What’s coming up for me this week is fear that I’m taking on too much — and fear that I can handle it.
You read that right. I fear being able to handle having it all far more than not being able to. Not being able to is, after all, the norm/comfortable.
What I’m taking on (I’m writing this list mainly for my own sanity):
1. the wedding
3. Red Elephant’s year-long entrepreneur coaching program. I’m doing it together with Jimmy, but while he’s attending for his business I’m attending separately for ???? I don’t know! So I get to risk and figure it out. But, this commitment will involve, before the wedding, a trip to Orlando June 1 and a trip to Atlanta August 11.
4. Connected to the above, and to career goals in general, networking. I’ve never done this in my career, ever. I’ve almost taken pride in all of my successes being “merit-based,” and not because I have connections or know how to play politics. I almost have networking as being “wrong,” even as I recognize it isn’t, and I get now more than ever that by not doing it, I’ve held myself back from a lot of opportunities. It’s also about “being seen” for me. As assertive and confident as I can sometimes be, there’s also this side of me who likes to be the background, hiding, unnoticed.
5. Fitness. It’s so important on so many levels. I feel like jelly right now because I haven’t been working out regularly. I love the feeling of toned muscles, the circulation, the soreness even. I really can’t afford to neglect this anymore. It’s taxing me physically, but, more critically, it’s taxing me mentally.
6. Money. This is a goal for Jimmy and I together. With three trips before the summer is over — one being our honeymoon — the wedding itself, moving, etc., we can’t not watch how we’re managing our money. And I’ve never really watched it.
7. Supporting Jimmy’s business. I love doing it because he’s so great at what he does. He’s the most emotionally intelligent and intuitive person I have ever encountered. It kills me thinking about the folks he must see every day who only see a guy from Long Island with a gruff sort of exterior, not realizing that they just met an incredibly gifted, caring man who loves people in such an encompassing, life-changing way.
8. Writing. Of course this is last! It is in my life, too. A passion and a talent I know I should be pursuing — something I’ve known for years — and I continue to do nothing. And it greatly affects me, because it’s always there, like an A/C humming in the background. But by now the room is freezing, and what once was a nagging thought in the background has become a great discomfort. That’s good, of course, but, I guess it’s not yet uncomfortable enough — the days bleed on and I still do nothing.
That’ll do it, I think, as those are the main ones coming to mind.
So, now I’m going to challenge my story around it — and, too, the theory of this group — that at any one time, I can’t possibly be successful and advance the ball with respect to all of these things. My belief is that, aside from being physically impossible, it would mentally crush me.
Why I’m Wrong (and Why I Can Handle it All):
1 – I’m sober. This is no shit the first thing that comes to mind, and one of the biggest gifts I got from the work and from Jimmy (even as he never intended it). Pre-Basic, my life was drinking. I could call it going out, or dating, or partying, or being with friends, but, in truth, it was drinking. Avoiding. Numbing. And because I’m a passionate, intense person, it was also about destroying — my life, me, everything. I don’t do it anymore. I don’t want to do it anymore. This is so huge, I don’t acknowledge it enough: I don’t want to destroy my life anymore. On a more practical level, this means I’m never really tired (not in the way abusing yourself gets you tired), I’m never drained or hung over, I’m never dehydrated and listless. I’m alert, focused. Sober.
2 – I’m happy! I need to acknowledge this a lot more, too. Looking back, I’m not even sure how I got through the days carrying the the heavy pain that weighed down every step. Now, I’m free. There’s nothing in my way but an open runway and clear, blue skies (with little happy puffy clouds).
3 – I have a crazy amazing partner. I’ve never in my life felt this loved and supported — nor have I ever allowed anyone to love and support me to this extent. All the years of loneliness, pain, and regret from my turbulent 7-year marriage and its aftermath have been purged and healed — even the scars have faded. That’s basically a goddamn miracle (seriously, it feels like divine intervention, considering the depths of despair I was in felt so real, and permanent).
4 – I have a community of people who are like me. They won’t shoot down my dreams or tell me I’m not being realistic. They’ll push me and celebrate with me.
5 – I created a flexible job. My boss is willing to let me set my own hours, including days off.
6 – I have an alarm clock. This one doesn’t need an explanation, it requires only using this magical device for its intended purpose.
7 – I’m really efficient when it comes to problem solving and creating. What causes inefficiencies are my resistance and avoidance, taking the form of overwhelm, anxiety and depression (which in fact are just manifestations of straight up fear, but my ego doesn’t like that so it tells my brain that it’s something else).
I have a sense of what it will feel like to be on top of all of the things on my list, and the success that would create for me. Up until now, I’ve been committed to avoiding that result because it scares the beJesus out of me. It really does. So, reason 8 why I can handle it all:
8 – I’m an extraordinary person who deserves an extraordinary life. One that gives me the opportunity to share my gifts with the world. I don’t want to rob myself, or the people in my life, or the people not yet known to me who I could contribute to, of that because of fear (or any reason). What I’m up to in my life is bigger than me and my insecurities, and it’s time for me to honor that.
Okay, so, what was the point of this blog post again? Oh yeah, stats!
Wedding: we have done our homework on honeymoons, we’re booking one this weekend. I still need to, this week, call about decorations and flowers and call our violinist (all tomorrow!).
Music: been practicing and going to rehearsals. It’s been a very conscious exercise to motivate myself to practice, but I’ve done it. I’m committed to keeping it up and even raising the intensity some.
Final thoughts: In high school, I was a giant Ayn Rand fan (dork?). Anything she wrote, I read. This is a quote from ‘Atlas Shrugged’ that I always remember because when I read it back then, I felt like she had reached into my soul and articulated my vision for my life and the world (that my 17-year old brain hadn’t been able to articulate yet). It comes to mind now:
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”