this weekend, i had the awesome opportunity to present for the second time, my free to be me curriculum aimed at empowering adolescent girls to live free in a pressure filled world.
as i looked out at the seventeen girls i was going to teach about topics such as myths of beauty in our culture, non violents communication (being able to express what you are really feeling, thinking and needing), the importance of role models, positive forms of expression and online safety tips, i couldn't help but imagine 12 year old me sitting in their shoes.
12 year old me with big glasses and a mouth full of metal. (braces. that is).
12 year old me with frizzy hair and white eyeliner (did anyone else try that?
not so proud of that make up mistake...)
12 year old me trying desperately to figure out which group, which 'circle' i fit in.
the adolescent years are so important in the formation of our identity. who we are. what we want to be about.
however that's not the only time or season in our lives when we question ourselves or compare what we do or what we look like to someone else.
it happens in college, as sorority members are being inducted and majors are being chosen.
it certainly happens in your twenty and thirty something years...
the roles of wife and mother can be completely overwhelming.
there are so many women who "do it better" and who "look better doing it."
i'll be honest. i have struggled with thoughts like:
"her house is spotless. her kitchen counters are sparkling. i can barely keep my floors in my bedroom clear of a massive pile of clothes."
"her long flowing hair is so beautiful. is my short hair feminine enough?"
"i can't fry chicken like her. i can't make greens or dressing from scratch either." (might sound silly, but being married to my j, i was very insecure at first about not being able to cook for him).
"her blog design is perfect. mine still looks so amateur."
but at the end of the day, i'm just me.
i was created to be: ERICA. unique. quirky. ME.
not superwoman. or "superwife."
teaching those girls a thing or two about being FREE to be themselves: confident, compassionate and brave, just may have been the lessons i needed to re-learn.