Beethoven is playing from my cell phone, and A Course in Miracles is sitting next to me on the bed. I had quiche for dinner, and after trying without success to rest, I decided to work and journal for awhile.

Which brings me to what's been on my mind. 

I’ve been brushing up against more Ivy League women lately. It makes me feel so wistful that I would have had that education. But it wasn’t emphasized or encouraged in my family. It wasn’t even a blip on the radar or even a consideration, and I certainly wouldn’t have access to the education or support to get there in the school we attended.

So what now?

What I notice about these women is a tremendous sense of self, of resolution, of groundedness. They seem so certain in their thoughts and so able to change the world. I want that.

And where does it come from except giving each other and ourselves permission to believe in our own thoughts and dreams? The difference is that at an Ivy League school, you get so much reinforcement of that type of mindset that it becomes unshakeable.

To me, that is the definition of true education. And that is something I can offer to myself. I can self-educate.

What do I know about myself?

I know that I am incredibly resolute, resilient woman who is determined to achieve her dreams and better the world around her in the process.

I know that I am unshakeable in many respects.

I know that as I’ve evolved, there has been so much friction and sorting out of who I am and what my dreams are, instead of letting others dictate them.

I know that I’ve been challenged to move beyond a victim mentality, in which I passively agreed to accept others’ plans for my life, and fell in line with their desires, and instead I’ve begun to chisel out my own desires, and push for them and stand up for myself.

I know that I need to be kinder to myself.

I know that a lot of the self-doubt I’ve faced has simply come from massive change and shifts in my life.

But I need to accept that I am doing the best I can with the knowledge and resources I have.

I want to be a resolute, educated woman in spirit. I want to believe so deeply in myself and my dreams that I am unshakeable.

I’m thankful for the education I do have. Louisa May Alcott, Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Teresa of Avila, George Eliot - all the defiant ones who left such a mark on my soul.

I pray that I may live to be that defiant, so secure in myself and who I am.

So how do I start? First, by accepting myself completely and accepting what I look like and where I am in life.

Second, by loving myself and giving myself a pat on the back. This is hard stuff. Life isn’t easy and loving ourselves isn’t easy either. It’s easier to self-criticize for all the shortcomings and failings.

"Flaw-some" is the description who embraces her flaws and loves herself anyways.

Tomorrow, I resolve to be kind to myself first of all, and embrace the miracles awaiting me.