I was on a vacation in Thailand in December. Sitting under the shade of a palm tree and taking in the picturesque blue-green ocean, my heart felt at peace. I was thinking about the upcoming new year and how I’d want to sculpt it. My mind wandered to the past several months…it had been a roller coaster. I’d cofounded a sales tech software startup in 2016, quit, taken several months off to get my energy back up, and joined a startup incubator/investor as a program manager. At every step of the way, I felt like I was living someone else’s dream. I was working long and hard to the point of exhaustion, but it didn’t feel fulfilling. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything that truly mattered to me. At the startup I’d cofounded, I had left no stone unturned to make it successful – even when that meant ignoring my health or getting barely any sleep. I had serious anxiety issues, was an unforgivable people-pleaser, and thought other people’s plans for my life were bound to be much better than my own.
Turns out they weren’t.
It felt like years had gone by living other people’s dreams when I could have very well spent them consciously creating the life Ranjana wants to live.
So as I sat thinking about my 2020 plans, it occurred to me that what I most wanted was to change this whole relationship with how I perceived my life was being created. I wanted to feel like the sculptor of my life. I wanted to step into my own power and create an identity that was uniquely my own. Not something laid on me by others. I wanted to discover and claim who I was. I wanted this year to be one of self-love, expression, discovery, and identification.
There I had it…I wanted 2020 be the year of me. I’d never really focused completely, unabashedly, unapologetically on myself. I wanted to experience myself wholly. I wanted to know what it is like to be me, to live me, and love me. What would it mean to truly be me? Shine bright in the morning sun, run barefoot, speak my mind, live where I wanted to, do what I wanted to. Live with abandon, live free, live unafraid, live like me.
Of course, it wouldn’t all be the good stuff. When you shine a bright light on yourself and look into a mirror, you see the warts too. Turning inwards means meeting your inner demons. A large part of self-sculpting means shedding the unwanted and donning the wanted. It ain’t going to be easy but the journey will be so worth it. When I look back at my 20-year old self and see where I am today, I can see how far I’ve come. The process was painful, to say the least. But I am so grateful for the journey. I regret the times I didn’t do something just because I thought I might bruise myself. Seriously, not going through the painful process of self-transformation is like signing up for lifelong agony. It’s an unintelligent way of living.
Anyway, that afternoon in Koh-Phangan looking at the vast ocean under the shade of coconut trees, I decided that I’d start #theyearofme project. I would put myself at the forefront, make myself the priority. Do the stuff that I wanted. Didn’t matter what (of course it did but I wasn’t chiseling out every single detail at that point). The only caveat was that I should be serving my own desires. I should be the protagonist of my play as well as the director. And feel freakin’ good about being this way. Not apologetic or guilty! This could mean a whole world of things from traveling to lots of self-care to saying no to things that weren’t in line with my desires and yes to those that were. This would also mean admitting to myself that I was far from perfect and had long journey in front of myself to become the person I wanted to be. The starting point would be to go inwards and come into alignment with my personal desires and strengthening my sense of identity of who Ranjana was. I couldn’t sculpt me if I didn’t focus on me.
And so, #theyearofme began. More details in posts to follow.