Being Who We Were Before the World Told Us Who We Should Be

I had the greatest weekend with Karly visiting. Karly is part of mine & Simi’s Finally Free team. She runs all of our social media @finallyfreeprogram and does such a great job!

Paige Schmidt | Karly Visit

A few people have asked me how Simi and I connected with Karly. Karly is someone who joined us in Finally Free pretty much when we first opened her up. She’s been an FF member since the beginning (she started with our 28-Day Pleasure Plan) and has always been persistent in staying engaged with Finally Free. Simi and I first grew to love her so much because of this (it’s always fun when you have really engaged people in your community)! And then we really got to know her, learned just how special she was (like all of you girls in Finally Free!), and got a taste of her creative side. Karly’s always stayed connected with Sim + I through sending cards, commenting on posts, sending emails, and seriously… just did everything we offered – the 28-Day Pleasure Plan, Finally Free Program, the retreat we almost hosted last year (we’re gonna make this happen sometime, ladies!), Finally Free Mastery… etc… just everything! 

She knows our Finally Free message inside and out. We adore her and love love love having her on our team – we brought her on in April. We hope we get to keep her forever!

Karly spent the whole weekend with me in California. Our time together was half work, half play and ALL fun! We took some new photos for Finally Free, went to church together on Sunday, ate great food, visited with Marco between his shifts, and had so many good conversations.

One of those conversations led to me to writing this post… 

Paige Schmidt | Quote

On Sunday Karly and I woke up to have coffee at home before church. We were sitting in my living room cozied up with warm, fuzzy blankets, hot coffee, windows open, breeze blowing, birds chirping, and music playing (ideal). We got to talking about our stories and ultimately, who we were before the world (aka, high school) told us who we should be.

It was such a special and enlightening talk that proved to me that we all have this story. A story of who we were before the world told us who we should be. 

We all have that turning point of when we stopped being authentically ourselves and began to be more of who we thought other people wanted us to be. 

For me, this happened in high school right about the time I began my first diet.

Up until this first diet I was a normal girl who thought of herself as a fun and all-around-good-kid but maybe a little awkward. However, I was sort of okay with that! I kinda wanted to be cooler, but then again kinda didn’t care. I knew I had my small group of girl friends, I knew I wasn’t one of the popular girls, but I was comfortable with that. I thought that was just how things were. It was fine, really…

Until I got to high school and got a taste of dieting. A taste of, sadly, losing weight and feeling more liked and pretty and desired. A taste of being a little more well known and looked up to. A taste of not being so awkward. A taste of so this is what it’s like. 

Alas, I found my new-er identity. I wasn’t entirely different. I wasn’t entirely new and not myself. But a lot changed. And looking back, it never needed to change, but I didn’t know that.

As I lost some of my identity in my home life (as most of us do at one point or another), I aimed to create a new identity in my outside-of-home life. One that felt stable and that I could control. I wanted to be liked, successful, smart, nice, pretty, skinny, outgoing, and desired. These were the keys to life, right?

Sure… some of these were fine… but here’s what I’m learning as I reflect backward and look back on my younger self, who I wish I could just hug and sit down with and take to coffee and tell her everything was going to be okay and that she didn’t need to worry about fitting in so much…

(Side-thoughts: a) gosh, I wish I could go back in time, how cool would that be to talk to your younger self? and b) I wonder what my 40 or 50 or 60 year old self would say to my current self?) 

What I learned was this: nothing is worth giving up our true identity for. Nothing. 

So who is my true identity? It’s me today. Perhaps even more stripped.

Because let’s be honest if I were REALLY my true self all of my friends know that I’d have one of those skinny-metal razor scooters and would ride it to a coffee shop to do my work each day. But the part of me who still cares a little too much hasn’t taken the plunge to buy one yet (will I ever?). Come on self, don’t care!

Paige Schmidt | Mom

My true identity is my childhood self (yep, that little girl up there!) all grown up in an adult-suit with a few more (okay, a lot more) responsibilities.

She’s silly, unapologetically organized because it makes her happy (even though sometimes the way people comment about it makes her embarrassed), she rearranges everything in her office every few months, she loves changes and all things new, she can be a little shy but loves the people whom she trusts. She’s silly and goofy and sometimes takes the joking around a little too far with the people closest to her (ahem, Marco). She’s creative and loves time with her friends and time to herself.

She indulges in time alone to let her mind run wild with ideas and plans and dreams… she wants to say “YES!” to the most exciting things quickly and hates to overcommit herself (she doesn’t like her downtime to be threatened by too many plans). She likes to feel happy most of the time and has learned that feeling normal some of the time is okay too. She likes to dress up and get ready but most of the time she’s comfortable in her gym clothes or something cozy and cotton. She sometimes wishes she’d get ready more often, but then wonders “why?”

I love this childhood self, me. I am so grateful that over the years, I’ve been able to reconnect with myself and who I am. This doesn’t mean I like and enjoy myself 100% of the time. I wish I could say that I did but then again I think that may make me a non-human? That said, I have definitely let go of much of the should’s in my life. And I am more free for it. I am more myself for it.

So today… I’m just curious. Who were YOU before the world told you who you should be? Before you picked up on who you should be to be liked? Or wanted? Or valued? Or popular? What are your favorite parts of yourself that are youier-than-you? The parts of yourself that you unapologetically love?

By the way, I fully anticipate that everyone reading this post will have a unique time in their lives when they felt most like themselves, so keep in mind it doesn’t have to be your childhood self. There are no rules here, as always – let this post resonate with you in whichever way that it does!

Share with me in the comments and today let’s all give ourselves and extra dose of permission to be who we are – no matter who that is. You don’t have to be anyone else.

And yes, I do have a whole course on this subject that I made free about a month ago! You can learn all about that free course here.

Love, Paige
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  • Natalie

    I teared up reading this- as a college student getting ready to make decisions about who I’m going to be “in the real world” this post reminded to stop asking everyone else and instead ask my little girl self who SHE was / is…if I can still find her!!
    thanks always <3

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