In high school, I used to write notes with a dry erase marker on my bathroom mirror. A counselor recommended it to me because the visual reminder would help give me just enough confidence to overcome crippling social anxiety.
Yes, the Wichita Heights High homecoming queen was not the confident, strong leader that she portrayed.
Sometimes the notes were inspirational quotes. Sometimes they were mantras. Sometimes I’d just scribble what I was feeling, cross it out, and write the opposite. Anxiety would be replaced with confidence; insecurity turned to grace. I’d stand there, look in the mirror repeating that statement, willing it to be true. As with all good self-help tactics, sometimes it worked but other times it didn’t. It wasn’t fool-proof.
Each note answered the same question: What is the one truth you need to hear today?
That tradition carried on in college as anxiety and pressure ramped up. It seemed to help take the edge off of a final or a paper that was due. As I graduated and moved on to the career world and back into my graduate program, notes to myself were spotty at best.
Now, more than a decade later, I found myself in one of my more precarious mental health states as COVID began and the realities of full-time parenting and full-time working met in a collision crash course. In a conversation with my therapist, she asked what helpful past tools could be dusted off and reimagined. It wasn’t until I went through a box of old photos that I found these notes, reassuring me that we can take one step forward, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
When I emerged from the initial COVID fog, I realized that some of my favorite people are writing their own notes and sharing as well – specifically Morgan Harper Nichols and Alexandra Elle. (Run, don’t walk, to follow these ladies for all of the goodness they are and bring to the world.)
I’ve written myself a note a day since April, and now I want to bring you into my corner of the world by sharing them on @HeyAmyLiz on Instagram. My only guarantee is that, whatever pops into my head and is shared comes from being still and listening to my own inner knowing. It may not resonate with you in that moment, but I’d be honored if you could share when it does.
Writing these notes is grounding. And anything that can ground us with the <gestures wildly> storm swirling around us is a good thing, right?
Follow along at @HeyAmyLiz on Instagram. As I share my #NotetoSelf on Instagram, I encourage you to do the same. What is the one truth you need to hear today?