It’s so very easy to share quotes on social media that sound like the person I want to be or be seen. It makes me vicariously live that, at least for a few minutes and a number of likes. One quote I have shared and used more than most was Dr. Brene Brown’s “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you can’t have both.” Honestly, I had no idea what I was talking about … . I am glad I didn’t or I would have chosen comfort forever.
I am wrapping up a week of choosing courage that has rendered me absolutely exhausted. Being a creature of little measure, I threw myself in the rapids with no saving grace to offer myself. And how I had promised that I would not do that … . It is almost as if I hope I will be done with discomfort in seven days. Yeah, I can see what I just wrote … .
I am starting a new job I know very little about on Monday. Used to knowing everything I am taking about, I will be facing customers next week trying to not let my voice tremble and my gaze shake when I cannot find an answer. Only thinking about this brings my stomach too close to my throat to be healthy.
This week I engaged in my very first coaching like discussion. Twice. I now know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life – listening deeply, asking pointed questions and turning ideas into action. Each conversation lasted for 90 minutes, I was laser focused and engaged throughout. And I was so energized afterwards that I actually had to take a while to shut down my engines. And it was still the choice of courage – hard to open my mouth and offer something tuning out all the demons raging havoc in my brain: Who died and made you all knowing? What makes you think you have anything to offer? You could never ask for money for this … come on!
I made my own arrangements for travel in the fall and drove my son to camp alone – 350 km with a surly teenager who didn’t really want to go to camp, was bored, yawned all the way and barely said a word. These sound trivial but when you have a partner like mine, you forget or you never learn how these are done. It is much more comfortable to simply say, please, can you do this for me? And let my muscles of all kinds atrophy. Tomorrow will mark another milestone for me: driving back home, alone. 350 km. Just me, my demons and … the radio. Or an audio book. I haven’t decided yet. It will be a taste of what I know I have to do come fully into my own – be on my own. It has been a very long time, too long, since I have spent time by myself and just the thought of it brings about panic.
In one conversation this week, as I was trying to explain the way transformation feels like to me I said I can feel the excitement of newness and freedom, I can smell it somewhere in the distance. But right now I feel like I am peeling off my old skin which is still sticking to my body stubbornly, in order to prepare the space for the renewed layer. It’s blood, sweat and tears for the moment … and constant reminders, when anxiety takes over my being that courage never meant the absence of fear, that it meant fearing something and doing it anyway.