Get Real With Yourself
Get Real With Yourself by Jess Proctor
For the record some of the content in this post is very hard for me to share. This post contains some truths that I tend to bottle up because these truths leave me vulnerable. They expose a side of me that is not perfect. I am realizing that I am a human not a superhero. These are truths from the past that have brought me to this most amazing journey that I am on now so I feel it is necessary to open up and share because if my path was different I would not be where I am today. This is a long post and I hope you enjoy.
From a very young age I was told I was not smart enough; not smart enough to advance to the 3rd grade, not smart enough to go to college, not smart enough to make it in this world. If you are told this from a young age you believe it and I did just that. Why would you try if you have no chance to succeed. How wrong I was. I know now that to succeed in life you have to get real personal with yourself. You have to ask the tuff questions and expose your darkest parts. You have to be brave and put yourself out there. This is why I write today. If you know me you may not know the path that has brought me into your life. I was a trouble child. Problems started to surface around 5th grade. It was at this time I started drinking and smoking. It wasn’t long after that that I started experimenting with drugs. By the time i got to my freshman year of high school I was lost in the abyss of drugs and alcohol. I pretty much dropped out halfway through my sophomore year. Amidst all of the craziness of my rebellious teenage life I still had a glimmer of hope. I did not want to believe the words of my teachers who told me I could not do it. I decided that I wanted a future for myself so went back to day and night school. I worked very hard all while holding a full time job working graveyard shift at a gas station. I ended up graduating on time, I even said a speech at my graduation and they gave me a scholarship to boot.
After high school I was very proud of myself but I was still lost. I worked hard, played hard, went back to school to continue my studies but still did not know what to do with my life. I was just coasting through life’s little to do list. Not listening to my true self.
Around this time of my life my Mom passed away unexpectedly. Right at the time when I needed her the most. I had finally realized her wisdom and hen she was gone. I started looking back at my past and realized how much she inspired me to change my life. I realized that if it wasn’t for her I would not have graduated high school. I also realized that I could not live to please her because she was gone. This was quite a shock because I realized that while she was alive I was living for her, since she was gone I had no one else to live for. I needed to learn to live for myself. At this point I told myself that I could not afford school. So I decided to take a break. Again, I was just floating.
A couple years later I decided to move to Boulder, CO. I packed all of my belongings and my dog into my little blue van that my Dad bought me for 500$ then drove across the country alone. I didn’t know anyone and I did not have a job. I ended up moving in with a friend of a friend who turned out to be the best friend a girl could ask for. She took me in and introduced me to the beautiful city that was Boulder. She even helped me start my own cleaning business. It was one of the most scary leaps of my life.
Once I adjusted to the change it seemed as if all was well. I was working, paying my bills and playing hard. We had a lot of fun and partied a little too much. I was not growing spiritually, physically or mentally. It started to hit me at this point that my moms passing had a large impact on me. After years of blocking out the emotion of my loss I started to realize how impermanent life really was. It was time to make some serious changes. It was time to open myself up to new things and to explore all that life had to offer. I started hiking a lot, white water rafting, running, working out. I fell in love with movement. I decided traditional college was not for me, I did not want the heavy weight of student loans. I took a two year course and received an associate degree as a personal trainer and shortly after I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. While I was in the teacher training program I learned that I could be more than the labels of my past. I learned that I could be what ever I set out to be. I left the program feeling empowered but still a little lost. I felt as if I was still moving against the grain. I picked up a couple teaching jobs and begun to build my personal training career but still was not ready to settle. I really enjoyed teaching and inspiring people to change their lives but I didn’t seem to be in the right spot at the right time. I starting thinking about moving back to my home town to be closer to friends and family and mostly, my dad. I was at a cross roads, stay in CO and continue to build my career or move home.
Tragically, after arriving home from a getaway in the mountains I learned that my two best friends in CO and my dog had been killed. At first I was in shock. Again I did not know how to feel the pain so I slipped back into old patterns. I pretended that I was strong enough to just move on, I have lost before you know but deep down this one really shook me. There were a lot of questions, “how could this happen, what if I was there, Why didn’t i see this coming”. All normal questions when something like this happens but i had a hard time processing.
After a couple years I finally came to my senses. Between the sudden death of my Mom and friends I decided that this life is a gift, every little experience, happy sad good or bad. I also realized you have to take control, you have to be true, you have to be clear about your truths and you have to stay open and vulnerable.
I decided to move back to MI. I started teaching yoga and I met so many amazing people along the way. These people encouraged me to purse my dreams and to continue to teach. They taught me that I, like everyone on this earth have something amazing to offer. They gave me a special gift that I carry with me every day. This gift gives me the ability to love myself and my truths and gives me the strength to share these truths with all of you.
My path may not have been pretty but every bump and every fall has lead me to where I am now. I have met and married an amazing man who is supportive and kind and he has opened his life and the life of his two children to me. I am truly grateful. I have started my own yoga studio and it excites me every day to see an amazing community grow. Every day is a challenge and I know that within the challenge our strength will grow.
I feel to be a true inspiration you have to be real with yourself. Your story will inspire someone so don’t bottle it up, share it. Be brave and put your whole self on the line. Life is not always rainbows and butterflies. Find your voice and sing loud even if you can’t carry a tune. I hope you find a little bit of confidence to share even the not so pretty sides of you knowing that even those not so pretty sides are still you and maybe someone else can share your story.