The magic number is 16.
Before you ask what the magic number is for, it’s for many things. 16, the number of articles I’ve published this year. 16, the number of activations required for my store to reach its goal. 16, the number of assignments and tests my teenager received 80 or higher on this school year. The magic number is 16.
To you, this means nothing. To me, this means everything. This means that all of the work I do each and every day to become a role model for my daughters and a successful human being is working & I am so proud of my team, my store, my kids, and myself.
I think about who I was when I switched jobs last year & how terrified I was every day of doing the wrong thing, making someone mad, their reputation, etc & how that was the absolute fucking worst. I feel confident in my choices. I am in control of my life, and I’ve learned that I need to continue to grow to be a whole person, someone I’m proud of. No more walking on eggshells for fear of pissing off unreliable people who do not see my value. I see my value. But most importantly, I can breathe, knowing that I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not to please coworkers I don’t even care about to make life easier for everyone but me…AKA how I learned to love my life by not giving a flying fuck about what anyone thinks of me.
I tell my friends who get upset that Prince Charming hasn’t ridden in on his white horse that their lives are not deficient because they don’t have a plus one for weddings. Your value is determined by you alone. I’ve found mine by living my life MY way. I built my writing career my way. I lose weight MY way. I run my store my way. I parent my way. I wear my hair my way. I’m in control of my life & success and failure is determined by me alone. Too often, people blame their parents, mental illness, their past relationship failures for why their lives suck. But it’s all on you. I used to be one of those people who said being in a rut was permanent, change is impossible, and climbing out would be too hard, but it’s not that hard at all. It’s a matter of taking one step & then the next. For example, getting healthy for me was eating right one day, then exercising. Then doing it the next day. No long term goal, just “I did it today, now I’ll do it tomorrow.” Same with work. We had a good day today. Let’s do it again tomorrow. But the biggest thing was reminding myself that no one has to power to tell me I’m not good enough or not smart enough or somehow bad or broken. I determine my value, not a boss or a friend or a partner or a doctor. I do. And I choose to see great value in myself. I’m smart, witty, unintentionally funny & maybe even kind of pretty. But I refuse to allow any human being to detract from my accomplishments, my success, my work, & my worth. The only person who’s opinion of me matters…is me.
They say pride goes before destruction, but I’d rather be destroyed than swallow mine. I have worked too hard and too long to build myself into the person that I’ve become for any person who cannot see it to try and undermine it. Which brings me to the not giving a fuck. If you are someone who doesn’t see me for the person that I am; strong, tenacious, brave, talented, witty, clever and the best damn MHC in the whole world, you do not deserve to have any part in my life. If you leave my life, bye, I will continue to kick ass like you never existed. You are erased (I’ve erased quite a few people). Why? Because I refuse to allow anyone to tell me who I am anymore. I have a mirror to tell me my worth.
This goes for everyone; why do you waste your time trying to win the approval of toxic friends, parents, lovers, when you could surround yourself with people who want to build you up, support you, and think you’re amazeballs. Those are the friends that I have. They’re the kind that encourage you, are proud of you, don’t make you feel like less than & also know their worth; they know how awesome they are so they surround themselves with people who want to build them up. If everyone surrounded themselves with only the people who truly loved them and wanted to make them happy & stopped seeking validation from toxic people who are incapable of love or self introspection, perhaps those toxic people could see how their self hatred has caused them to project hatred and maybe look at cleansing their soul through self love, wellness and opening up to truly love one another. Wouldn’t that be so much better? I choose to surround myself with friends, family, who want to build everyone up. I don’t care if you’ve been my best friend since we were in high school or family or whatever, if you are someone who puts me, my kids, down or refuses to respect my choices, you are erased (except Erica. She stays forever).
Once I stopped trying to be someone everyone liked & started being myself, I started attracting people who choose to be themselves. You may not have all the friends, but you’ll have the right ones. And the more I was myself, the happier I was about who I was and the less I gave a fuck about those who didn’t like me. Why? Because I liked me. And the more I like me, the better I become. A better writer. A better mom. A better athlete. A better woman. A better MHC.