She had always wanted more.
More than she had. More than she thought possible. More than she thought she deserved. More than others said feasible.
She wanted more.
She spent each minute planning, analyzing, digging, and hoping to find what she was looking for.
She was deeply dedicated and hardworking. She assumed this made her more deserving… As if somehow, somewhere, a tally mark system was being kept.
She knew she wanted to travel and write and speak in front of thousands.
She thought about it constantly.
And one day, she decided to stop trying to prove herself to other people (and to herself). And like that, it clicked.
Most of what she’d originally chased was the attention that would’ve come with the success. The accolades and awards and gold stars in the form of audience engagement and “likes”.
She had wanted people to envy her, to emulate her. Even more than she wanted to help them, she wanted to be loved by them. Accepted. Idolized.
She had been so dedicated to helping people understand where she was coming from. She explained things in a unique way. It was a gift, yet it was used to convince people to believe what she believed, to see it her way. More than she wanted to open their minds to new possibilities, she wanted to wow and impress people with how expansive and aware and advanced she was.
And one day, she came to terms with the fact that everyone’s reality has validity. Hers wasn’t the best, or most profound, or most aware. It was simply hers, in the very moment it existed. It didn’t need to be explained, or shared with everyone, or even written about. It could just… Be.
She let go of the knowledge she thought she had. It wasn’t a conscious decision; she simply felt it leave, bit by bit.
She stopped caring if she spoke in front of thousands or not. It no longer was an obligatory assignment or dangling carrot. It was an invitation. One she could say yes or no to, free of repercussion.
She saw that life was less binary, and more of a winding, self-correcting journey.
She looked into her dog’s eyes for the first time in a long time, and she saw the whole Universe. Right there. Staring back at her, clad with a wagging tail and smile. The. Whole. Universe.
And she smiled.