Uncomfortable spaces force us to evaluate our lives. Tough as it seems while you in it, the process of self evaluation presents a tremendous opportunity for growth and change. This is what I’ve been doing the past few months. The conclusion: Perfectly imperfect – this is me, I’m laying it bare.

I don’t feel like writing a long boring blog post. No one cares much anyway, my ramblings are more for me than anyone else. So I’ll try to summarize the thoughts (brain farts) that I believe are most salient.

I am conceited. A guy I recently dated made this comment about me. I was seriously tempted to dismiss it because I know that isn’t true from my perspective. Yet, I still wondered if there is any merit in what he said. People close to me have described me as humble, so how can I be conceited and humble at the same time? Afterwards, I realised he really actually meant egotistical, not conceited – his choice of word was just wrong or perchance his vocabulary is limited (#SeeThereTheEgo #HeWasRight). I exude confidence in certain settings – so maybe he confused my stubborn passionate confidence with that? Thinking about my confidence, it dawned upon me that it can come across as egotistical if someone does not know me well. And true story, knowing me well isn’t something 99% of the human population cares for…

If you know my history, my ‘I’m Wonder Woman’ attitude makes sense, but the truth is, my life experiences is really no one else’s problem or business but mine. On that premise, I have no right thinking I’m better that everyone else because of what I have endured or gone through. I probably could try to defend or justify my attitude, but you know what – enough already now. It’s something I’d rather change, certainly not for the sake of what my guy friend thought, but rather because this is my journey. And when I reach my destination at the end of my journey, I want to be the best possible version of myself. Because I can. Because I want to.

In a strange way I’m really actually grateful to that guy I dated (who is now my friend). Our interaction forced me into a corner where I had to reflect. Everything happens for a reason.

In recent months I have felt pain and discomfort, trying to understand myself, what I have done, what I thought I should be doing and what I want. The pain was good because it indicated the areas of my life where change was required. I have learnt to embrace pain and the emotions that come with it. The pain is valuable and the emotions are transient if you work with it – not against it. If you allow yourself to feel and accept it, acknowledge the reason for it being there and then act accordingly to address the source of the pain. My latest realization is, after this is done, any pain I hold onto is not worth any more time in my one single precious life. Each person’s one life and their journey is so valuable. So incredibly valuable. I took the decision that pain will steal no more of my life than necessary.

Once you followed the pain and discomfort to the end of its usefulness, it actually feels ok to let it go. Letting go is not easy though. And what I found, which sounds counterintuitive but works to get rid of the last remnants of pain is, instead of focusing on letting go, you focus on letting in. Then, what you let in forces what you want out, out. I’ve focused on letting love and the things that make me happy into my life. It may be different for other people, but for me that works. Pain, guilt, shame, embarrassment Out. Love and happiness, even joy In. Love lives here.

Finally I’m listening to the little voice in my head that says Bronwyn you are the only one accountable for your life. And responsible for your life. The world owes me nothing…. and it is in fact I who owe myself certain things. I owe myself love, respect, care and forgiveness. I owe myself the effort it takes to get up, to show up, to go on and experience life to it’s fullest. Only I owe myself happiness.

So now I am unapologetically me. Be what I want, what I’m good at and what I think makes a difference and serves a purpose to the people around me. The beautiful lively contradiction, the chaotic mess of organized disarray that is Bronwyn.