Tag Archives: family

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

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jesus lives in ohio

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Earlier this week my phone rang mid-day. It was a call from my Dad. Now, it’s important to understand that my Dad isn’t really much of a phone-talker. He will chat for a minute or two if I’m calling, but calls from Dad have generally been reserved for bad news. Mom calls to chat and catch-up and Dad calls to let you know that the cat has died. It’s just how it has worked for us.

So the phone ringing mid-day with Dad’s picture coming up on the screen brought a whirlwind of thoughts about what tragedy had befallen the family. I answer the phone with dreaded anticipation.

me: Hello…

dad: Have you talked to your sister today?

me: (heart racing) No…which sister? What’s going on??

dad: Your older sister

[At this point I am about to throw up in my mouth. I think to myself: What has happened? Stop delaying this! PLEASE TELL ME NOW!! I CAN TAKE IT! I CAN HANDLE IT! JUST TELL ME!!]

dad: (with a slight chuckle) So, today your niece went to Vacation Bible School, and they were talking about that Jesus lives in your heart.

me: Um…Ok….

(at this point my blood pressure is heading back into the safe zone since it seems that everyone has survived whatever it is he needs to tell me)

dad: So when she got home, her Mom asked her what she learned today at VBS

(dad begins laughing and it is actually a bit hard to understand what he is saying)

me: Um…OK….

dad: Well, she told you sister  that she learned that “Jesus lives in OHIO!”

(dad is still laughing and has to pause to regain his composure)

dad: I guess she misunderstood them when they told her Jesus lives in your heart and she thought they said he lives in Ohio!

  (dad is officially cracking up at this point…and so am I)

I can only image my sweet niece sitting there wondering why does Jesus live in Ohio? Oh, well…if that’s where he wants to live, then more power to him!

The pure laughter and joy that was brought about by that phone conversation may not translate well in this post, but that’s OK. This was just one of those times in life where the innocence of children, the joy of laughing, and the importance of family was so pure and awesome, that I wanted to share it.

So remember as you go about on you Sunday, that wherever you are….Jesus lives in Ohio.

~e

is rigor mortis possible when you’re still alive and can it be caused by swimming in a neti pot?

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I think my muscles have pulled away from my bones, my joints have locked, and I don’t think my neck will turn from side to side without some WD-40. I am making a huge assumption that this is what rigor mortis would feel like.  What’s weird is that I’m actually enjoying this feeling!

You see, when your body aches with soreness from spending the day throwing your two nieces in the air, catching them as they belly flop into the pool and having winning a diving contest with your two nephews; this is a ache worth having. My face hurts too, from smiling and laughing so much. I got the best core workout from trying to balance on a “pool skateboard” and from laughing until my sides felt like they would split.

Yesterday was filled with family fun and my body is reminding me of this today. Moving my fingers to type this is about the only movement my body is making that looks natural. Walking, sitting, reaching for my coffee cup out of the cabinet; are all met with winces and cracking sounds followed by a sigh and a smile as the memories of yesterday flood my brain.

My sinuses are also clear today! We swam in a salt-water pool, which is basically like swimming in a Neti pot; a really awesome Neti pot! If you have never had the opportunity to swim in a salt water pool, I highly recommend it.  It’s like swimming in an ocean, minus all of the mysterious things at the bottom.

Yesterday was just one of those days that makes me realize, again, that the littlest things can be the most important things. One of the reminders that I am doing what I am meant to do.

I am

just.being.me.

I wish you a day of just being you. A really awesome day.

~e