Almost a year ago today, I was on the beach in Cabo celebrating my parents’ wedding anniversary and my quasi “retirement” when I decided I would launch this blog. I thought, now is the perfect time—look at all this awesome stuff I’m doing!
Obviously, there’s been a big gap between that first blog and the one I am writing now. Ultimately, I couldn’t bring myself to share. For a lot of last year, I wanted to be invisible. Invisible until I had something to brag about. Until I felt like I was ready to prove myself worthy. Worthy of what, exactly, I can’t quite put my finger on, but feeling that way only pushed down exactly what is making me so happy and fulfilled today. I did have a lot of free time in 2016, though. I travelled. I took myself on a solomoon. I was on a mission to rediscover myself and do all of the things I couldn’t do when I was working.
Well, timing has never been my forté, and a very big part of me believed that quitting my job was going to fix everything. My health, my relationships, and well, myself. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, it’s clear that this obviously was and is still not the case. Now that I’m back in full-swing to get my creative and entrepreneurial juices flowing, however, I am realizing just how much beauty there is in uncertainty and having to figure things out. Not without effort, but I’ve lived a blessed life. So much of my life was set. For example, I never struggled in advancing in my career, much less employment, until recently when my roster of “back-up” corporate jobs ultimately rejected me. 2016 was a tremendously humbling year for me; my plans to open a health care business fell through and personal problems I ignored for the longest time either snowballed or blew-up in my face, if not both. The universe did what it could to put me in my place. At the risk of sounding like a fortune-cookie, I did my best to take everything in stride and learn lessons instead of counting losses. But I was ashamed. As happy as I am now, there are still parts of me that hesitate before being open about my life choices in fear of being measured and weighed by my successes and failures.
Knowing this, a new friend who has become rather acquainted with my personal struggles suggested I read Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. As I read along, the words felt like they leapt from the depths of my soul and onto the pages. I cringed because the little truths kept digging deeper and deeper under my skin. But I LOVE that feeling. Without giving away the entire book, here are my 5 favorite quotes from Daring Greatly:
- “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.”
- “Hope is a function of struggle.”
- “Quick and dirty wins the race. Perfection is the enemy of done. Good enough is really effin’ good.”
- “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
- “I only accept and pay attention to feedback from people who are also in the arena. If you're occasionally getting your butt kicked as you respond, and if you're also figuring out how to stay open to feedback without getting pummeled by insults, I'm more likely to pay attention to your thought about my work. If, on the other hand, you're not helping, contributing, or wrestling with your own gremlins, I'm not at all interested in your commentary.”
Being vulnerable with you—my dear reader—has created so many opportunities for growth. Truly, the support from so many of you has given me the courage to continue to share. There’s a part of the book that talks about vulnerability being the birthplace of joy, and I sat and thought about how much I missed out on because I was too afraid to share and be judged. I’m guilty of micromanaging and controlling situations; either to manage my own expectations, or to distance myself from hurt and disappointment. All that did was keep me from happiness. All the times I was afraid of getting excited because I didn’t know how long something good would last, I robbed myself. At heart, “living fearlelsey” for myself has boiled down to being as vulnerable, open and unguarded as possible. Wish me luck.
Do any of you bookworms out there have good reads to recommend?