Hey, I'm Michelle
I am a licensed nurse, anthropologist, certified life coach, feminist, and legit geek.
For around 30 years I was lost. I remember so much social anxiety, depression, and shame. It felt like I was an outlier in a world of regular people. A square peg for a round hole. I didn’t understand why I felt so different. I tried to emulate what real people did. I wasn’t very good at it.
I spent so much of my life feeling like a pretender. I tried to find the magic combination of clothes and jokes that would prove I was normal to myself as much as anyone else. It was like a secret programming equation I couldn’t solve; if I input the right sequence of behaviors I would get the desired output. It was exhausting and I never found the answer.
I didn’t know how to exist in the world. I was desperate to feel noticed and loved, while simultaneously believing the longer someone was near me, the more likely they would see through me. I receded into video games to cope. I waited for something to change, or someone to rescue me, just like the nerdy fantasy stories and games I lived in.
Sometimes I just wanted GAME OVER.
On New Year’s day, like so many other women, I trudged into a gym with a resolution. I was already assuming I would fail in a month, yet I still couldn’t accept this was going to be my life forever. I got on a treadmill. I flipped through podcasts and picked one that said something about feeling better. I just wanted background noise.
That day I was introduced to thought work. There was an explosion in my head. Actually there were several explosions. Something unlocked.
I realized at 30+ years old I hadn’t ever let myself happen. Growing up I had legit missed a big ol’ chunk of the tutorial process. My game was still on pause because I hadn’t even pressed the start button. I had been living my life without myself, stuck on level one.
No one teaches us how to start. So many women, including me, have to make it up as we go. We have no idea what we’re doing. Toss in the hundreds of mixed messages women are told, sprinkle on a bit of social stigma and a dash of patriarchy, and bake on high. We end up disoriented and stuck on “pause” banging our heads against a wall. Our brains and thoughts are a mess. We don’t understand them and it’s not our fault. We mistakenly believe it’s normal. We mistakenly believe it’s the way life is supposed to be. It’s not.