I DON’T know about you, but my life is FULL.
Full to the brim of stuff I need to do, stuff I need to keep, stuff I want to have. Emotional stuff. Happy stuff. Dark stuff.
To do lists. Little notes on bits of paper. Reminders. Dates. Torn out recipes I want to try one day. Internal memos. Dreams, hopes and desires. Life. Love. Work. Relationships. Motherhood.
I’m exhausted just even thinking about it all.
Like all of us I’m juggling life’s balls, better than any circus clown. Slogging my way through the mammoth list of jobs and just trying to get on with all of the shit that needs to be done.
(You know how it is.)
We all carry heavy loads on our strong shoulders but today I want to try and help you drop a few burdens so you can lighten the load. Here are five things you absolutely, most definitely do not need in your life in order for you to be happy (even though the world seems to tell you, you do).
Drop the baggage whenever you’re ready.
A GAGGLE OF FRIENDS
You don’t need to collect friends, like you do shoes or books or empty bottles of wine. You don’t need to have more friends than you can manage, be friends with everyone you meet or make time for everyone who asks for your help.
You don’t need to pretend to be friends with people you don’t like, you don’t need to tolerate people who have hurt you or stick alongside a crap mate just because they may ‘take you places’. You don’t need to be best friends with your colleagues, neighbours or the wives of your husband’s mates.
You don’t need 500 ‘mates’ on Facebook knowing your every move, but you do need…
A close inner circle of friends who make your life better. Brighter. Happier. People who support you, people who love you, people you can trust with your darkest secrets. You do need genuine friends. You do need positive, inspiring mates who treat you well. And you deserve them too.
A PERFECT BODY
You don’t need to look like a supermodel to get along in this world. You don’t need to be a size 10 to be attractive to others. You don’t need to have a flat stomach or a thigh gap for a man to want to rip your clothes off and throw you on the nearest bed.
You don’t need to diet yourself into oblivion to look good in clothes. You don’t need to cover up your wobbly bits or reign them in. You don’t need to look a certain way or be a certain number.
You don’t need to hate your body or punish it to be a success in life, but you do need…
To learn to love it and get along with it. To be happy with it. To appreciate what it does for you. To nourish it and treat it with the respect it deserves. To look in the god damn mirror when you’re as naked as the day you were born and smile at your beautiful, flawed body and know that even though it’s not perfect, it’s perfectly imperfect to you.
TO BE PRETTY OR SEXY
You don’t need to look like everyone else. You don’t need to wear make up or do your hair or have your nails done. You don’t need to wear push up bras, high heels or uncomfortable knickers.
You don’t need to aim for pretty or for sexy. You don’t need to wear a dress to pull a man. You don’t need to look feminine at work.
You don’t need to ‘look good’ for the world, just because you were born a girl but you do need…
To know who you are and what you like. To find your own style, whatever that is and own it. To respect other women’s choices when it comes to what they wear and how they look. To know it’s OK if you like being feminine, pretty or sexy too. Just as much as it’s OK if you don’t. Do what you want. Wear what you want. Be whoever you want. This is what you owe the world.
A MAN (OR WOMAN)
You don’t need a partner in your life to be complete. You don’t need someone to love you to know that you are loveable. You don’t need an ‘other half’ to be happy or to survive.
You don’t need to put up with abuse or put downs in the name of love. You don’t need to stay together for the family. You don’t need to get married, change your name or have a baby just because someone else wants you to.
You don’t need someone to validate your existence but you do need…
To know that great, all consuming love is possible if you want it. That relationships can create more happiness than they can sorrow. To know that feeling small and vulnerable in the arms of the person you adore, is OK and actually rather lovely. That real love, is absolutely worth every bit of pain, confusion and difficulty that may come your way. But that, anything less than this, is absolutely not.
TO HAVE IT ALL
You don’t need to have it all, to be happy. You don’t need to have it all, to be somebody special.
You don’t need to be everything to everyone. You don’t need to do everything for everyone. You don’t need to try and be everyone. (And this is besides the fact it’s actually pretty f**king impossible.)
But you do need…
To know that whilst you probably can’t have it all, you can have enough. Enough of different parts of your life, at different times, to be ridiculously content and happy. To understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that neither are you or your legacy. To realise that you are one woman. Just one woman doing her best.
And that THIS my friends, is enough, enough, enough.