Heads up: This is a long blog since I’ve been gone for, ahem, a few weeks.
I’ve taken a break from blogging for the past month because I started a new job a few weeks ago – and it required 110% of my focus and attention to settle in and see where I stood and where I want to go. Interviewing for, accepting and working this job has challenged on a very fundamental level how much I have to give and offer as leader.
I’m being pushed and somehow it feels like I want to burst into this big-eyed grin and run to the bathroom and cry for five minutes simultaneously. It’s like that I’ve found – when you’re on the edge of something. You don’t own a piece of ground and know every nook and cranny, and you’re certainly not standing square in your comfort zone. You teeter on the edge.
Yes, you succeed in ways you hadn’t thought possible, but you also trip and fall in scenarios that leave you dumbfounded and humbled.
It’s there, subtle – but totally there – the magic of being alive. There’s a distinct current, grace and force that appears in your life the moment that you decide you’re willing to dance on the edge. When you decide to stop believing the voices in your head saying you’re not good enough, strong enough or lovable enough.
If you follow Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook (I recommend her page if you’re into inspirational posts), she talks a lot about living a life with courage – on the edge – and how it is NOT the easy road. It is YOUR road though. And it will fit you and free you in ways that following your comfort zone never will.
When I was sick, it was the road my body demanded that I take. And because I have tasted what’s it’s like to feel that healthy and happy and confident in myself and my choices, I can never again abandon living that way.
I was coaching with a close friend last week who I swap services with, and I brought up a topic I’ve posted about on my blog before. Marriage and baby stuff.
A little back story, I remember distinctly sitting in a car with my friends in high school talking about future aspirations and goals. Some girls brought up wanting be married by X age or having babies by X age. All of those girlfriends have succeeded in making that happen – because it was their clear desire. It was a truth in their hearts that they knew about themselves.
When I think about that day in the car I remember my answer was tentative and felt a little isolating, I said I wanted to build a really kickass career and I wanted to go into cause marketing. Clear desire – clear outcome.
As I’ve gotten older and I have seen the many hats women have to wear, and the kind of juggling that it takes to have both a successful career and a flourishing family, my desire has been anything been clear.
I stand in deep gratitude and have the utmost respect for my friends who have gotten married and started having families. I have learned so much from them and I see innumerable merits to having a co-pilot in life. Through watching so many of them shine in healthy marriages, I’ve felt challenged to re-think my desires. Doesn’t that look awesome? Wouldn’t it be nice to have that?
What I said to Mike as we were coaching last week was this, “Why don’t I want that yet?” The truth underneath that statement, the energy that comes across is this, “What’s the matter with me?” Mike deserves a million patience points because he has tried in every which way to tell me that I have to respect what I want. I have to stop thrashing against my intuition and my gut demanding that it shape shift to look like everyone else’s life. It won’t ever work, and if I try to make it work I will end up building a life that doesn’t fit.
I hate it. I hate everything about it. I hate feeling isolated in the same way that I did in that car when I was high school.
I hear more and more people talking about how pregnancies after the age of 35 are high risk (that was never a concept I’d heard before this year), and I feel this looming sense of time. Time to decide what you want, Katie. And to that voice, I say, I no longer buy your BS. (I still can’t really bring myself to swear here).
Yes, part of me wants more, but that’s a crappy turn of phrase because it implies that getting married and having kids is somehow “less.” I want more in the sense that I need to do what this blog helps me feel like I do – empower people to live authentic lives in the face of fear and a million different things telling them it’s not possible. I want to help people do that, and maybe someday that will mix with being a wife and a mother. Maybe it will be different, and non-traiditonal, but I promise you when I do it the choice will be mine. And not because I want to will myself to fit in and live inside my comfort zone.
Thank YOU for reading!