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“If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” Marilyn Monroe said that.

At 62 years old, and with tons of introspective work behind me, it seems impossible that I still beat myself up for having remaining imperfections, and yet I do.

I’m one of the stronger Squitiro’s. And one of the few who steps in kindness. But like Marilyn, I’m not altering my personality to be accepted. Not anymore.

For those of you who know-me, know-me, you can stop rolling your eyes now.

I USED to be afraid of everything. And I’ve ALWAYS tried to speak kindly about the elephant in the room. What I didn’t know until recently is that I’ve also been a doormat.

I thought it was impossible to love too much. But now I see that taking every arrow that life throws so none hit your loved ones only serves to make the people you love weak. Even more mind-blowing, it doesn’t guarantee their gratitude or loyalty. Quite the opposite.

Jennifer Lauck wrote, “In the span of 24 years, I raised my children and took good care of my husband and the house, but that would be about it. They would have their lives, and yet they would have been mine.”

That was me. I threw everything I had into motherhood. Despite my flaws, I was present, available, affectionate, playful and real. I tried my hardest to create an ideal family for us thrive in. My doula business also had me in a nurturing role. Between work and family, there wasn’t time for much else. Certainly no time to cultivate many relationships outside the unit.

But that was okay.

Because all those years, I was going around thinking I had THAT kind of circle. Lived my life as if WE were that circle. Set goals into the future based on US being THAT. Come to find, it was a fairy tale, and I was the only one participating. The circle’s been discarded, and I’m holding mostly complaints.

How naïve.

Still, I’m no quitter. Covid taught me well. Each day, I’m learning how to be gentler with myself. To ground in power. Recognize what I bring to the table. Make magic.

And I’m starting afresh.

Calling a love-filled, laughter-filled circle down. With people who want that same sense of belongingness. Who notice flaws, yet look for the corresponding strengths that make them palatable. Who are DELIGHTED in my being. Strong enough to handle my worst, feel privileged they get to enjoy my best.

Thank you, Marilyn, for lending me your words.

Now if you’d just lend me your body, I’d be all set. I wouldn’t have to call shit down. My tribe would come looking for me, all the while knowing they wouldn’t gain admittance unless they passed the audition. Hey, a girl’s got to have standards!

Here’s to you if you never give up your dreams, no matter the logistics involved. If you understand that everything you need to create a beautiful life is already inside you. I’m rooting for you to find your people!