A Conversation With Myself by Brandi
“Will I ever feel normal” No. But You’ll Become Yourself: A Conversation With Myself by Brandi
I am Empowered & Poised because... I have suffered and endured enough to know how much my power matters and how much it is needed in order to empower other people.
I felt the best way to explain this would be with a fun conversation between 20 year old Brandi and 38 year old Brandi.
38B - Wow, it’s crazy to get this chance to talk to twenty year-old me! I have quite a bit to tell you that I think will help--I’m not even sure where to begin!--but let’s just start off with you asking me some questions that I’m sure are on your mind.
20B - Thrilled to see that we didn’t age as poorly as I thought we would, phew. I have a real question though: are we EVER going to get a handle on our anxiety? Like, am I ever going to feel “normal”?
38B - Ha! Ok, well at some point you’ll learn that “normal” isn’t a term we come to comfortably wrestle with, so I wouldn’t get caught up in all that. But yes, you will get a handle on it, but no, it’s never probably going to go away.
20B - Oh god, that’s pretty awful news! I mean, I appreciate we’re still super straightforward and honest, but that’s really hard to hear.
38B - Well, look-out because we get even more straightforward and honest, but yeah, I know this is kinda hard to hear - but it’s not all bad.
20B- I’m in a pretty bad place right now, I’ve spent half my life feeling unloved, unwelcome and out of place. I don’t fit in anywhere, I don’t think like other people and my own family doesn’t know how to handle me. That doesn’t feel good, at all.
38B- Remember how you would tell people how you felt growing up and they would say you were too dramatic and always a problem? That felt pretty awful, right? Well, you got through that, you’ll get through this too but it will get worse before it gets better.
20B - Oh god, it’s going to get worse? How can you tell me this while I’m already feeling so lost and alone?
38B - Well, it will. I know that hurts to hear and I know how badly you feel. You can’t get out of bed on certain days. Talking and smiling is exhausting. You’re feeling alone because even your own mother finds you to be draining. And that’s painful! Some days still painful, honestly. And I know that on more days than less you feel like this isn’t a life that anyone can survive -- and look, it will get worse. But then… one day, it will eventually get much better. So much better.
20B- Finally, you have some hope to share for me. Thank goodness.
38B- Oh, I have more than hope to give you. I have so much to share with you about how you will recover and thrive from what you go through. You will embrace who you are and you will find the people that love and support you and let me tell you, they will TRULY love and support you. The path is rocky, it’s life, it isn’t ever going to be simple and easy but yours is going to be powerful.
20B- So I will finally change and be better? Be less of a burden to people and finally learn to fit in and be normal?
38B- Woah, I didn’t say any of that. You, my dear, will learn to LOVE who you are and who you will become. You will learn to find the people that “get you” and know you and still care for you and support, who you are and who you will be. You aren’t a burden on anyone, it’s just that the people in your life, aren’t the ones that need to be there. Even though it feels weird to not feel welcome in the lives of the people closest to you, it isn’t about you, it’s about them. Also, stop with this “normal” stuff , you don’t want to be normal. You want to be YOU.
20B- Ok, but let’s be honest here, what else? What else will I have to deal with?
38B- Ok, you asked! So, you end up married with kids... and then divorced with kids. The marriage is tough, but nothing worse than you’ve been through. Because look, we’ve become so resilient! Our suffering meant something. Oh! And your kids will just so happen to be the two most amazing human beings on the planet! And honestly, that’s pretty huge considering how little you like children in the first place.
20B- So. Ok. Can we talk about the kids thing? Because that’s freaking me out.
38B- Ok, let me break this down for us: the mom thing isn’t what you think. And nope, we haven’t had many good examples of women thriving in motherhood or in their career. But! The very cool thing is you are about to show your own children an incredible example of what being the best YOU looks like. You are going to show them how to survive, thrive, grow, love and be the most open and honest people they can be. We are also going to teach them how to manage tough times, how to love the unlovable and how to create wonderful and safe spaces for the people in their lives who need that. Oh, and our career goes PRETTY well.
20B- Well the kid thing still freaks me out, but it’s all starting to sound a lot better. So. Ok, will things really get better? And will they get better soon?
38B - No. No, they don’t. Not soon. This is the hardest part of our conversation. But this is also the most important part, ok? You will have about 13 more years of difficulty. You will have some dark, painful days. And it will be hard to see the light. And some days you won’t even care. But, then things start to turn a corner, we start growing again. We start to develop the compassion and empathy that we needed. We start to want to survive. We actually start to thrive! And we help others thrive too. I mean, not to give anything away? But we build a few businesses that literally help other people be their best and have their best days.
20B - Wow. Ok.
38B - Yeah, wow indeed. So yes, you’re going to go through all the pain, loss, suffering and hopelessness whether we like it or not. It will honestly allow you to care for those in pain, hold the hand of those that lose, care for the people you love as they suffer and provide so much hope for those who have lost their own. That is our path in life and we won’t get there unless you understand everything on your own time. Because no, we won’t find “normal” but what we will find is ME. And I’ve become this amazing person, because of my pain, because of my scars. And trust me--because you are me--that will be the most amazing and life changing feeling that you’ll ever be blessed to feel at this point in our life.