Today on fb I saw an ad for a guy who has a company called “catchhimandkeephim” wherein his own brand of dude wisdom is for sale – a how to catch and keep your man, by following his step by step plan of dos and don’ts, lest Mr. Right run screaming in the other direction – um, yuck, no offense.

I was reminded of a time in my life when I didn’t know who I was.  I didn’t trust that I was enough. I wanted to be someone else, someone thinner, blonder, smarter, with straight, shiny hair and a flat butt, someone taller, someone “beautiful”.  Anyone other than the curly brown haired, smart aleck, clever, monkey side kick I actually was, the one who was funny, sharp, “cute”, a good joke teller, kind, loyal, loving, fun, brilliant. 

I had just graduated from college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I remember circling ads in the Village Voice that said things like, “Join the Circus” and “Free Trips to the Caribbean”, you get the gist.  so I went to head hunters and they sent me to interviews always with the same instructions “wear a suit and put your hair in a bun”.  So I would do that and I would always get the job because I was personable and I went to a decent school (Skidmore if you’re curious) and there really wasn’t anything you had to know yet. So I would show up on that first day, as myself (the roll of Emily is being played by…), and they would be surprised  (like who the hell are you?).  I was not who they were expecting.  I was a free spirit, on the bohemian side, with wild long, curly hair, trying to fit into someone else’s box, someone else’s version of “recent college grad”.  It took me a long time, longer than I care to admit, to embrace “Emily”.  

Early on in life, many of us spend a lot of time being someone other than who we are.  We struggle to settle into situations, jobs, relationships, marriages, only to discover we are settling for lives that don’t serve us. It’s not their fault – It’s not your boss’s fault. It’s not your lover’s fault or your husband’s fault.  The “fault” is yours and yours alone.  The great thing about that is with responsibility comes freedom and I believe that every woman should be happy, brave, fulfilled and free.  I believe that when you discover you have a choice, you can truly choose the life you desire and you might be surprised to discover that you would choose the one you have.  But then again, you might not.  Either way, I believe that life is magical when you choose your authentic self, the “you-iest” you can be. 

When you are living your life as yourself, which sounds crazy, I know, you are open to all the wonder of coincidences and happenstance which are actually the world opening up to you saying, “I’ve been waiting for you”, and you are there to receive it, all of it.  It’s not that the opportunities weren’t there before. They could have bitten you, but you wouldn’t have recognized them.  When you embrace yourself, you will literally find yourself in the right place at the right time to meet the right person, all the time.  And it’s magical.  And it’s possible, even, and especially, for you.

As for Mr. “catchhimandkeephim”, if who you are and how you do relationship isn’t working, maybe you haven’t met the right guy.  The right one will love the heck out of you, as you are and as you aren’t, including the loud way you talk on the phone, how you repeat yourself when you’re excited, all of it.