• Charlotte Eriksson

Growing up is a wonderful thing to do

Growing up is a wonderful thing to do. Tracing the years back, looking at myself like someone else, someone different. I was angry and anxious, wanting to prove the whole world wrong, prove myself wrong, prove that I could be anything I wanted to be and I was gonna show them all.

I was driven by external forces, wanting everyone to see me like this and think of me like that. I planned my words carefully, my clothes, my songs so that the world would see me from the right angle.

It’s different now. I’m different now. I don’t spin the chair anymore. I rest peacefully with both eyes steady, listening and caring. I don’t rush through the rain with a rucksack, but instead say, “Let’s have another coffee, tell me one more story,” and I wait out the rain.

I’m no longer driven by external forces, but internal ones. I no longer care what the world sees me as. Instead I care about what I think of myself. How I feel, here, now, hands on my heart. Am I peaceful? Am I calm? Am I content? Lonely? Wise? Do I sit steady, do I listen, do I care?

I want to care. I want to be someone who cares genuinely about people and places, the climate and health. I want to care about my pace and my body, my days and my work. My work … the only thing I’ve ever had. My books and my songs, my journey on this endless road and I love it still, the constant tugging, wanting to reach a little deeper, create a little better. Lovelier, with grace.

I want to be a woman of integrity, walking strong and sure no matter where and I want to talk in a way that draws people in. I want to lower my voice, look people straight in the eyes and talk to their heart, like they’re the only ones that matter for me in this very second because I want to be someone who sees people. Who cares. Who helps. Who can reach out a hand and say, “You’re not alone.” I want to leave everyone I meet feeling a little better about themselves and I want to make people excited about their own lives and journeys. I want to make people feel special, like they matter, like they always do. Everyone has a story to tell and I want to hear them—I want to hear it all.

I want to be a woman who paved her own path and who knows failure and heartache but who kept going anyway because it made her wiser. It made her smarter and stronger, but also softer and kinder. I want to be the one you turn to for guidance and comfort. I want to create things that become a source of stability for people, some sort of home. Write books that you read until the edges are torn and songs that you listen to in your headphones on a lonely night bus, taking you somewhere far, far away.

I want to be so sure of my own place in the universe that no one could ever doubt me. What I’m about or what I’m here to do. I want to be a safe aura in a sea of worries and uncertainty. I want to stand for clarity where only chaos seems to grow.

Growing up is a wonderful thing. I can feel myself expanding quietly.

// from Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself

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