Only What's Right Ahead

Hello!

WOW. I’m really excited to be back to blogging. If you’ve been a friend (virtual or real) over the past 10 years, you know, more than any singular thing, this multi-tasking, always-on-a-new-adventure, mama/wife/entrepreneur/WOMAN is, more than anything, a story teller. And, until this past year or so, where life got so crazy and full (in good ways) that I had to step out from behind the screen for a while to maintain my sanity, one of my favorite means to communicate and tell those stories is through this little online diary.

I’ve started fresh.

If this is your first time back at my website in a while (because, who doesn’t only instagram these days?!) you’ll notice that I’ve pared back a lot of unnecessary content. If you want pictures of me, my life and my fam, you’ll find them on instagram. This page is now only about what I think is most indicative of the person I am, in this moment, and the things I most love about life and this journey, and hope to share with you.

I’ve been trying on some new “me” lately. While my life has consistently grown over the past several years, I find myself (a Gemini, for those of you who won’t be able to tell from this next statement) exhausted by the lack of change. I know, I know. Trust me, I hear it regularly from my husband:

“LACK OF CHANGE?! What are you talking about?!”

It’s true, that in the past 3 years, I’ve gotten married to the love of my life and best friend, bought a dream vacation house on Cape Cod, more than doubled the business my company does, had a baby, parented 2 kids, made new friends, pursued new entrepreneurial ventures, wrote countless songs, restructured our family in new ways, and, oh- adopted a puppy. Things haven’t been…quiet.

But they haven’t been that different, either.

They’ve been really really good. And…this is going to feel selfish to say… they’ve been dream-come-true-ish, but they haven’t yet scratched the itchiness at the bottom of my soul that says….

MAYBE THERE’S MORE.

For a while, this thought of “more”, as undefined to me as it probably appears to you on this screen, has been, frankly: paralyzing. Even my therapist once told me that I need less “more” and more “less”- I need time, to be alone with my thoughts and iron out what’s actually going on inside of me. But, as my therapist has continued our 5 year journey with me, she’s since redacted that advice; realizing that maybe there are some people (read: me) who aren’t built for less. Who came to this world to experience it, and cannot rest while they feel there’s more to conquer.

Now, before I totally freak everyone out: everything is excellent. My marriage is near-perfect. No marriage is perfect, but goddam, how I feel about Shaun, and how he feels about me is, I think, about as close as one can get. He makes me laugh more than when we were dating, and lately, we find ourselves entwined in one another overnight, whispering through our sleepiness: “I just love you so much”, and we mean it. Our kids are challenging- obviously- and so is motherhood, but it’s nothing I didn’t anticipate and wouldn’t sign up for a trillion times over (the puppy decision depends on the day, if I’m being honest). My business is fulfilling, exciting and rewarding, and still growing organically and in a way where I feel like I can sleep at night because of the good I believe it does in the lives of others. I’m writing music that feels more like myself than any other music I’ve written before.

But I feel like, I’m on the precipice of some wild metamorphosis. I feel like, there’s something, and I have some inklings of ideas, but haven’t seen how they all might fit together into something that makes sense, yet.

In very “Isabeau Fashion”, I’ve sat, and meditated, and prayed to the Universe, and talked, and talked, and talked, and talked, and ate, and talked about what these different pieces might fall into and create in my life. I postponed all action until I found the missing piece answer I was sure would pop up and hit me, rolling in like a train- a one-way ticket to every question I had about who and what I should be or do. And…I bet you already know: That answer never came.

It still hasn’t.

But there have been signs. When I stop thinking, and meditating, and praying, and talking and eating, and talking and avoiding myself, and everything else around me, and I simply- and I mean this literally- step back and open my eyes, I see these little yellow bricks in my road. I see them, I swear. They sparkle like gold nuggets and they’re never vague, which I always expect signs to be. No; These are not that. They’re not the “coincidence” you can justify as a sign. These are, honest-to-goodness, you-asked-for-it, here-it-is, clear-as-day signs.

The problem? There’s one sign…and then…radio silence. Until the next time I stop thinking, meditating, praying, yada yada. And, for impatient, can’t-leave-well-enough-alone girls like me….that’s tough.

Earlier this week, I shared with someone I love one “maybe dream” I’m thinking about peeking around the corner to find.

“Well, how is that even going to work? How will you figure ‘x’ out, how will you manage ‘y’?” they went on.

I deflated, instantly. Shaun was sitting across the room, listening to the conversation I had on speaker phone, and I may as well have been a robot, because I swear, he heard me power down, and all the electricity bleed out of me and drain down some pipe I didn’t even know I had, as I flatly responded in monotone words that I don’t remember.

I got off the phone and Shaun looked at me, and because he’s him, and I’m me, and we’re us, I didn’t have to say anything, even though I did (a lot of somethings) and Shaun listened so I could find my own voice again, and refill whatever electricity had so readily bled from having the energy of a wish brought back to reality without my consent.

And with finding my electricity again, which I did, I also found a realization:

Maybe we don’t have to know everything. Maybe we don’t have to have every yellow brick mortared to the other to be a pathway. Maybe, in fact, that’s the test of life: Whether you will keep going, knowing that progress is almost always incremental, and almost never a straight line.

Maybe only what’s right ahead is enough for right now.

I had the great privilege to attend the Women of Broadway event at the Saint James Theater in New York City a couple weeks back. I had gone to their inaugural kick off last year, which was star-studded with names anyone would know- Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, to name a couple. This year, at first glance, was less ostentatious and filled with women who were primarily, of the theatre world, and all of whom, ended up blowing me away with their insight, their inspiration and their power. One woman told a story that was told to her by her mother, when summarizing progress:

Paraphrasing: “If you watched a video of a woman running on the beach with a dog, and you watched the dog- running back and forth- you’d wonder if she was even getting anywhere. But, if you kept watching the woman, you would see, despite the two steps forward and (seemingly) one step back of the whole picture, she is indeed, moving forward.”

I don’t know where I hope to go next, and who I hope to become. It’s maybe the first time in my life that’s the case. I love who I am (also maybe the first time in my life that’s the case), but I feel like I have so many stories inside of me, that could be told in a million different ways, through a million different mediums or outlets, and…I’m ready for that.

I’m ready to call my pattern of meditation and praying and talking and eating and talking what it is:

avoidance

It’s not some kind of clarity I’m looking for, by partaking in old habits. No. Rather, it’s procrastination. And, it’s a fear that maybe the last yellow brick I found will be the last…that maybe my road has ended, and I’ve reached my destination, and I should be grateful for where I’ve ended up….

But I can’t believe I would feel like I have so much more to offer, still, and just be “done”. Nor, can I believe that I’ve “ended up” or will at any point “end up” anywhere. Because…what about life is stagnant?

Not me. Not ever. Really, when you step back and look at it: Nothing is stagnant. Nothing is still or predictable or what you expect it to be. I can be grateful for where I am and hopeful for where I’m going, and those two things can have nothing to do with each other, and that can still be ok. Wanting to evolve doesn’t make me “impractical” or “unrealistic” any more than choosing to stay the same makes me “safe” or “comfortable”.

So, today, for now: I am where I am. I’m balanced on the last little yellow brick that I found on my path, but, rather than waiting for the next one, I’m trekking through the ever-loving mud. I’m working on things that feel pointless- like no one might ever care, or see this work, or give any thought as to how much was sacrificed for it- but I’m doing it anyway, in hopes that maybe opportunity will knock, and rather than having to pass it up because I wasn’t prepared, I’ll be prepared. I’d rather have the work done, and never get the opportunity, than get the opportunity and not have done the work. That, I could never forgive myself for. And, even if an opportunity arises, and I take it, and I hate it, I know this Isabeau. She’s super cool and a badass and if she’s my “Plan B”, my “backup plan”, I’m ok with that. But, no offense to her, I don’t think I’m going to need her.

The mud is uncomfortable. It’s unforgiving. It’s often boring. It’s tedious, and mucky and dirty and not Isabeau-like at all. But I think of the person I hope to be, and what she would do. And, I know, that Isabeau would be in the trenches, working her butt off, and proving that she is worth taking a risk on, and that she can do anything with hard work, kindness and resilience.

I think we’re all built to evolve, and we all forget that at different points, and that’s the moment at which we become who we think we’re supposed to be, and start dying. Because if we’re not moving forward, if we’re not pushing ahead, and peeking around the corner, and building some new dream, what are we even doing?

Logic is beautiful, and, often times, necessary. But dreams…I think those are the things that the world is built of. I, for one, will keep ushering them in, building them up and exploring them, even when they make no sense, even when they’ll change everything (or nothing), and even when those dreams look a lot like traipsing through the mud, because you have a resolute, unwavering belief that there is no flippin’ doubt your next yellow brick is just a few steps away.