In the last year or so, I've gotten into the idea of "stories" - as in, what we say about ourselves so often, it becomes fact. You know, the things we say as a disclaimer or deflection. We think we are giving a sound reason for something, but really it's just an idea we've been holding onto so long we believe it.
Some of mine go like this: "I was a tomboy until college."
"My voice is too nasal-sounding to ever be on a podcast."
"I'm too young to have my own company."
"I'm more of a cook - not really a baker."
There is no scientific fact backing any of those statements. I literally made them up and repeated them so many times I thought they were true. They aren't. These are the facts:
1. I did wear boxy clothes to hide my then-DD boobs and size 16 boot-cut booty jeans in high school. Only when I got to college and was surrounded by people who had never known me did I get brave enough to embrace my body for the first time. And even then, it took a year abroad in Italy and the love of a man 12 years older than me to draw out a more personal style and confidence. I was 20 in twirly skirts and 4" heels walking around on cobblestone and finally felt like I had found myself.
2. My voice is as nasal-sounding or less so than many people with podcasts. This is something I have told myself as an excuse to not try something new.
3. Categorically untrue. I am no longer a spring chicken, but a hen in her clucking prime, and many people many years younger than I are running successful businesses. There is no reason I can't do it, too.
4. Hard nope. I've baked enough by now to know how. My breads and cakes and cookies don't always turn out picture-perfect, but I haven't baked a bad bite in years. This story comes from an innocent mistake I made when I was a teen and swapped baking powder for soda. (That's a no-no.) Turns out I can follow a recipe, or look up a YouTube tutorial, and, after lots of practice, I have good instincts. And I keep practicing, because baking makes me feel creative and accomplished and satisfied. The process, the planning, the patience -- it grounds me. It feels good.
So, I'm rewriting my stories. It's just life. I can change it.