The internet is a strange place. Our lives (or at least as much as we display online) are being documented, and we have the ability to go back and look at what happened “On This Day” five years ago, eight years ago, however many years ago… It’s weird! Right? Even weirder is when our past selves seemingly show up with some revelation or message that we need in this moment. Or maybe it’s just that we often have to learn that same lessons more than once. Either way, I got hit with some wisdom from 26 year old me a couple days ago. It struck such a cord for me that I decided I’d share it again. Prepare for a lesson from the ghost of
Christmas my past. Here we go:
I’ve had a theme running through my head for the last week or so…
Taking up space.
It really started on our flight to Pennsylvania last week. Whenever we fly together, I always take the middle seat because I am smaller than Dan. I fit better in the middle seat so it just seems smart for me to sit there. Not a problem. What we can’t help is the people who sit next to us. Well, on this particular flight a very nice man chose to sit in our row. He was awfully chatty, but kind. The gentleman was not a very large man, but he just filled the space. (And not just his space) You know? Spread out. Took room.
And I got smaller.
I pressed in on myself trying to be more compact. At one point in the flight his elbow was about halfway into my seat, and I was trying to just be fine with it. I was going to be Polly Pocket if I needed to be.
And then I wondered why. Why was I doing this? Why was I shrinking?! I paid for my seat on this plane, and I should get to fill it! So, I stopped. I stopped trying to compress myself and become invisible. I am a person. I matter. I get to take up space. I let myself relax into my body, into my seat. I turned my light on (you know – that inner glow that says, “I am here! You are allowed to see me.”) and became present… And you know what? That man gave me my space. (Side note: He was not trying to be rude. Honestly. I think some people are just used to taking up space. Others have spent so much time trying to slip through the cracks. I did not verbally ask him to move or physically move him. I just decided to take up space.)
This turned on a light bulb in my head about all the other areas of my life where I try to make myself smaller. I get so caught up in making other people comfortable (the curse of a people pleaser) that I can forget to take up room in my own life. Well, I am done. I am here. I am ready to start taking up space. I don’t mean being bigger than everyone else. I don’t mean being unkind. I don’t mean being self-important. I mean being myself even if others don’t like it. Sharing what I have to give with the world. Showing up for my life and living each day like I mean it.
We all have the ability, the right, and the responsibility. There is only one you. Please take up the space that is meant just for you. If you do, people are going to take notice and let you have it. You are a person. You matter. You get to take up space.
Yes! You matter. You get to take up space. I matter. I get to take up space. We all have a unique purpose and path here on this earth. The world needs you to step up and play the role written for you.
Recently, my light has been off, my curtains have been drawn, and there has been a do not disturb sign on the door. I made myself so small I would fit in Polly’s pocket. It’s uncomfortable. And it’s a sad life to choose. So, I’ve decided I am done choosing it.
It might take a couple tries, but I’m going to give it all I have. Light turned on. Heart open. Here I am, world. I’m ready to take up that Joanna sized space that was made just for me.
What about you? Are you taking up enough space?