I was at my physical therapy appointment this morning due to arm pain from overworking (aka being the CEO of two businesses at the same time.) She commented on how beautiful my ring was. I told her how stressed and overwhelmed I already was about wedding planning, and she said “Being engaged sucks!” At first I was like, “What are you talking about? This is the happiest time of my life...” Blah, blah, blah But then I was like “Sh*t, you’re right, this does suck!”
So now, lets talk about what kind of sh*t gets stirred up when you get engaged and start planning a wedding. For me, it has always been my perfection complex and keeping up with the Joneses. I grew up in an affluent town with millionaire neighbors, and my family? We were always keeping up. My parents owned a dry cleaning business and we were always tight with money. They had to sell the home we grew up in, just to put my sister and I through college. I remember in college a girl asking me, “So what do your parents do?” I felt a need to show off, so I lied and said, “They own a line of dry cleaning businesses all over Boston.” I was pretty disgusted at myself for lying, but felt like I had to keep up with some sort of “wealthy girl from Boston image.” We ended up being good friends and I still never had the courage to tell her the truth. I was always keeping up, just as my family was always keeping up living in a town that frankly, we couldn’t afford to live in. Then, when everyone else seemed to be doing better, moving into bigger houses, getting nicer cars, we were downsizing and struggling not even to keep up, but to survive. I haven’t ever been able to shake that. The need to be perfect, to look perfect and to have it all. This is probably the reason why I started two companies. Because I just won’t quit until I feel like I’ve made it. I have my sights set on not being just comfortable, but like go big or go home type of wealth and comfort. The type that I have dreamed of my entire life. And you know what I realized? It is running my life, it is running me, and now it is ruining my engagement.
So I’ve been engaged for about five weeks now. I am madly in love with the most amazing man, and we have what I would consider a pretty perfect life together. We have a home in Milton, that I always say I wished was bigger, we have the means to live the lifestyle we want, while still I wish it was better or more extravagant. So everyday, I work my ass off, towards that dream of freedom. The drive that takes me to my home office desk first thing in the morning each day is the need to prove myself to others and to myself, and the never ending struggle of wanting more. I’ve created this “perfect” image of myself in Boston. On my @busygirlboston social media pages, to my “perfect lifestyle” image to my networking group of 10,000+ women in Boston Business Women and most importantly, to myself. But it is those days and those moments when I look around my home and say, “wow you are really lucky” meet myself where I am and remind myself that I have absolutely everything that I need in this life. It is in those moments that I feel complete, I feel at ease, and I feel like I have nothing to prove. I come from a place of appreciation not perfection and it feels amazing, authentic and truthful to who I really am.
But these last few weeks I felt that similar icky feeling that I felt when I dragged my Mom to that dress store in Newton for the “perfect” dress for my friends Bat-Mitzvah at the Four Seasons that I knew she couldn’t afford to buy me, yet I convinced her to. You see, I am good at getting what I want. In fact, I know I can get whatever I want when I set my mind to it, that is how I survived my childhood and pretty chaotic upbringing. I am a great sales woman and can pretty much convince anyone of anything. That makes me a great CEO but also feels dangerous, almost like an addiction that I really know how to abuse and take advantage of. But when I do, it doesn’t feel good. It feels icky and brings up those old feelings. Even though I got the dress or the expensive shoes that everyone in Newton was wearing, I didn’t feel good at the end of the day when I was wearing them, because I didn’t deserve them, and my hard working parents shouldn’t have had to buy them for me. So this past weekend, we started looking at wedding venues. I of course, fell in love with the most expensive venue, Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. I have envisioned that Jackie O. type of wedding my entire life and it finally felt close enough to touch! But when we were looking around, I could tell that my fiance wasn’t that into it, but I knew, at the end of the day, I could convince him, and I could convince vendors to help us make it happen with a much smaller budget than what it takes to actually have a wedding at their property. The last few nights I haven’t slept much and I have felt a huge load of bricks on my shoulders about how to pull this off and make this happen.
Today, I had a session with my leadership coach and trainer, Kip Hollister and I just broke down into tears. This is supposed to be leadership coaching I thought, it isn’t appropriate to cry here! But I’ve learned that being a good leader has everything to do with these blocks and these patterns in life. So we uncovered it all and released me of all these stories and ego driven goals that I have set for myself. We broke it down and I felt such a huge weight off of my shoulders. Now that I am so onto myself and I am leaning into the work that needs to be done to break the chain, live authentically and move forward as a authentic leader, it actually physically feels bad in my body. I get headaches, aches and pains and stress that keeps me up at night.
So today, I feel a huge sense of relief. I feel thankful that I am releasing the attachment to how I think it is supposed to be. I am taking the pressure off and am going to spend some time to dream up, what it is that I really want. What is it that my fiance and I really want to co-create together? How do we want the next year of our life to look like? It all feels so much better, calmer and the expectations I have put on myself I just reclaimed the power of and removed.
This is still new and raw for me, but I felt a calling to share it just in case any other women out there were feeling similar to how I have been feeling these last few days. Whether it is showing up in the form of wedding planning or buying that dress that you really shouldn’t be buying just because you are keeping up with an image or a ego, the lesson and the healing is the same. From this moment forward, I plan to detach from the story I have told myself and simply observe how I feel and what type of experience I am being called to. I want to create a experience and a wedding that serves my soul, not my ego and honors the love and partnership that my fiance and I have created together.
Tonight, I will rejoice with this new found awareness soaking in a sea salt bubble bath and writing out a list of everything that I appreciate in this very moment. It is time to meet myself where I am and be proud of her and how far she has come.
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