In my presentations, I talk about how for so long people thought I had it all together, so they didn’t always feel the need to check-in. And then sometimes I scroll through my Instagram and think, well there are probably some students and student-athletes that I talk to that still think I have it all together.
People tell me that I am inspiring or strong. People say I am bold for leaving my full-time job to chase my dreams and for it to be going so well for me. And I may be those things, but I definitely do not have it all together.
This is my message to you that I still struggle. I am just like you. Perfectly imperfect. I search the house for 20 minutes looking for my phone that it is my hand, just like you do. I still have mental breakdowns. I have plenty of days before a presentation where I second guess myself, ask myself why I am even doing this, and tell myself that I am a fraud. I have plenty of presentations where I spend more time criticizing myself, than thinking about the words coming out of my mouth. I still mess up, and overanalyze the mistake I made for days, and days, and days. I still sometimes seek out external validation. I still feel lots and lots of fear. I am a public speaker and I still struggle with social anxiety.
And all of that is more than okay. I try to be real, upfront and honest, because we too easily just focus on the outer image and assume everything is okay, rather than truly looking within.
I’ve never had it all together, and quite frankly, I don’t want to. Because life is messy. But that is what makes life fun. Without the mess, without the struggle, we wouldn’t experience joy as intensely as we do.
So to the person who often shows up to the world that you are happy, but you are struggling on the inside. I see you. I legit told my mom the other day that I was fine, with tears rolling down my eyes until I had to remind myself that being strong was being open and vulnerable about my pain. So, I still have those moments. But always remember that you are never alone and that it isn’t about having it all together or being perfect, it’s about accepting that there will be both good and bad on this journey, and all of those pieces make you, who you are.
I still struggle. I am struggling right now with my mom’s constant cancer battle. And I am also strong, bold and beautiful. I can be all of those things at the same time. You can be successful and still struggle. You can be living a life that others dream of and still feel like you’re falling short. It is about knowing that everyone has their own struggles that they are battling. As you grow on this journey and allow yourself to open up and get real about your struggle, you will encounter even more people just like you, just trying to figure it out. This journey is easier when you recognize that while you’re figuring it out, you don’t have to do it alone or struggle in silence.
So cheers to not having it all together and struggling sometimes. It makes us who we are. Imperfectly beautiful.