I’m Courtney, from Australia but not born here. I wanted to sort of ask you how you’re so comfortable with yourself and your decisions? I’m the complete opposite. I question myself with everything I do, (I’m a teenager so I understand it comes with the territory) and it gives me really low self-esteem.
I’ve never really thought of myself as having a story, even though I’m a massive fan of books and music, and they are both full of stories.
Sorry, I’m sure you get a lot of stuff like this, I’m just curious :)
Thank you :)
Listen to me when I say: you, darling, incredible, open, truth-seeking warrior, are fucking awesome. Every single thing you do, every single day: that is your story. Your story is who you say hello to on the way to the school bus and how cranky you are to your mother when she makes your breakfast. Your story is how much effort you put into your homework and the respect that you show your teachers and how you stand up for yourself or other people when you know you or they are being wronged. Your story is the ones you smile at, the route you take home, the thoughts you have about yourself when you look in the mirror. And every part of that story is special and real and unique, and you must honour it and look after it. It is all adding up. This is your becoming.
Becoming isn’t easy, and I’m not sorry to tell you: it never stops. There is no end. There just… is. It’s a beautiful, messy struggle, and mastering it – your becoming – gets a whole lot smoother once you decide on this one simple and complicated thing: to trust yourself.
Go look yourself in the eye, in the mirror, right now, and tell yourself that you will, for the rest of your live-long days, be fine. That for as long as it takes you to figure out exactly what you know, you do, in fact, already you have everything you need to be happy. It’s just a case of digging a little to find it.
I question everything I do – and so does every woman I know. Together we are some seriously accomplished, smart, engaged gals… and we worry about everything. The reason, though, we can move forward in our lives, isn’t because we don’t worry, but because we accept that not knowing is part of figuring it out, and understand that we’ll be okay. That whatever happens: we’ve got this.
Just like you, we’re capable and willing to ask for help. From each other. From the universe. From wherever our gut tells us might be useful. I absolutely implore you to take heed of that: to listen to the tiniest voice you have inside of you that says, I can do this. When you’re living your story every day, note it in your mind. Pay attention to the goodness your bring to your world and the ways that you contribute every single day, just by being yourself. Your story is your power, your power is your story.
I believe, so deeply, that we are all enough, all perfect as we are, and that the key to blossoming – to becoming who we were always destined to be – comes from really understanding that.
You’re perfect, Courtney.
You really are going to be absolutely fine.
You’re going to fuck up and make mistakes and be unsure and take a million and wrong turns, and in spite of and because of all of it, you’ll figure it out.
We always do.
Reader Question is a new series of advice columns from Laura Jane Williams. She doesn’t know shit about shit, but if you want to be reassured that everything is going to be okay, use the “Contact Laura Jane” box on her author profile to email her your question.