Friday, January 30, 2015

I'm Not Halfway

I am not a girl of reserve. I do things all the way. Busyness sometimes seeps in, for sure.  But... mostly, I'm simply all-in or I'm out.

Sometimes that's a hard way to be... in a world where many people aren't. Where reserve is prized and fervency is ridiculed...  being all-in is not necessarily something that other people aspire to. We recommend keeping pieces of ourselves back so that we don't get hurt or betrayed or used.

It's probably good advice. I would try to be like that... but... I wouldn't be me.

Do I get hurt being all-in?

yeah. I do. If protecting myself is the goal, not being a "halfway" girl isn't wise or prudent.

But I guess that protecting my heart isn't necessarily my goal. It's going to get broken, whether I'm halfway or not. Holding myself back? That just makes me less than who I was meant to be. Less than who I am.

Sometimes I want to apologize for that person.  I want to say that I know my fervency about the things and the people that I love isn't always the norm. It definitely doesn't make me cool.

But the truth is that I'm not sorry to be that person. I'm sorry that more people aren't.

I like being a girl who loves all the way without apology. I like being easily moved. I like going out of my way to meet people where they need to be met. I'm only sorry that I don't do more of it.

I cannot walk the line of halfway. I value the gifts too much that come because I'm willing to risk... and I'll take the hurt that comes when the risks don't play out. Because when I fall, I know I've fallen trying.

And that will never be failure. That's living.

I don't apologize or regret being me. I never will.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Behind My Quiet

I've been a bit quiet lately, I know.

Some of that is just busyness.  I finally started as a leader with Weight Watchers and have been leading my own meeting, slowly figuring out what I'm doing and improving a little bit each week.  I've been making running a priority again. I've been trying to drastically reorganize and declutter my house, which has taken a big chunk of each day...  plus just a lot of kid-related things that have needed my attention.

But too...  I've had some things on my mind that I just haven't wanted to talk about.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine made a unilateral decision that concerned me. I wasn't asked or consulted... it was just made.  Initially, I was pretty unhappy about it... but I figured that I'd see how it played out. Maybe it wouldn't be as bad as I thought. But... as time has marched on, the decision has proved to be about as awful as I'd anticipated, with huge negative impact on the quality of our friendship. That's hurt.

But what I've come to realize lately is that I'm just not okay with that.

A funny thing happened to me over the course of the changes in my body over the last two years. I'm different. I have stronger belief in my own worth.  And it's easy to simplify that...  to say that I feel more worthy because I look better.  But it isn't just that.

Somewhere in the journey, you have to come face to face with the ways in which you've considered yourself unworthy and treated yourself as unworthy, and they aren't just because you're overweight.  There's a cultural bias, for sure, that is wrapped up in that. But you also realize that you have certain beliefs about yourself...  like that it's selfish to spend more on fresh produce for yourself because you're unworthy of it. Or that the hour you take for exercise each day could easily be spent on something else -- like your family or your job or the upkeep of your house -- and that you're wrong for spending it on yourself.

You have to come face to face with that and spin it on its head to get to the other side -- where you start to believe that it is okay to do those things because you are worthy.  Somewhere in the journey, you begin to see yourself differently. You begin to see your own self-worth. You grow in confidence. You grow in self-respect.

A dear friend of mine, who is a high school teacher, shared a letter with me recently that she received from one of her students. The young girl had been able to hold her own in a debate with a smart older boy because of some of the things they had learned in class, and the girl was thanking my friend for her part in that.  As the girl wrote, she talked about the impact that had made on her... how she always second-guessed herself, always believed that the things she thought were true were probably wrong because how could she be smart enough to be right?

It made me cry.  It made me cry and want to hug that little girl...  Partly because my heart broke for her, but also because I understood.  I understood those feelings. How many times have I doubted my own judgment because I felt too gullible, too uninformed, too willing to believe what people told me? How often have I looked to other people for what to believe because how could I be right?

What I've begun to realize is that I'm a lot smarter than I've given myself credit for. I'm worth more than I've believed.

I can't choose how other people treat me, how much value they give me.  But I can choose whether I allow myself to stay in a situation where there is such discrepancy.

Because I can see now that I'm worth more.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Courage to Let It Go

Utter the words "Let it go" and kids within a 500-ft radius will suddenly burst into song.

But I was born in another generation... and so if you say the words, I see something else.

A roguishly handsome archaeologist hangs off the edge of safety... clinging to his father with one hand, while the other stretches to reach the thing that they had been searching for. The thing that had been a part of their lives since...forever.

"Indiana," His dad says firmly but gently... perhaps the first time he's ever uttered the nickname for his son that he neither likes nor really understands. "Indiana... let it go."

ah, my heart. (Yes, I just cried, reliving that scene in my head. Don't judge.)

Sometimes we have to let go of what we were to embrace what we will be. And yet that can be so hard.  There's that moment in between letting go and becoming where we might fall... What if we don't make it to what we will be?  What if we don't make it and we let go of what we were for nothing? What if, in that place between what we were and what we want to be, we tumble through the crevice?

That uncertain part... that part where we could fail...  That makes letting go so uncertain.  We want to be safe on the other side before we let go of the safety of our past -- even if that past isn't very pleasant and isn't truly where we want to stay.

At least it's familiar.

But becoming something new... it requires a little faith. It requires us to step out toward where we want to be... away from what we knew... and trust that there will be something there to hold us up. It's trusting the process. It's trusting the past that got us to a place where we could step out.  It's trusting that even if we fall a little, we'll have the strength to get back up.

Because if you never let go of where you were, you can never get to where you want to be. It's like trying to take a boat across an ocean... but never untying from the slip.

And there are amazing things on the other side of the ocean.  Just waiting for you to let go.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When You're Done Waiting

You can't always wait around forever.

Waiting can get to be a habit. Waiting for the right job, waiting for the next season, waiting for the relationship to bloom. You get used to waiting... and you become okay with it.  If you just wait a little longer, right?

The thing is... that habit of waiting... what are you really waiting for? You wait long enough and you'll find that you spent your life just hanging around, biding your time.  You put off living your life, in a constant state of hold.  And pretty soon, you turn around and realize that you wasted it all.

Sometimes you have to break that habit. You have to actively stop waiting. You have to choose to live your life deliberately. No more waiting around. Seize your life by the balls and go for it. Live for you.

"But what about....?"

I know. You've waited a long time.... what if what you were waiting for would have happened if you just waited one more day? One more week... month... year...

Great.  But you still would have wasted that time.

I believe that if things are truly meant to be... that job, that season, that person... If you actively move forward, life will bring them back into your life someday.  If they are meant to be there, they'll find their way again. Maybe they'll just wake and catch up with you.

And maybe they weren't meant to be there at all and you'll find something better.

Either way, you're stronger. You're better. And you're not wasting your life, sitting around... waiting on promises that may never be kept.

"Life's for the living, so live it!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Please tell me...

(A snippet of a song I wrote this morning...)

The little white lies you told me, they hang between us now
Like a cobweb spun across an old doorframe.
They seep inside and taint us, and I can’t seem to find my smile
Just want to find somebody else to blame.

We tried so hard to fix this, together you and I
This broken thing that we had thought was lost
But I don’t know what to do now and I don’t know what I can say
I’m just not sure it’s still worth what it costs.

So please tell me you can say the words I need to hear
I don’t want to turn from you and walk away
But we’re standing at the crossroads and I wish that you could see 
How hard it hurts me every time I stay.
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