This past December was a doozy. For many reasons. Some circumstances were just hard. Full stop. They had to be slogged through and survived. Others were hard because of the reflection they triggered. The questions they brought up. The work that followed.
I had a vulnerable conversation with someone I love (intentionally vague. Annoying. I know.) and it spun me around. I felt attacked. In that moment anyway. I felt attacked and then I felt that I wasn't defended. But as I reflected, I realized it wasn't that I was attacked. It was that I was unseen and unheard. I was having a conversation about my life and goals and hopes and dreams. To my surprise, these things weren't even acknowledged. They were glossed over as being unworthy and unwise.
It came from a place of love (and fear). This conversation. And it taught me something very valuable. A few things actually. One being that you can sit across from someone in the same room and be completely unseen and unheard. This was not a new lesson actually. Just a not so gentle reminder. Gah! When will I learn? Another lesson being, you get to decide how you feel about something. Did I cry in the moment? Yep. Sure did. Like, a whole bunch. But after some time, I realized that I hold the power. I wasn't going to give them the power to derail me or alter the path I want to take. I heard their concerns, acknowledged them and moved along.
The final two lessons? One came from a friend. One of my Holy Trinity as I call them. She asked me if I respected the person giving me this advice and speaking to me in this way. Truth was, I didn't. So why was I all turned around by their opinion? Holy. Emmer. Effer. Light bulb moment. And I take the lesson with me every day now. It has served me well in the tough moments of life. Before I spend too much time and energy on it. Giving them more than they deserve. As my other good friend has said to me, don't let them have space in your head rent free.
The final lesson is now I knew. One I had spent the better part of a year learning and factoring and implementing. I decide my own worth. I decide what path is for me. I decide what my dreams, hopes and desires are. I decide how I want to invest in myself - physically, emotionally and professionally. I decide my value. The people in my circle can respect that and level up with me or not respect that and fall away. Either way, we are all where we are meant to be and in the circle where we belong.
A few days after that conversation, I decided that I was worth a hell of a lot more than I allowed for that day. Do I know my worth? Not yet. Not in a finite, explicit way. But I do know that I am worth more. And in the moments where I find myself falling, I remind myself. You. Are. Worth. More.
I have a hunch that you are probably worth more, too. So let me be the one to tell you. You are. Worth more. Worth every dream, desire, hope and wish. You define your worth. You will find your tribe who will help you realize it. And once you do, it will be easy to see those times when you can say "thank you, next".