I've always had a weakness for perfectionism and a penchant for comparison. What a wicked pairing, right? It's really really hard to find yourself in this wild and spinning world and it's easy to keep a close eye on the people around you and use them as guides for who you should be. It's natural, smart even, but it turns an unhealthy corner when you decide that the people around you get it and you don't. You're the butt of the joke. You're not enough.
I felt that for a long time. I believed myself to be so different that I couldn't possibly be capable of finding true confidence and happiness in this life. I longed to be anyone other than myself and I fought myself tooth and nail to try and accomplish this. In the end, I lost myself completely.
Somewhere along the journey, I came to understand that the answers weren't actually tucked into the pockets of the people around me. Nobody knew what they were doing. We were all scared shitless and making it up as we went. I came to understand that I couldn't find myself by picking up the mannerisms of an actress I admired. I couldn't find myself by purchasing clothing from celebrity style guides.
I found myself by creating my own standard of what it is to be enough. To be enough, to be truly me, is to look inside at what fills my belly with fire: rainy days spent in art museums, sleeping beneath the stars, traveling the world with my daughter, finding magic in the ordinary, taking photographs of people I love, writing stories about strangers and lovers and everyone in between, sipping black tea with my grandmother, laughing from wine-stained teeth and talking into the night with close friends. Those are my moments, the "do you" moments, the moments when I feel the most at home in my skin.