparent back in kindergarten. I write about this a lot. It has come up so much over the years (I’ll be 40 in March). Look, I’m not an expert on relationships or healing. Ok, technically I am an expert on healing (*LCSW, Certified Trauma Therapist), however I don’t corner the market on healing. I am still in the midst of my own healing journey (aka life).

In my years in recovery, I have become friends with other women in and out of recovery. I’m talking about the women here, because I want to and its my damn blog (you tired of explaining yourself too?). In recovery I have been friends with people I normally, in my pre-sobriety life, would not have interacted with. I once went to a fellowship dinner after a meeting that was full of old and young, frat dudes and bikers, stay at home moms and movie producers. Like it is amazing sometimes the diversity of friendships and people I know because of recovery. Even the waitress, was like, “how do y’all know each other? What is this?” I didn’t want to break anyone’s anonymity (even though we’re supposed to always be honest), I said "Bingo!?" Probably unconvincingly... I digress.

Ok, so the women, the women I have met are out of this world. I have made friends with people who are or were popular or unpopular, rich and poor, lots of makeup or no makeup, heels or Birkenstocks. Lots of trauma and less trauma. But I can tell you that any problems I have had with any of them usually stem from my own insecurities or conditioning. I'll use an example...

I am going to share about one friend in particular. Mostly because it has come to my attention that this person is amazing, and for a long time I was unsupportive. I was standoffish. I was really critical and mean to her in my head. And let me tell you that this woman has been nothing but nice to me. She has openly affirmed and complimented me during our entire relationship. Even when in my head and sometimes out loud to my partner I would say not nice things about her. I was fucked up. I had my head so far up my own ass I could only see her “flaws.” And here’s the thing, this woman is flawless. Okay everyone has their actual flaws, but externally this woman is a walking dream. She is a siren. She is gorgeous, does her hair, makeup and nails and outfit to a T on the daily. So obviously, I had to tear her down in some way (not obviously). I was so afraid of how I compared to her, that I thought I hated her. In reality the hatred I had for myself was so buried under all of my conditioning from my upbringing and the cattiness I was taught didn't allow me to see her in her fullest form. I was consumed by the repression of my family and their "not-enoughness." I adopted a hatred for "prettiness" in favor of "smartness" as if they were mutually exclusive. I knew beauty was power and I had convinced myself I could never be beautiful because I allowed others to dictate how I felt about myself internally and externally (thanks magazines). I internalized my own weakness and fawned in the face of any kind of authority or power whether male or female...

This woman just by being her magical unicorn self has taught me more about internalized misogyny, self-love, sexuality, divine femininity, confidence, sisterhood, and leading from the power positivity instead of negativity. She has changed my whole damn life and she doesn’t even know it.

She posts a lot on social media. That’s how this whole rabbit hole started. She is unapologetic about her body, her looks, her ideas. She has something to say, and she knows she is beautiful and celebrates it. I was so effing jealous. In my house, we did not show our bodies (gasp). I was so repressed. I was so afraid of what I wanted and of being seen. The fear of sexuality and sexual or sensual expression was on high at my house.

Of course, I justified my disdainful position with all sorts of outdated vestiges of my Christian upbringing. Words and judgments would ring through my mind about what a woman should do or be or say to be “respected.” When I am telling you the patriarchy runs deep in my family it is an understatement...

But then she would say the nicest things to me, and I would see her on the internet defending women’s rights and other women and lifting them up and I was torn. And she started to inspire me. I started to look into why I was being judgmental of this person. Why does a girl who looks amazing and shows her body online make ME mad? What is it hurting? Why does it feel unfair? Why does her feeling confident and beautiful make ME feel uncomfortable? Because, it was never about her.

There’s a saying out there now “If I’m too much, go find less.” I am all in for this. Just like my beautiful friend, I am realizing I have always been and will always be, a wild woman. So free and so crazy in love with life. Most of the women I know are, we’ve just been told to be quiet and do as we’re told somewhere along the way (very early). The "good girl."

I am now on a rampage to radically love and support every feral, sexy, smart, beautiful woman I come across. You are not too much for me. Look, yes we will all be different in some ways, some will be comfortable in situations others aren’t, but I still support you. You want to go be a CEO, yes queen. You want to knit sweaters for homeless dogs, yes queen. You want to become a pleasure coach and help others explore their divine sexual freedom, YES QUEEN!

I don’t need to rob anyone of themselves and their path today. I don’t need you to be just like me for me to love you. I don’t need you to be perfect to be my friend or in my life. I just want you to feel safe to be you and keep creating safe spaces for other women to be themselves. The world is changing, and women are changing too. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, thank Goddess for these younger generations standing up for the truth. I’m an elder millennial mom who is just learning how to be herself at 39. Cultivating love, respect and yes, attention is 100 percent okay.

To all of the women I know, and the men too, when you see a woman out there, loving herself, love her too. Or if all you can do is judge and not respond, meaning you just keep scrolling, but don’t have to publicly knock her down then you are making a start. It’s not about her and it NEVER will be. She is your mirror. She is shining the light on the dark, hidden parts of yourself that are currently unloved. When you love yourself and take care of yourself you don’t have the energy to troll or pull others down. You trust that the Universe in its infinite wisdom has it all under control and you need not get involved. Our job is to love. Our job is to be free. So, to my girl. My friend who changed my life. Thank you for being such an angel. I am deeply sorry for my unwarranted judgments of you. I love you, and God, I am rooting for you and me…

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