who the fuq is she?
That is the question. A pretty good one too, but one I still don't have the answer for myself. A question that I hear repeated in my mind over and over and over again. I say it to myself, I hear it in the tone of the people I know, I hear it said with wonder, I hear it said with judgement - 'who the fuq does she think she is'. I bounce between knowing myself, and loving myself completely, with a picture-perfect vision and understanding of where I'm going in life and who I am, to the deepest and darkest depths of doubt, fear and mistrust for the steps I am taking, the career I am forging, the person I am becoming.
But for now, if you ask me that question, my answer is I don't know, and I'm finally okay with that. I don't know who I am and I don't think I ever really will. I've said it a million times, but it's the whole point I guess. We are in a constant state of living and learning and growing and evolving and hopefully a whole lot of loving throughout it all. That's the fun of it, the unknown, the exploration, the constant unravelling of our souls into different versions of ourselves. In every moment, in every day, in every year. Different versions of who we are.
And today, I'm 24. Twenty-fucking-four. That's nearly freaking 25 which is nearly 30 which is nearly 50, which, when I start to think about it for too long, really freaks me the fuck out. Like, the. fuck. out.
Even though I'm still so young, I have moment where I lose it, because I can feel like passing me by, and then I spiral into thoughts that I haven't achieved enough, or done enough, or been enough. It's stupid and silly, I know, but it happens. I also know that it is certainly tied into the fact that I don't know who I am, that ever since shaving my head I m in a constant state of metamorphosis of who I am and who I am becoming. The different versions of me reflected in the different hairstyles (one for every week basically am i right?).
But slowly, and surely, I have started to accept the fact that no one can ever stay the same, that no one can ever really know fully, exactly who they are because we are such multi-dimensional lil beans. We're not designed to know who we are, we are designed to simply be. To enjoy it all and live it all. To explore as much as we can, and to not get tied down in labels, or over-analysing or self-diagnosing. Because I have had so many different phases and so many faces throughout these 24 years of life. I've been the drug-addicted party girl, the crazy rebellious loud teenager, the baby with the blue eyes and blonde ringlets, the spiritualistic and the scientific psychologist. I've been the lover, the fighter and the heartbroken.
I think that is where my doubt sinks in, because how can I be all of these different versions of me, where do I find the balance between and within them all. I have my fingers dipped into so many different pies, that I don't really feel like I belong anywhere at all. I have so many different groups, different communities, different entities within me, I am the horse rider, the hippy, the party girl, the gimpy geek, the adult-sized child, the masters degree major, the daughter and yet also already the mother. How can I be them all, and who does that make me? Where does that leave me in my career, in my business, my heart wants to follow so many different paths, the spiritual and the scientific; the bare-foot wanderer, but also the sexy secretary that has business meetings and runs workshops for the 'real world'. And then on top of that, how deep do I go on here, how much do I share about myself on this page? How far is too far, how deep too deep? Who knows. But in this year of 24, all I know is that I wanna go hard, I want to explore every crack and crevice and share as much of it as I can with the world.
But this year I have explored destroying all of those masks, all of those labels and facets of myself. Each is still there, lying under the surface, but none of them are a badge that I wear, a face that I can't take off. Instead I am just Chelsea. An inter-weaving ooey-gooey mess of everything that I am, all of my experiences and all of my knowledge all tied together with a pretty little bow in the shape of a pink fringe.
I think these past 12 months have been my favourite so far. A remembering of everything that I am, and everything that I am not. An acceptance of so much that just is, a pure state of fucking flow and divinity and juicy goddamn goodness. No expectations on myself to act a certain way, or say a certain thing, no pressure on myself to 'be spiritual enough' or woke enough. Just human. with human flaws, and human quirks and qualities. Divine in her own right. Just 23. Young and dumb and exploring the word. That is the fucking point! To explore, and make mistakes and dip your toes into absolutely everything, anything you want. You're not meant to have anything figured out yet, or ever for that matter. Try on different faces, different hairstyles, throw caution the wind. You don't have to be any one idea of you, you don't have to fit the mould. You have the choice to be whoever the fuck you want to be, in every single moment.
Because it really is, actually that simple.
It definitely doesn't always feel like it though. Your brain over-analyses, or your friends tell you differently. And the year of 23, though my favourite, has been one with some of the weirdest ups and downs. The lyrics no one likes you when you're 23 definitely spring to mind. You're not exactly an adult yet, but you're also not a child. it's this weird in-between where anything and everything is possible, where there are people out there achieving success, and there are others still out clubbing every weekend. I always thought I had to have everything figured out by a certain age, my career and love life and friend group. That everything should be set and steady. Hell, I still remember when I was 10 making my freaking life plan about what steps I would achieve and when. Glad I threw that out the window.
And so instead, you get to choose what you make of it, of this whole life thing. For the past 20 odd years I had walked round subconsciously, just following friends, or following my boyfriends, following the easiest path, the path expected of me. And suddenly at 21 I looked around and realised that I didn't really like my life, or who I was and who I was becoming. I was grumpy and hurting and angry at the world. I didn't have many friends, at the time I was the furthest I'd been from my family and my love life was in ruins. So I made my choice.
I burnt everything I had to the ground, I destroyed every idea in my own head of who I was and who I had to be, I said goodbye to a lot of friends and I guess my own way of life. But I burnt it all down, so I could create what ever the fuck I wanted from scratch. A blank canvas full of vibrant, iridescent, shape-shifting colour. Instead I stepped into myself, into who ever I was, in every single second. As me as I could be. Though I've been practising that since roughly 21, I think this past 12 months of being 23 I really lived it. I embraced it fully, embraced life fully with open arms, open to every experience, eyes wide with wonder about the opportunities and new explorations in front of me. Things I could never have imagined when I was following my plan.
And I have freaking fucking loved it. I have loved who I have become and who I have discovered. The simplicity that is life for me now, just letting myself be who ever wants to emerge, who ever wants to seep out of my skin. Letting myself indulge, letting myself grow and learn, with no pressure to do or be or say anything, just enjoying as much of life as I can, exploring as much of myself as I can, and changing my hairstyle as many times as freaking possible. So to go back to the question, who is she. She is Chelsea Liley, 24 year old wild child with endless possibilities and technicolour dreams. 24 I'm pretty damn excited for you.