My dad had ONE signature phrase that was used countless times on my brothers and myself growing up: "The world is out THERE!" <cue exaggerated arm movement>
"Yeah, yeah", I thought as I continued a pretty consistent, slow pace along a well-worn, formulaic path. I had, or found, blueprints for almost everything in my life, and following them was really easy. A+B=C. Simple math. Logical. My blueprints got me out into the world, physically, which is what I thought was following my dad's advice. I went to college, I moved to a new city, I went on a tv show, I got a great job...Blah blah.
I know that sounds crazy. Those are big-ticket items in someone's life, and opportunities that some people may never be presented with.
But I never LIVED outside my comfort zone. I made it look like I was, but I was emotionally reigned in, and in charge of every decision and emotion that was made.
In 2013, my levy broke. I don't know why. I don't know how. But I instantly knew it could not be put back together. I sat at my desk one day in early January of last year and had two thoughts cross my mind: The first- I would have to make MAJOR changes and MAJOR commitments to have anything change and it was going to be hard, and completely terrifying. The second thought- Things could stay the same. 5, 10, 15, 30 years from now I could be where I am...what would that be like?
It would be like NOT an option.
In that moment, wheels started rolling. I cried off and on for portions of that day and the weeks that followed Because growth is really freaking hard, and being "afraid" is never something I've sought out. When I was a little girl, I needed coaxing for most things. To be an adult woman and never facing fear unprompted, I knew I was facing an uphill battle.
Nothing big happened over the next several months of 2013, but my poles literally flipped. Nothing happened, but everything changed. Now, sitting almost a year later, I'm not "there" yet- that place where you feel you could live forever and never be happier... Maybe "there" isn't even real, because once I got "there", I would know how much was possible and ask for and work for even more. But one key difference is at the forefront of my world:
I am terrified. Every. Single. Day. Literally.
The above is only a slight exaggeration because there have been a handful of days I have not been scared. And on those days, you know what I have been? BORED.
Yes, my friends. I have become a bit of an emotional daredevil. And it's brilliant.
In the past year, I've been let down. I've been heartbroken. I've been alarmingly uncomfortable. I've been vulnerable. I've wondered if I would fit in, or if people would like me, or if I could DO what I was setting out to do, or if I was anything other than just a person who was meant to live in a blueprint.
I wish I could tell you those feelings have dissipated, but they haven't. No. But they've become a norm- a challenge. Every day my inner voice says "'They' probably won't like you", I acknowledge it gently, then tell it to go to hell and push forward. The truth is, "they" might not like me, and it WILL matter to me, and it WILL hurt, but there's nothing I can do about it. When my inner voice chants "You're not smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough", I acknowledge it, then think of why it even exists, and remind myself that those are my OWN insecurities, not other peoples' judgment.
Life, I've learned, is not about avoiding the scary situations. For me, it's about SEEKING them, staring them down, and making them tell you the truth. Sometimes the truth is going to be ugly, and hurtful, and awful. But even in those situations, knowing it allows you to move past it. I'd say a good 90% of the time, though, the truth exceeds your expectations, and you find these supporters, opportunities and emotions you didn't even know you were capable of.
2014, my commitment to myself is to continue to allow life to scare the be-jeezus out of me. I want to be lengthened, and deepened by the things and people that come into my life, and next January, I want to sit and tell you all, again, how much has changed.
In this vein, I've got some stuff going on I'll be sharing with you all. Some more big-ticket stuff, that this time, instead of "blueprinting", I'm going all-in. I'm committing. I'm DIVING, headfirst into uncharted waters, not knowing whether or not I'll sink or swim.
-The first, is continuing my body transformation. In 2013, I lost about 60 lbs. Now, I've entered a 12-week contest (although I'd be working my tail off anyway!) that I'm going to share with you all via blog and social media. I'll tell you what I'm eating, how I'm working out, how I'm feeling, and the progress I'm making. There's a weird fascination with how my body changes after being on Biggest Loser, so ok, let's indulge that. If nothing else, I'm sure you all will hold me accountable :)
-The second is taking my deepest of deep emotions, heartaches, and stories into the recording studio to record and release a mini-album (the term EP is too trendy. Don't like it. Mini album is better). I've been sitting with some of these stories for years and years, and I'm ready to share them in EVERY way I can. Expect to see updates about music, youtube videos, mp3 links, and show information all year long. Many of you have never known me as an artist, but at my core, from the beginning, that's what I've been and what I'll always be.
Because I'm all about truth and fear, and all that messy, wonderful craziness, I'll keep doing some introspective posts like this, too.
I'm not out to give advice. How I live my life is not one-size-fits-all, and I know many (most) people that are not at ALL interested in constant change, growth and reinvention. They've found their "couldn't be happier" place, and secretly (well, not so much now), I'm totally jealous of their contentment in having "what is", instead of seeking "what could be". But... if you're not one of those people- if you're like me, and a wanderer, a rebel, addicted to change, aching for depth and love and magic and adventure...then I challenge you to find your fears- the places you won't allow yourself to go because it requires too much strength to even ADDRESS them. I challenge you to find those places, and face them, and confront them, and show them, and yourself, how much stronger you are than you know.
Because once you do, you can never go back. You can never fit back in the blueprint. And oh. my. God. Life becomes so magical....even when you're "not there yet".
I'll be posting soon with updates on body and music, so stay tuned. :)