Category Archives: fears

courage over comfort: coming back home

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Growing up I felt that I was truly a rebel. I marched to the beat of my own drum and I felt that I did things by my own rules. I defied the wishes of my parents, and hung out with some kids they didn’t think were a good influence; knowing that I was changing the world by showing love to those that I didn’t feel were getting it from their own homes. I dressed however I wanted, and I drove over the speed limit. In my heart, I was truly a rebel who was also going to make the world a better place.

As I moved through my high school years and into my 20’s, I was always the child/grandchild/sister/niece/friend that everyone always wondered “what will she do next?” For other self-identifying rebels, I was about a 1.5 on a 1-10 scale of rebellion. In my family I was at least a 9.7! Everyone in my family were great at following the order of things and the rules.

You went to high school, you went to college, you got married and you had kids.

I wore my uniqueness and my desire to forge my own path as a badge of honor. I was always acting true to my spirit and to the calling of my heart; even if it made others uncomfortable. In my eyes I was living on my own terms and the rebel spirit was at the wheel! So I went to high school, went to Junior College, went to Cosmetology school, moved to New York to be a Nanny…and the journey went on for a while and was full of great adventures and countless stories I hold dear to my heart.

I was also learning that when you live this way, it can make others uncomfortable and worry about you. They will also judge you. Even if they think their judgements are for your own good, they are still judgements. I have also always been someone who does care what others think, so these judgements had a way of seeping into my subconscious thought.

Back then it was more in a way of taking in what they are saying, but still making the decision I thought was best for me; even if it went against what judgement or opinion someone had shared.

It served me quite well, and it gave me a life full of adventures, failures, sheer joy, and great challenges. You know, Living Life!

Over the next couple of decades my rebel spirit became tame. Society has a way of doing that. You’re told you need to “grow up” and do things a certain way. You need to have health insurance and a 401K or retirement plan. You need to “plant roots” and “settle down”. Slowly you start to see everyone else around you doing this. Getting the stable job with all of the trappings, starting families, buying a house and possibly a mini-van. Although some of these things appealed to me, these things didn’t seem to be showing up at my doorstep. I was getting restless for something that looked like stability, as that was what I was seeing all around me. I was open to whatever it was.

It showed up as a moment in my living room, watching Oprah. The Universe was telling me loud and clear that I needed to go back to school to become a teacher. I heeded the call and took the steps I needed to get started. Although it didn’t seem rebellious to go to college, for me it brought back those same feelings. Fear, excitement, bravery, change; and the desire to make a difference in the world.

I went back to school. I worked hard and earned 2 degrees. I started a career that met all of the criteria that had the big safety net. It has served me well, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way, but as of late, some questions and curious thoughts have entered my mind. Am I truly living my life, or have I chosen to just be comfortable? Where is my rebel spirit? Where is my need to explore new places and to try new things? Have I chosen comfort over courage?

About 2 years ago I began the task of cleaning out my attic space. I ran across some old photos, notes, books, and memorabilia that transported me back to my rebel-self. This also happened during a time of great turmoil in my job and a time of deep self-reflection; as I was feeling lost, battling depression, and just feeling very disconnected with myself and the world around me. I ended up putting the items back into the attic and closing the box on those memories until I knew I was ready to dig deeper. Not into the attic [which will easily be a 3 day project when I get the courage to tackle it, again], but dig deeper into myself.

It is now over 2 years from the time I found those items in the attic. The attic is STILL not organized and I haven’t revisited those photos yet; but now I am excited to see what other treasures I have buried in there. I won’t approach the job with trepidation about what I may discover, but I am excited to relive some of the amazing things I have done in my past.

At the same time, I am finally ready, and have actually begun to find my rebellious spirit again! To be able to find it, I had to really understand what it actually was for me back then.

Upon further inspection I saw that the scope of my true rebel spirit didn’t meet the Merriam-Webster definition. It was more subtle than that. Much more subtle. I didn’t skip school or party. I didn’t sneak out of the house or steal. I actually followed most of the rules, had a high respect for authority and the great desire to not disappoint anyone. But what I felt was the SPIRIT of rebellion. I was the only person in my family who didn’t fit the “mold”. I didn’t follow the same path or the beaten path. My path was forged by me and me alone.

I could see that I felt I could do anything and I KNEW I was brave enough to do it.

I took risks, but didn’t seek out danger.

It was a force within me that only allowed ME to define myself. I was strong, brave, bold, and I knew that life was for living and I was going to squeeze everything out of it that it was offering up to me…even if it made those around me a little uncomfortable.

That was my definition of my rebel spirit.

Now at 46 years old, I see that being a rebel only takes BELIEVING that you are one! It’s being BOLD and BRAVE. Faking it until you make it. Saying it out loud in the mirror to yourself. Saying it over and over again in your head as you’re walking down the hall at work.

Saying it until you BELIEVE it!

Because in the not too distant future, it will become your truth; as it is becoming mine again. The rebel spirit can return. Your bold, brave spirit will emerge from its long hibernation, ready to stretch its legs…and kick some ass!

Rebellion may be loud and messy, but it can also be soft and subtle. Your bold, brave self is defined by YOU. It is defined by choosing Courage over Comfort. Thank you Brené Brown for your quote “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you can’t have both”.

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I have chosen courage over comfort recently, and it is serving me well. It doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. That is where the learning takes place. That is where the rebel spirit resides.

When rediscovering your rebellious, bold, brave self,  it also requires having grace with yourself.  It looks different on all of us and it manifests itself differently based on a myriad of things. It may be that soft, quiet voice or it may roar like a lion. It’s unapologetically yours and can look however you choose.

I invite you to explore your own rebellious spirit. To answer the call of your heart and to see where it takes you. It will be a grand adventure, and I know it will be well worth it.

Allow it to be what it organically is….YOU. POWERFUL. REBELLIOUS. BOLD. BRAVE.

YOU.

 

~e

i will do it now

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I will not wait until I am thinner, richer, have my closets cleaned out or my drawers organized.

I will do it now.

I will not wait for this weekend, or Monday or March or 2016.

I will do it now.

I will not wait for the weather to cool off or warm up, for the stars to align, or the seasons to change.

I will do it now.

Whatever it is that I have put off for the “right time”.

I will do it now.

I have figured out that waiting for this to happen or be completed before I move forward on what I need to do to live a better life, is just procrastination based on fear. It means I am hedging my bets on my life. I have created truly non-existent barriers, huge walls to climb before I get to the “good stuff”.  It means that I have created an excuse long before attempting whatever it is I want to do… because of fear of failure. Today the walls come down, I lay my chips on the table and the excuses and fear stops.

It stops now.

I will no longer waste valuable time.

What starts now are all the things I’ve postponed.

Life it way too short.

It really is.

It’s time to start living.

I will do it now.

~e

a joyful life

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 Wow. I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post. Life has been an incredible journey over the last two years. Yes, it has been TWO YEARS since I have posted!

Life is a funny thing.

 In the last two months I have come full circle to things I had left behind during the last two years. I have come back to rediscover things that bring me joy, happiness, creative energy and peace. I have taken a big leap of faith that has brought about a kind of child-like joy that can only be felt and seen, but not described in a way to do it justice.

 I AM BACK!

 I feel more alive than I have felt in several years. My heart is full, I am creating some beautiful wrinkles on my face because I am smiling and laughing more than I have in a very long time. It’s interesting how we can lose ourselves in our lives. How our jobs become our world and how we sacrifice ourselves (our health, relationships, sense of self, etc…) for a paycheck to buy things that we don’t even have time to enjoy. A joyful life is what I have always been working on. I don’t search for it, I have to create it. Sometimes the creating of a joyful life makes many of those who love me a little bit nervous, but I am scrappy. I can figure it out and make ends meet. You see…when I am truly seeking a joyful life, through hard work, kindness and being true to myself; I create a life that is authentic, fulfilling and meaningful. A life worth living.

It is funny how life decides things for you when you can’t decide them for yourself. It is the small voice I have disregarded for a long time that lead to the unimaginable roar that I could no longer ignore. (it can also come in the form of a very knowledgeable and caring doctor showing you that your life is literally killing you quickly and if you (I) don’t get off this road you’re (I’m) on, life is going to end much sooner than you (I) want it to).
 
What is amazing is that when I finally embraced what that little voice (and my doctor) was telling me,  I had a feeling of relief, wonder and excitement wash over me; all the way down to my bones.  There is no more hesitation, second guessing or fear. There are fewer self-deprecating thoughts, feelings of anxiety or concerns about the future. It’s pretty damn awesome!

I am also aware that some of these feelings will come back at some point, but I am basking in the joy that I feel today. The joy that comes from making hard decisions that lead to a better life. The joy that comes from realizing that our days with those we love are numbered, and that we have more control over how we spend those days than most of us give ourselves credit for. The joy of realizing that I am the only one with the power to make the decisions that I must make to live the best life I can. 

So, going with the theme of this blog, a new phase has started! This isn’t a small phase, such as taking on a new hobby. This is the start of a life-changing phase. So, how big is this new phase? Well…

  •  I quit my job without having another one lined up (I’m scrappy and can figure it out!)
  • I have taken a month off and not looked for a job (I started my job search after my one month of unwinding, regrouping, and relaxing! )
  • I have been swimming laps 4-5 days a week (I have finally found an exercise I LOVE to do!)
  • I have FINALLY been following the expert advice of Marlene Merritt and have been eating healthy foods, given up all fast-foods, sodas and sugar….and that make me feel AWESOME! (she has been waiting for this day to come for over 5 years!)
  • I have made time for friends, family, reading, sleeping and anything else that brings me joy 

It’s a new phase. A big, awesome, exciting, delicious new phase. 

 love,
-e