Author: Molly Lencki
Rule #1 on Being Lovely: Understand that you are you. You are whole. No one else will complete or validate you.
Young Molly and I are still in agreement on this one. I really love this rule, because it’s about acceptance of yourself. And not just of who you are, but where you are and how you are. Acceptance and admiration of your complete picture.
This is hard, and it takes time. And it’s scary to face who we really are. So, it becomes easy to pick ourselves apart, piece-by-piece, and avoid our own acceptance. Ultimately, we outsource what we should find through introspection. We rely on others to give us the love we want for ourselves. Which is dangerous.
And because it is so easy to dwell on the parts of ourselves we don’t like, we allow what we view as negative to overshadow what is really amazing and unique and positive about each of us. We’re too busy letting someone else validate our positives, while we hone in on our negatives with laser-focus, that we neglect to see our own value!
And when our external source of validation is no longer there to affirm that we have positive and redeeming qualities, we’re left without any reflection on what’s truly great about us.
Of course, I’m speaking from a place of experience on this (read: multiple places of experience). So, what do we do? How do we strengthen our own resolve? Molly, how do we even begin such a perilous journey?
I’m so glad you asked.
I often have to remind myself of one of my favorite quotes (technically, it’s a quote from Aristotle, but I learned it from one of my favorite childhood books, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen):
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
There are so many little pieces of myself that I love, and some that I don’t love as much. And they all add up to Me.
I love that I smile and make direct eye contact with just about everyone.
I love that when I pick up the phone to call anyone, whether it’s a friend or a customer service representative, I can usually hang up the phone with 95% confidence that I just made someone’s day.
I love that I make friends with the characters of the books I read.
I love that I write with the G2 Pilot Pen (.38, Ultra Fine), and ONLY the G2 Pilot Pen.
I love that I will tell anyone I ever meet about this pen, and usually run out of my own personal supply because I give them away as proof of how great they are…even though I’m not paid by G2 as an ambassador and end up having to purchase more to replenish the cycle.
On the other hand, I don’t really love that I chose the path of least resistance when it came to my career.
I don’t love that most of my knowledge is vast, but shallow.
I also don’t love how little I understand about most aspects of adult life. (I might never fully grasp the Stock Market, or car care, and have only recently taken up cooking.)
I don’t love that I get nervous in large groups of people. I still haven’t figured out if it’s because I have mild claustrophobia, or social anxiety, or an amalgamation of the two.
I don’t love that I’m scared to see a doctor, in case they tell me something dreadful about my health that’s been flying under the radar.
I don’t love that I date men I subconsciously know are emotionally unavailable, so that I never have to threaten my status quo, of living a life free of commitment. I have my suspicions that I’ve allowed this to cause a lot of the pain I’ve endured.
Regardless, the fact of the matter is that all of these things I do or don’t love about myself are what make me MeTM. Each facet of myself has taken me on the path I’ve travelled, and they all have brought me to and through each of my experiences.
What is important to note here is that as an organic being, I am absolutely allowed to change and grow as I need or want. I am allowed to assess how I feel about myself and my life, and decide to invest time and effort into changing what I’m not 100% happy with. I am allowed to come up with unique and clever ways to upend the negative emotions that hold me back from feeling good about myself.
For instance, I can learn how to change a tire! Legitimately any time I want! I can make friends with an auto mechanic and ask them to teach me!
And I can develop the parts of myself that I have let fall to the wayside. I can start any day. And while I may not see success instantly, I can be satisfied in knowing that I started. (The perfectionism can come later.)
And I will still be Me. And I will still be the same whole that I was before.
I could stop making shameless plugs about the G2 Pilot Pen, and start writing instead with only Papermate Sharpwriter #2 Pencils, which are in fact spring-loaded and the best pencils on the face of the earth.
I would still be Me. (But let’s be honest, I will never back down on my feelings about those pens.)
And if the changes I make require that I let go of things I love or don’t love about myself, in order to become who I am meant to be…then I guess that will just have to be how it goes.
And I would still not need anyone else to complete my story. Because that’s what this is: My Story.
Or in your case: Your Story.
This rule is about giving yourself permission to just be how you are, as long as you are how you actually want to be. As long as you are in fact honoring yourself, and being truthful to yourself.
And if you aren’t how you want to be, then this rule is about giving yourself permission to take the steps you need to take to get there. No matter how many baby steps you have to take to accomplish those goals. No matter how many times you have to forgive yourself for your past.
So, let’s wrap this up:
What are the facets you love about yourself?
What are some areas you hope to grow out of?
How do you feel you honor yourself?
How do you feel you aren’t being truthful to who you are?
Well, good evening, ladies and gentlemen…
And welcome to my WordPress! My name is Molly, and I’m about to introduce you, simultaneously, to Me-Today and Me-Ten-Years-Ago.
I’m not exactly certain how I want to do this. That’s probably why it has taken me so long to kick myself into any sort of gear, be it high or low.
Maybe, instead of explaining the how, we’ll start with the why. Why do I want to do this? I suppose I miss the woman who initially wrote each of these rules, sitting in a booth studying (but really ruminating on all the ways she wanted to be). Thinking about all the ways to live a beautiful life, figuratively and aesthetically.
So, I’d like to spend some time with her, getting reacquainted.
I’ve thought about doing this for so long. This blog, I mean. And I have guiltily turned away from the thought of it, probably once a month for the past 10 years. Because I figured the world didn’t need my 2 cents. Or that no one would be interested in what I had to say.
And then I remembered:
The young woman I was wrote these rules for herself, and posted them publicly for accountability. And one by one, people started to enjoy them. And if there is one thing that’s important to know about me, it’s that I always want everyone to experience joy through time spent with me in any capacity.
So, the woman I am today writes these posts for herself, and posts them publicly because she hopes that if anyone ever reads her thoughts or her fears or her hopes, or any other facet of her experiences, the words here resonate with and bring joy or solace to them. And if these words reach only one person, then I will be happy.
A lot of time has passed since my Rules days. A lot of changes have come and gone. A lot of heartache has occurred. A lot of steps have been taken away from the place I was in my earlier years. A lot of doubt and a lot of fear has crept in. And a lot of lessons have been learned.
Through all of that, I’ve grown into the woman I am now, and I’m looking forward to meeting the woman I will become. Because while I am the same person I was 10 years ago, the woman who wrote these rules was young. And naive. And stubborn. And set hard rules to live by. In the same way, Me-Today is going to be some other set of adjectives for Me-Tomorrow.
So here I am: Molly-Today. Ready to toe the line I set in the sand thousands of days ago. Ready to possibly argue with my past self, and maybe bring each rule into a new light. Ready to see how far from the right or wrong I used to be. Ready to face how far I’ve strayed from my own rules and path.
Here’s my current plan for this blog (which may be adjusted as we go): to spend each week with one rule, examining and supplementing the rule with a variety of mediums. I’d like to start each week by posting the new rule and my thoughts on the matter. I’ll figure out the rest of the week as we go; but you can expect memes, music, quotes, and the like.
Without further ado, I now present to you: The 50 Rules on Being Lovely.