This story was originally shared as three part series on social media.
So, it was the Fall of 1996 and I was a freshman in college at TCU. It was a crisp November morning. I was there and waiting for her at 8 o’clock exactly. I was not doing well in her class. She had decided that I was a terrible writer. I was a terrible advocate for feminism and for the women’s movement. I was too soft. Too cliché. Too dumb. She had expressed as much in class.
She told me if I didn’t meet her for this 8am meeting, I would likely fail her class. She was not impressed that I didn’t speak up without being called on and when I did, I was full of ridiculous thoughts that no self respecting feminist would utter.
So, I was there at 8am on the dot. I didn’t want to fail my Women’s Writers class. It was my first semester of my first year of college, and honestly, I had never failed anything before.
She didn’t show up until 8:30. She was surprised I was there. She didn’t think I’d show. She was sheepish about being a half hour late.
She had no idea that my insides were betraying me and that I should have been in bed. That I had lost 15 pounds since the beginning of the semester. That I was really sick. I had no idea either.
She had no idea that I was doing my best and that speaking up was the hardest thing I possibly could do. My 19 year old self was quaking in my shoes. I had no idea what to say, and any smart thought disappeared from my mind the minute all of my classmates eyes were on me.
Showing up for the 8am meeting and then waiting a half hour for her to show up went far and beyond her expectations. She told me exactly what to do to pass her class, and I did it to a T. I received a final grade of a C and I was over the moon.
She got fired after the semester she taught me. Apparently the way she treated some of her students in her classes had raised the eyebrows of a few parents and they complained.
But, when I returned the next semester, I was smarter. Brighter. Savvier. I knew what to say. I studied the right answers. I wasn’t quite as shy nor quite as sweet.
I became bound to being the best. I became bound to fitting in. I became bound to not being embarrassed in a classroom ever again.
And those binds transcended to other parts of my life. Be the perfect girlfriend. Be the best writer. Be fast. Work hard. Become like everyone else.
I became spellbound.
Spellbound to worrying about other people’s opinions and other people’s perceptions.
Spellbound to an illness that dictated my life.
Spellbound to hiding my gifts for fear of being too bold or too big. Or the fear of appearing too smart or not smart enough.
Spellbound to not knowing what my true magic really was.
My insides were wrapped up in anxiety. My gut couldn’t take it any more. I was sick with anxiously trying to control every single detail of my life.
It had been a lifetime in the making.
Learning just how nice girls behaved.
Being soft, and easy and afraid.
I was pretty. And cute. And nice. And warm. And boundary-less.
I was spellbound. To society. To the picture. To the dream I thought I desired.
I was spellbound until I realized, repetitively, that the rules just didn’t make sense.
I was taking medications for my autoimmune illness that my soul was screaming at me to stop.
I was living a fine life that I thought I had wanted, but my light wasn’t fully turned on. I dimmed my power, my magic, my boldness and my brightness to fit in.
I was worried about what the whole world thought of me as a person and especially as a mother. My kids didn’t get the best version of me because I was so wracked with anxiety when we were in public or with other people. My boys had big personalities and I was afraid to be seen as a bad mom.
I was in toxic relationships with some friends where I pretended to be a version of my self that I thought they would like. I metamorphosed myself into the version I perceived they wanted. I did the same in past romantic relationships.
I was walking a tight rope, trying desperately not to fall. Trying desperately not to falter.
Until one day I decided to fall off that damn tight rope and to figure out how to become boundless.
And then I made it my mission to support anyone who came into my realm to be boundless too.
If you desire to become more boundless in your leadership, I have the perfect free masterclass just
Until next time, with love.