I’m trying to prioritize myself without being a jerk and ignoring other people’s needs. Difficult trick to pull off right? Growing up, I always felt an overwhelming obligation to other people, so much so that I had forgotten about myself, and MY needs. Now that I’m an adult, I can acknowledge that obligation doesn’t exist unless I want it to. But I struggle- all the time with pleasing other people. Why is that?
Like everyone else in their twenties, I’m always wondering what I’ll be when I “grow up”. I’m a model and speaker now, but what do I want to be five years from now? Do I want to grow my music career? Do I want to teach? Thinking about this makes me a little panicky sometimes because I’m terrified of making the wrong choice or coming up with the wrong answer! When I tell my mom or any other women who are older than me about this they either laugh, shake their heads or some combination of the two. Apparently, this wondering doesn’t go away. Everyone is always wondering what their next reinvention should be and if they can do it or not. One of my mom’s friends said that she expects to do a total life overhaul every five years. If it doesn’t happen, that’s fine. But when she’s feeling restless it doesn’t take her by surprise anymore. Do you have an idea of what your different stages might be? I’m working on my new five-year plan now. Tell me what yours is!
I’ve noticed that as I’m getting older, I’m a lot more aware of the lessons I’m learning as I learn them. It’s good because I think it helps to speed up my general growth, development, whatever you want to call it. I say that in life you either learn from each situation, or it’ll keep coming back to you over and over again in different shapes and forms. My mom always said “If you pray for patience you’re not just going to wake up one day and have patience. You’ll be put into situations where patience will be taught.” The universe is a great teacher if we just listen and if we don’t listen, we’re going to have the same lessons hitting us on the head over and over. The bad part is that sometimes all of this is so intense that it’s hard for me to have distance (and the calm that comes with it) while I’m taking it all in. And a lot of the time, the answers I get just lead to more questions. I figure I’m not alone in experiencing this sort of thing and that reading what I’m talking about could be useful as inspiration, proof you’re not alone or just something to read on your lunch break. Who knows?! Anyway, here are my current GROWING PAINS…
In the modeling business, you have to work to get people’s attention in a lot of different ways so you’ll get noticed and get work. BUT, that’s true for everyone, right? We all want to be noticed by the cool people at school, bosses at work, guys, girls, and parents, whatever. It’s totally universal. But I’ve noticed that I am challenged almost daily to not compromise my values in order to get noticed. How much skin should I show? How will I allow people to treat me just nail down a job? What will I agree to so someone who says she’s my friend won’t be mad at me? So, in other words, I’m trying to figure out how to bend, but never break. Which assumes I know exactly what my value system is. I think I do. Do you? How hard is it for you guys to bend, but not break?
We find out at a young age that first impressions are defined by how we look. I have to agree that first impressions are important, but that shouldn’t be the end all. Being in my industry has forced me to take an in depth look at these superficial ideals and at myself. I have come to the conclusion that in order to have any sense fulfillment in life we have to learn to redefine what beauty is. We should always look deeper at a person’s character, actions and behaviors. Wouldn’t that provide us with a deeper sense of connection? We won’t stand a chance if we are always judging each other and ourselves! The judgment can stop with one person at a time changing a negative thought or idea.
Being a model I have personally struggled with the issue of people making assumptions about me solely based on my looks. I am very fortunate to be able to do what I love, but the career path I have chosen does comes with a price. I have seen too many girls and guys, including myself lose their sense of identity.
It’s time for me to take all of my experiences and the tough but important lessons I have learned to share and grow with other people who can relate and be inspired by my journey. I feel honored to have the opportunity to encourage change and instigate a rebellious conversation about beauty. Accept my invitation to join me on this quest.