Daring To Meet Myself Just As I Am

Hello dear ones. I don’t even know how to begin telling you about the past couple of weeks, or how many times I started writing a blog post only to leave it sitting in my draft folder. But I do know why I left it there, and it took me until yesterday to admit it to myself. So now I’m writing a new one — one that I just know beforehand will be long. I hope you will bear with me.

a-box-of-opportunities

I’m trying to remember exactly when the delivery man dropped these boxes off at our door, but the past few weeks have been so full of ups and downs that I can’t remember. What I do remember is that when my hairdresser and new-found friend told me about Mary Kay I was sitting in the salon she works in to get my hair done. Over a month ago now. And not too long after that I signed a contract to become an independent skin care consultant. If you haven’t heard of Mary Kay, I’ll just explain in short. The company was created back in the 1960’s by a woman of the same name, who wanted to give women the opportunity to follow their dreams, have a career and the freedom to shape their life in whichever way they desired. Today this company spans continents and the women who have joined and still join have amazing success stories behind them.

What spoke to me right from the start was that freedom. That and the incredible warmth, compassion, enthusiasm and friendliness of every single woman I met during these past couple of weeks. To be surrounded by positive people who genuinely want nothing but to help you and see you succeed is so amazing, and just what I have craved and missed since I finished my studies in Sweden almost one year ago now.

getting-my-consultant-pin

mary-kay-event

I was so blessed to join them now. I got to go to a local area meeting to meet a few ladies, get some coaching and see how a skin care class is conducted, and one week later I went with them to an event at the Helsinki airport. The atmosphere was wonderful and the women who held their speeches inspired me so much. I can’t put into words how thankful I am I was given the opportunity to meet them all — it came into my life like a beam of glorious light at a time when I needed it the most. So when I tell you now that in spite of all this I was haunted by immense stress and anxiety on and off since I signed that contract, you might wonder why.

swedish-archipelago-from-cruise-ship

summer-cottages-in-archipelago

First, I spent the last twenty-four hours on this cruise ship that runs between Turku, Finland, and Stockholm in Sweden. I have this very bad habit of using snus. It’s a pouch of tobacco used under the lip. I used to smoke, but quit almost three years ago now. Knowing addiction all too well, I shouldn’t have started using snus, but there you have it. It’s a Swedish product and not allowed by law to be sold in Finland. You are allowed to bring in 1000 grams for personal use, however, so every once in a while I take a cruise to re-stock my supplies. I know that once I put my mind to it, I will quit this, too, but for now I am another willing slave under an addiction. The things we do regardless of knowing it’s bad for us.

light-garlands-on-cruise-ship

One of the things I like about these cruises is the time I get to reflect. I mean, there isn’t anywhere to go or much else to do. Of course, for those who like shopping, there is the tax-free shop. Or if you like to have a drink and listen to live music, there is a place for that, too. There is also karaoke, bingo, restaurants, kids’ play grounds, saunas, spas and even a swimming pool. I always end up sitting in the cafeteria by these windows, with a coffee and my journal. I love watching as we pass through the Swedish archipelago. The most amazing houses dot the shores, and the view really is beautiful.

I wrote several pages during this trip. To be honest, before a couple of weeks ago I hadn’t kept my journal regularly since end of summer. But after I signed that contract I have been writing almost every day. Mostly to convince myself I was on the right track. Positive self-coaching and self-motivation. For every dip and moment of anxiety, for every time I started panicking, I opened up my journal and wrote myself through it. It has worked, sort of, but as I sat with my journal yesterday, the ship gently swaying beneath me, I couldn’t do it anymore. And on my way home, driving slowly through a frozen night, I listened to beautiful cello music and cried almost the entire way. My pulse was so hard and loud when I came in the door to tell Jay we had to talk. My darling man who sponsored me to get the start-up kit for this entire thing. For the longest time I couldn’t get a word past the lump in my throat. While I knew with every fiber in my body that what I was about to tell him was right — what my gut had been trying to tell me for weeks while I stubbornly ignored it — a storm of conflicting thoughts raged inside me. I’m such a failure. I’ll disappoint everyone. I just wasted so much money, and for what? How did I get here after all this time? Why don’t I ever learn?

I told Jay what I will tell you now: I can’t do this — be a skin care consultant — because I don’t want to be. I said yes because I miss and crave friendship and social interaction. People to spend time with, to share common interests and be enthusiastic with. To think that I a few years ago received the diagnose Social Phobia. And here I was, throwing myself into something I really don’t want to do just so I can be around other people.

Jay sat quietly for a while after my word-vomit confession, and my heart seemed to flutter around in every part of my body. Then he said well, these things happen. You have to try things to find out what is right for you and you did try. Remember I told you not to worry about the money. It’s just money and it’s all right. As I write this, I’m in tears all over again. I can’t tell you what a wonderful man I have, what it means to me to have his support while I stumble around and flail about when I lose my way. In the midst of chaos and tumultuous emotion, he is my steady harbour.

close-up-of-jays-hand

From these past few weeks there is so much to take with me. From this I can learn and grow. And as much as I fought with those thoughts that tried to tell me I was a coward, weak and a failure, I believe there is much more strength in telling the truth no matter what. And much courage in speaking up. Some years ago I would have soldiered on to the beat of the drum of imagined expectations. What will others think of me? What will make others happy? To succeed for the sake of assumptions of what others would see as success. Isn’t it incredible the lengths we can go to, the lies we will tell ourselves to satisfy an imaginary world built on low self-esteem and self-worth?

I remember something one of these inspiring women spoke about at that event this past Saturday. Something that truly hit me, something I haven’t been able to let go of. And what nudged the part of me that tried to wake me up to myself. She talked about self-esteem and self-worth. Have the courage to dare to meet yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are good enough, just the way you are. In spite of what you do or how well you perform.

I fully believe there are two kinds of roads in this life, too, that we are meant to walk on. That main road which will take us to where we want to go, and those side roads we wander down to get perspective on where we are headed. As this woman who spoke about self-esteem also said, but do not linger too long, find someone you trust to help you back onto that main road. And you know what? When I spoke with with my friend about my decision over the phone, she told me to remove the thought from my mind that I have to hold these skin care classes. No one expects this of me. I decide what I want to do and how much, and I will be welcome among them no matter what. Can you imagine it? I felt like whatever remaining knots and bundles of stress and tension left in me whooshed out. Isn’t that just so wonderful? She is such a warm soul.

So it is with deep conviction I believe I was meant to do this. To gain a different perspective and clarity. To understand better how very important it is to me to meet other people — accepting, supportive, compassionate people — to make friends and to connect. And to dare to meet myself, just the way I am. Every single day. To tell my reflection that I am good enough, just like this. EvenΒ with the chaos and turmoil. I have spoked a lot of chaotic emotions, but I feel that for every time we face something difficult we learn to accept it that little bit more.

illuminated-frosty-tall-grass

frosted-foliage-clinging-to-a-log

sunlight-filtered-through-frosty-tree-tops

Oh, this day was so beautiful. The glimmer across our fields today after the night left a thin blanket of snow in its wake — this I will return to, over and over. These photos were taken over a week ago, but it’s just as sweet and fills me with peace and thankfulness after having seen it a thousand times. Filtering rays of soft light through branches dressed in rime. The creak beneath my shoes as I walk across the frozen lawn. A cloud of breath dancing alongside my dog when he runs back and forth in joy, trying to catch a snow ball Jay or Lilli throws at him.

sunlight-through-a-frosty-leaf

frosty-curled-bark

frost-covered-moss-wonderland

The small wonders of autumn’s remnants — golden colours scattered across the earth now as we pass into winter. I barely lifted my camera in these past few weeks. Only a few strewn occasions, and what a challenge it was to make myself. But when I did I felt such peace of mind, and I am so happy to finally share it with you.

frozen-fireweed-in-farm-house-foreground

morning-lit-moon-through-blurred-branches

backlit-frosty-berries

artful-frost-lines-in-wooden-logs

a-layer-of-frost

Soon I am going to start the Christmas season craftiness with Lilli. For years now I have wanted to make our own Christmas cards to send out and this year, damn it, we will have our own-made cards. And a wreath to hang on the door. I already got the wire to tie the spruce branches together. When I was little, we used to do all kinds of crafting for the major holidays, and I always loved it when my mother brought out the paints and papers, or when we collected things from the forest to craft with. I want my daughter to have these memories, too. Do you have any seasonal decoration traditions?

I will now leave you with a couple of photos from Father’s Day and wish you all a wonderful evening of what is left of this Wednesday. I hope to see you again soon! Much love. ❀

father-of-the-day
Jay is so handsome in his suit. ❀
entre-snack
The food took so long to arrive but we had plenty of snacks and conversation to hold us. πŸ™‚

Posted by

I'm Lotta. I live on a farm in southwestern Finland among oats, wheat, and swaying pines. With photography and words I show the journey toward building my life-long dream of telling inspirational and unforgettable stories through images. I am so glad you are here to share this experience. <3

17 thoughts on “Daring To Meet Myself Just As I Am

  1. Beautiful post: the word, the pictures, the woman… All the best luck in your new endeavors and finding your main path again! (Ps. As a Finn, I’m always amazed at beautiful women using snus! So Swedish of you, hehee πŸ˜„It’s just such an exotic thing to me, luckily I never tried it coz I really don’t need to get hooked!) xxx Snow

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, thank you Snow! You are such a kind and warm-hearted woman. ❀️ Haha, yes, very typically Swedish of me! 😁 It’s so strange because when I was much younger, I only ever saw one woman using snus – a friend of my mom’s. But in later years I have seen and met sooo many women of all ages who use it, I wonder if it always was like that or if it is a recent change? I did live so many years abroad after I turned 18. BUT. Well done, you, for steering clear of this nasty habit. πŸ˜… Many hugs to you, darling, and to your little ones. I do hope you get some you-time these days. It’s so very important. ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh we do, and it’s a part of life. Not always so easy to remember though, but I will keep trying my best and try to be grateful for each small step. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your encouraging words. Have a beautiful day. β€οΈπŸ™

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  2. hello lotta, I missed your words, now I understand your absence, Ian’s response took away my words, ha ha ha … what could I really say ?, believe in you, and learn to be grateful for life, we are simply “human”, the idea of success that is socially instilled in us, is an illusion, the real success is within ourselves, and that is reflected outwards. never do what others want from us, or the expectations of others.

    I feel really identified with what you explain and live, thank you very much for your confidence and courage to express your experience and feel.

    I want to send you an affectionate hug from a distance, and many good wishes to your partner, daughter, that is, your family, ah, I forgot, to loke too.

    P.D.1- on this subject, I remind you if you have time, dedicate attention to this video that once recommended.

    P.S. 2- You look great with your new hair.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, hello Fernando! I missed writing and your wonderfully thoughtful words too! πŸ˜ƒ Haha, aww, yes, Ian did leave such a heartwarming comment, but I appreciate and cherish all the words everyone leaves. And you are always so insightful in what you say. It’s very inspiring to read and think about the perspectives and thoughts you share.

      Aww, and thank you for encouraging me to believe in myself. That means so much. ❀️ What and who we nurture ourselves to be on the inside affects everything we do, and the people around us, so it really is all that matters. πŸ™ So very wise words, as always.

      And thank you for your well-wishes for me and my family! Oh, and I’m so glad to hear you liked my hair! My hairdresser did such an amazing job. Thank you. 😊

      I’ll have a look at that link! Have a beautiful week, Fernando. Many hugs!

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    2. Hi Fernando, I’m sorry if I took your words away but yours are always so clever and profound and make such good reading, so I do look forward to your comments as well. I shall be patient on Lotte’s next posts and wait for you to comment first , πŸ™‚
      hope you have a good weekend as well

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for your affirming words. It always warms my heart to hear my posts touched someone and I’m so grateful I can inspire through sharing my experiences and stories. Heartfelt thanks to you for stopping by to read and write, it means so much. Wishing you a wonderful day! ❀️😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lotta,
    Nice to see your clever words and pictures as always, I enjoy you blogs and I am currently reading back through your older blogs, when I am off work. I like to have breakfast and fresh coffee in the morning, read a country blog , then go for a walk myself πŸ™‚ very enjoyable.
    I can tell you have written from your heart, you have to believe how brave you are to speak up and say what you feel and not what is expected, and to learn from experience. And yes, your Jay’s words and insight , “you have to try things to find out what’s right for you” very perceptive and very clever, well done Jay, I’m going to use that line for myself as well. It sounds like you have a real nice man there with you, bless you both.
    All my working career has been doing what parents , teachers etc. say is the right thing and not what I wanted, so I can honestly say none has ever suited me. For you to do what feels right does indeed take courage, well done you.
    Your words that accompany the frosty field pictures are themselves very poetic and I like the picture of the rusty tin roof, nice angles and textures ,”small wonders of Autumn remnants” you do indeed have poetic words, a photographers eye, a cello musicians ear and artistic hands ! Very talented lady you are, feel proud of yourself (and very beautiful in the picture too, if I may say)
    Hope you and your family have a lovely (rest of the week and) weekend, πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Ian!
      I was so happy to see your reply and as always it made me smile. It takes a little bit of learning and practice to give myself credit for my achievememts and overcoming certain obstacles, but I can admit to being so much better at it than I used to be. And I am so happy to hear that you feel this way about my honesty, and that you affirm the value of it. So thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts. ❀️ It made me smile that little extra and gave warmth to hear you like to read the blogs you follow with your morning coffee, and that you take a walk afterwards. I can imagine the impact of reading something inspirational then having time to savour and reflect on the impressions — I too love reading in the morning, even if I don’t always remember to do so. 😊

      I remember you said something about your work in an earlier comment, and how you want to change things. I really do wish for you to try, too, so that you may find that very own dream of yours to follow. Sending many happy thoughts your way!

      And thank you so much, Ian, for all your lovely compliments. You are so very kind! It really gives me so much positive energy and inspiration to know you feel the way you do about what I write, the photosI take and share here. It makes it even more enjoyable when I see they are so appreciated!
      Hoping your week too will be wonderful. Many hugs! β˜€οΈ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Lotte
        Thank you sooo much for your reply, it does mean so very much to me and I’m glad it made you smile πŸ™‚ . And your very welcome, because any compliments are well deserved. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I can only agree with much what has been written in the post by Ian. I adore the way you write as it seems to take me completely into your world, making me feel like I’m with you on your journey..

      Let’s help eachother to stay on the right but not judgemental path. Life should be about showing up to the diffrent experiences that we face! Evolving itself from the present moment that consist of both The past, and the future in a complex bundle of free energy…πŸ™
      Who know where life will lead us, for me now it’s time for a walk in the frosty morning and then I’ll take it from there 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, Josefin, I’m so happy to hear what I write feels so real to you. This is something I wish for always when I blog, even if sometimes I feel I can’t express myself the way I want to, so it means the world to me to hear this from you. Thank you!

        Oh and this: “in a complex bundle of free energy” I just love the way you worded it — it really paints such a vivid image of what living in the now, feeling the now and accepting it as is is all about. And yes, let’s! I am all for embracing life’s various opportunities.β€οΈπŸ€—
        I hope you had a wonderful walk – it sounded so amazing to take a walk through a frosty wonderland. Have a lovely day, my dear. β˜€οΈπŸ˜ƒ

        Like

      2. Hi Josefin, hope your well
        love your comment and the sentence “I adore the way you write as it seems to take me completely into your world” , you have summed up in one short phrase exactly what I feel, πŸ™‚
        p.s. I would press like but my computer does not let me !!
        hope you have a good weekend too

        Liked by 1 person

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