One simple question I couldn’t answer to propel myself forward

“What do you want?”

It seems like a simple question that a woman who thinks she knows who she is and what she wants would be able to answer, but I just couldn’t do it! Every week, in therapy, she would ask me, “What do you want?” And every week I would say “I don’t know.” 

My marriage was on the rocks, my graphic design career was slipping through my fingers and the mothering of my two school-age daughters was questionable at best. 

Why couldn’t I answer this simple question?!?

When I was younger, I always knew what I wanted. I would set my sights on the thing and go for it, no problem. I was a high achiever. (Thank you, childhood programming…)

But now, I was incapable. I didn’t have a vision to inspire me or passion to pull me forward. There was just a gaping void in my heart.

On the outside, my life appeared perfect. Budding design career, loving husband, two perfect little girls and the house in the perfect suburb with the best school district. Perfect.

And now I was trying to figure out what the void was about and how to fill it. 

I had been seeing my therapist for almost a year when I finally found the light again. Over that course, she had been trying to nudge me to figure out what the eff I really wanted and how to go after it.

All suggestions to finding that passion again were futile. 
What did I like doing when I was younger?
How can I bring that back into my life?
When did I feel the most lit up in the past?

All these questions I have heard many times over the past decade of personal development. But there was one step missing before making that list of things that could bring me back to myself…


I had been trained to be the good girl. And I was the good girl: obedient, loyal, honest, full of integrity, keeper of secrets…That was being a very good girl. 

I was allowed to shine, but only onstage. I wasn’t free to do anything that would disappoint. Everything I did had to be “approved.” It really is no wonder that I could actually do ANYTHING on my own. And why I keep making so many mistakes!! (Going through a second divorce by now, getting fired, etc…)

The day in therapy that she told me “You get to want what you want,” was the turning point for me.

Seriously? I get to want whatever I want? I don’t need permission or approval to want something?

I’m a grown ass woman and I get to want what I want???

And so it was. I was given permission to be myself again. To pursue the things that mattered to me.

That’s when the crumbs really started to fall into place and guide me.

One thing after another led me down the path back to myself. The burlesque show, the workshop, the audition, the bookings and traveling all over the country, the boys, the love of my life, the super mom I had always wanted to be, everything started to fall back into place.

I just needed permission to go there, and so I have. 

Keeping it simple

It may seem like the most simple thing, giving myself permission, but it has been the most powerful tool for me as I continue to evolve into the woman I am becoming.

I had to give myself permission to

  • take my sexy back
  • go to a burlesque show
  • WANT to get back up on the stage
  • date again
  • fall in love again
  • pursue a dream, even though I still had the children at home

It became necessary to become the parent to myself in order to give myself the permission to allow myself to be the woman I have always wanted to be.

Giving myself permission was the first step to regaining my confidence and allowing myself to shine again.

And it is a practice.

I have to do it over and over again, everyday or for each situation that arises that has me stuck again.

You get to want what you want. 

So go get it.

Athena, aka Gazella

Amplify You | A podcast series created to inspire you to take up more space and shine in a world that has conditioned you to be small.

Amplify You Podcast

A podcast series created to inspire you to take up more space and shine in a world that has conditioned you to be small.

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