I miss this writing thing! One of my birthday promises to myself was to make more room for the things I love & long to do but don’t set aside time for. Really, there are no excuses. My excuses are so worn out and tired I can’t even bear to use them anymore.
“I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting sick of their own bullshit.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
I’m sick of my bullshit.
Lately, I have had to take a pause. I found myself reacting to things in my life in a way that I wasn’t exactly proud of. The pause helped. It was simultaneously a call for brutal honesty & self-reflection and an admission that I need a serious kick in the pants if I want to live this life of mine as MINE. Sounds pretty basic right? Adult Living 101.
I guess I needed to remind myself to #1 Listen to my guts and, #2 Have some.
It takes guts to be honest. Honesty with others, spoken with kindness and respect, is HARD. Like I-need-to-do-breathing-exercises-before-I-say-this hard. Honesty with oneself can be downright ugly.
But it’s worth it.
The result is a sense of freedom. A release. Shame and guilt and hiding secret thoughts = walking around with a sense that you are not in charge of your own life. Not to mention that feeling of horrible dread. Like you are about to be “found out.”
I was a kid who carried around that tight anxious tummy feeling ALL. THE. TIME. So, I am somewhat of a late bloomer in the self-acceptance realm. Also in the Joy Department. I am working on this…
I’ve decided to start by listening to and engaging the guts!
My son turns 15 in a month. Starting high school, learning to drive, taking on much greater academic, athletic and personal responsibility than ever before. I need to be his anchor, his role model, his cheerleader. His touchstone. As he moves further and further away from me towards adulthood, I will need to trust that I have sufficiently provided for him…while at the same time maintaining the safe, secure home base that I have worked so hard to build. He has some guts, that kid. I look up to him. (He’s nearly 6’5″… I literally do look up to him!!)
Last week we were in Sun Valley, ID for our annual summer trip to visit Grandma and play in the sun. On one of the days, we drove to Stanley and took a 1/2 day river trip down the Salmon River. Paddling, laughing, getting soaked by the rapids, taking in the beauty. At one point our guide said, “Oh here’s the big rock we stop to jump off of!” HAHAHA. I dismissed her and continued paddling. Meanwhile she is stopping the boat asking the boys who wants to jump first.
“Are you serious??? Jump off THAT? Won’t we die??”
The boys were already climbing out of the raft and scurrying up the rock to prepare to jump.
“Oh it’s totally fine! It’s super deep here! We do it every day!”, said Smiling Kate the Guide.
The boys looked at me.
They looked a little scared.
Before I knew what I was saying, “I’ll go first!” came out of my mouth.
HOLY SHIT. WHY DID I SAY THAT.
The boys moved aside so I could climb up and stand on that itty bitty pointy piece of scary rock and look over the edge wayyyy down at the deep freezing water. I clung to Kate’s shoulder and stepped out. “Put your foot RIGHT HERE”, she said, tapping the teeny edge. (it really was a teeny edge. i swear.)
I was so scared I forgot to plug my nose. And let me tell you, that river was FREAKING COLD. Lose-your-breath cold.
It was a “guts” move.
I trusted my guts & used them.
The looks on the boys’ faces as they peeked over the ledge to see if I was okay were priceless.
I’m not sure if 40 yr old Erin would have jumped.
I’ve only been 45 for 4 days but I’m betting that old lady Erin is going to jump, dammit. Every time. 🙂