Monday, January 2, 2012

Crawling Back into Bed... or not.

"I'm going to vomit. Did I really tell people I'm getting rid of most of my stuff, packing up my car and driving 30 hours away?" was my first thought when I woke up the other morning. I covered my face with my hands wondering "What was I thinking?? Can I really do this? Can I be one of those people I've always admired for seemingly fearlessly heading off into the wild unknown trading a comfortable miserable familiarity for a chance, not a guarantee, but a chance to have a more fulfilling life?" Fuck. I can't take it back now. I said I'm going to do it, and I don't want to say things I don't mean.

I did that on purpose- I told people because it would hold me accountable.
I knew when I made the decision there would be many days when I would question it and want to retract, or as my trainer calls it, crawling back into bed- back into that warm, safe, comfortable place. "When you have those days, just watch, something will happen to call you out" she told me as I tried to pretend I wasn't about to keel over from the torture I joyfully pay her to inflict weekly. She was right. Sometimes it's an encouraging word from someone, a song, a quote or even a not so desirable encounter reminding me why it's time to go.

I've realized a few things the last couple of days:
  • Sadness and fear are a normal part of this process. This is one of the most comforting quotes I found  regarding the transition: "All changes, even the most longed for have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
  • I talk a lot about LIVING life, about dreams and how it's never too late to change course. If I'm going to talk about it, I myself need to be an example. I have to be brave and lead the way. No one can effectively influence others if they aren't living what they're speaking.
  • There are no guarantees. "Leap and the net will appear" doesn't mean that every risk is met with success. If it was, it wouldn't be a risk.
  • If it so happens my figurative net doesn't appear, my friends will. Part of why I never did this before was because I saw it as something others would look at as stupid and irrational. How could I expect anyone to help me if I failed? One of my closest friends said to me, "Laura, it's no more of a risk than going to college, buying a house, or getting married. We are here to support you through all of your decisions." Another said, "I can't imagine anyone thinking you stupid- if anything they'd be jealous because most don't have the guts to do it."
  • There is no failure here. Only choices and consequences.
  • There is nothing stopping me from being one of those people I admire- one of those people who decides to take control of their life and, in turn, the responsibility for it. This path requires complete commitment, and there is no one else to blame or expect to make decisions. We get one life. Why would I allow anyone else to dictate what my story will be?
I have no doubt there will be other days when I feel like crawling back into my figurative bed, but in the end, I know what I must do. I must bravely get out of bed and be ready for any uncertainty that comes my way. I want to live my life in such a way that each step can be an example and an inspiration to others to bravely write their own stories- to own every.single.moment.

It is time to astound myself. I hope you get out of bed and astound yourself too.

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