Last updated on April 2nd, 2012 at 12:23 pm
I only aspire to be as sexy, beautiful, worldly and actively humanitarian as Angelina Jolie; to be as successful politically as Hillary Clinton; to write Nobel Prize winning literature like Toni Morrison; to be as creative as Madonna and to dance like Janet Jackson.
Of course, while doing this, I should also be an amazing, selfless daughter and friend; revolutionize the world through my work; maintain a beautiful home; and throw killer parties. Not to mention being the world’s best girlfriend, and looking effortlessly gorgeous at all times.
Is this too much to ask???
Perhaps, yes… which I have to say is one of the gifts of being a woman in my 30s. Still ambitious, still reaching for the pinnacle of success in everything I do, I also am more comfortable with my own limitations, finally realizing that I have some! I have learned to be content with who I am now.
That is a miracle for someone like me. It is literally only in the past month of my life that I truly learned to “just be” – to love my life as it is, without needing it to be different or more.
I credit an ex-boyfriend with helping me get here. He was “the one who got away” for me, the great love that never came to be.
I found out in September that he’s engaged to another woman, someone he just met this past summer. I thought I was over Steve until I found this out.
Then, as I sobbed in my best friend’s arms, I realized I was still devastated that he hadn’t “chosen me.”
Luckily we are still friends and I was able to ask Steve why I wasn’t “the one.”Â It boiled down to one simple thing.
Steve said he felt I was always striving to be somewhere other than where I was. I wasn’t content with myself, or happy with life now. Nothing was ever good enough for me.
I’ve had friends and family tell me before that I am too hard on myself, that I am already enough as I am. I never really listened. Somehow hearing this from a man I had loved deeply jolted me awake.
My God, I thought — he’s right. The word “content” was not in my vocabulary. I had always equated contentment, or in the past even happiness, with complacency. If I was happy where I was, wouldn’t I stop growing?
I am happy to report that the answer to that question is no. Somehow in the past month I have learned to love my life exactly as it is. This does not mean I am not going after my dreams.
Here I am after all on 8womendream.com — publicly living them out!
Yet somehow I’ve finally learned that just being me is enough. I don’t need to be Angelina Jolie + Hillary Clinton + Madonna in order to be a successful person.
I can be the best Lisa.
That is enough.
(Lisa has launched her dream by signing up for Ellen Sussman’s “Memoir-in-a-Year” class, speaking her story out loud at a Take Back the Night rally, and committing to a regular writing schedule — 50 pages due by December! Being invited to join 8womendream.com was a dream come true, and she looks forward to chronicling her writing process. LisaÂ is currently bi-coastal with her home in historic Troy, New York and her heart in San Francisco. Lisa’s post day is Tuesday).
Lisa Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on the Madam President Project.
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