Ryan & Ally Gerken
Follow Your Cairn
I have been on a journey of self discovery for FIVE years. Literally the second my daughter was born in 2016, I put everything into question. So many things stopped making sense to me - relationships, ways of living, and ways of thinking - nothing was off the table.
The initial problems I experienced were 1: My type A personality (I thought if I acknowledged I wanted change or to change there would be a to-do list I could start checking things off and ta-da it would be). 2: Time or rather exhaustion, I still forget how exhausting self work is, just last week I told my therapist “I just can’t” - I was referring to the homework she wanted me to focus on the previous week. 3: That I was broken or that there was something in me that needed to be fixed so that I could show up in my own life for others the way they needed me to.
Many people thought I was going to therapy because I needed fixing. The truth was I went to therapy because I needed healing! I was 28 years old when I had my daughter and I didn’t have fucking clue who I was or what I was doing. I was codependent and I didn’t trust myself.
I wouldn’t trust myself for the next five years. I had a groove and had figured out how to live in it. I self explored and began to make decisions for myself and my life but I still regularly credited others or let them take credit for my accomplishments. I went to therapy but I still dodged facing several of my fears or anxieties from my childhood and early adulthood. I accepted a mediocre life that felt well above others mediocre life so that put me above mediocre… Great! Only not great. It’s not great to not live your life for yourself and to the greatest extent possible; It's crippling actually.
I see all the memes about how horrible 2020 was and 2021 is not looking much better for some, or most. But 2020 has so far been the greatest year of my life. Because I felt the world was ending and there was nothing I could do about it, I decided to face all those fears so I could at least die knowing my knowing (I am an end-of-the-world optimist 🖤). I read so many books, I joined online programs, groups, began writing AGAIN - accepting I was ALWAYS meant to be a writer AND that I had always known this to be true, but because I struggled with reading and writing at a young age as well as let others influence my decisions, I left that dream. I built a tribe - and for the first time in my life I feel like I have a group of people in my world who understand me, I put in place boundaries with friends and family because it was time to prioritize ME. I discovered I am an introvert and now I have this amazing respect for the fact that I have less than five friends rather than punishing thoughts for feeling different, and I have started on this new amazing love story and it is with ME MYSELF AND I.
I have reached a new level in my life and I credit the ability to get there to 2020, our Farm, Tara Westover, Susan Cain, Suleika Jaouad, Brene Brown, Kate Bowler, Glennon Doyle, Taylor Swift, Rachel Hollis, Tempest, SeltzerSquad, and of course my Grandmother & myself!
I would have lost my entire being to nothingness, other people's expectations, societal norms, and money-worries that kept me on a path I didn’t want to be on, Oh and not taking a moment to give myself some fucking credit.
I am not done with self work, I don’t believe one ever can be. But over these past few weeks especially, I feel that I have reached a point of being here on earth for myself and no one else. I am not afraid of my fears or anxieties - I don't particularly prefer to be in the state of fear or anxiety but I trust myself that I can get myself through it; that has never been a truth for me ever before.
The questions I had when my first daughter was born were the same questions I asked myself when I was a little girl sitting outside with my grandparents. I silenced them for nearly 33 YEARS! 33 YEARS they went unanswered. I can’t tell you all how many times I have sat down to write my weekly blog and altered what I wanted to say because I didn’t want to hurt or offend anyone by speaking my truths. Can you believe that? at 33 years old - a grown ass woman I was still shhh shhing myself for the greater good of not living this one precious life.
We will pick up on the farm next week!
Be Kind. Be Positive. & Be You.
"Cairns are small piles of stones stacked together. Typically, they're used to show hikers the correct way to proceed along a path when it's not clear. They're a way to say to hikers, “Hey, guys! Go this way!” ... " A.K.A. your Knowing 🖤