At least you know what it isn’t

There have been some really amazing opportunities that have come my way lately.

I’m writing the feature article for the May (I think) issue of iRun, first of all. I submitted what I thought may get published and then we started talking about editors and sources and all of a sudden, look at me writing for a magazine!

A few months ago, I was writing to every company I could think of that had a blog and was somewhat (or very) fitness related. One conversation led me to an interview with an amazing Canadian company for an amazing position. Albeit, it’s not paid, but it’s the kind of thing that makes a great platform.

It feels like, for the first time, I’m starting to see my path. All of this adapting I’ve been doing for the past few years, all of these dead ends and trying to be something I’m not… my dad used to tell me that if I didn’t know what I wanted, it was important to at the very least, realize what I didn’t want.

Guys? I want to be a writer.

How do you tell people that when you don’t actually write anything? There are no stories or fictional characters. There is only myself.

I’ve fought it for a long time. I thought I could fit in the corporate world, I thought I could be a stay-at-home mom. I toyed with the idea of a part-time office job (combination of option A and B). But when I closed my eyes and imagined what would make me happy, it was never any of those things. Honestly, I couldn’t really see anything, but at least I knew what it wasn’t.

I am honestly and openly flawed. And I’m not sorry for that. Because we’ve all spent too many years pretending that we’re not.

What *is* your dream job? my best friend asked me.

If I take away all of the logistics, all of the reality, all of the barriers and the fears… if I let myself dream… my dream job is writing. My dream job is helping people see that they are capable of so much more than they give themselves credit for.

I know that not everyone struggles with self-esteem and I know that not everyone needs these moments of awakening. But there are people like me who do. And lately it feels like I have been struggling so very much and I don’t know why. My brain runs on loops again and again re-hashing the same things over and over again until I drive myself mad, shaking with anxiety about the things over which I have no control.

I will get through this, I know deep in the core of my soul that I will get through this. And I will write and write and write write about how you can too. I will write about the strength that lies within you, the strength that you can discover once you find the appropriate channel. I will write about the journey we’re on being difficult and scary and lonely. I will write that no one is perfect and that we are abused by images of skinny women who claim to be marathoners or who claim not to diet and any other lie out there. I will write that you can do it, you can make it. I know you can because I did. I’ve been there. I didn’t believe in myself and now I do. I believe in the power of spirit.

And oh, how I do. I believe profoundly in the goodness of people and how we are all these little stars floating through time, each with strength and depth that is simply waiting to be discovered.

Someone said to me recently that she had read something I had written about my journey to fitness as starting with a goal to lose weight but becoming a profound journey of self-discovery that I had to share with others. She said it inspired her and that she had chills remembering it out loud.

My uncle sent me an email two days ago telling me that he was finding excuses not to go out for his 5k walk until he read one of my posts at iRun. It was what made him lace up his sneakers and go.

I ran part of my half-marathon in February with a woman I coached at a learn-to-run clinic last May. She thanked me.

Those people… those moments… they were affirmation to me that this is the right path.

I wonder sometimes if all this anxiety is happening now because I’m finally ready to let go and accept myself. It’s not without difficulty, let me assure you, but for someone who’s had such a blessed life, there is no other reason. Accepting that I am not going to be, nor do I want to be, the person I always expected myself to become is a colossal step for me. There are days and moments when I double back and doubt myself again, sure. There are job vacancies that I react automatically to, and feel that I “should” apply. There are hours when I think that it would be easier if I could just allow myself to be what I always thought I was supposed to be.

Slowly, slowly, I am realizing that if there is a “supposed to be” it sure as hell was never me in a power suit. And it isn’t up to anyone else.

My “supposed to be” is not determined by my husband or my children or my mother or father or teachers. My path, this road, is determined by myself alone. Influenced by others, yes, but it is ultimately myself who chooses where to go.

3 Comments on “At least you know what it isn’t

  1. You are certainly not alone for feeling this way. The way I see it, the anxiety often comes as a sign that you are stepping outside your comfort zone – but that’s a good thing. You just have to tell yourself not to give in to the desire to go back to “safe”, but rather to push through the discomfort because when you emerge on the other side you have so much to gain. It’s not unlike the late stages of a marathon when all you want to do is sit down, but you know that you will be so unhappy if you give in, vs. how you’ll feel when you finish.

    It also helps to remember that even the brightest and the best in the world feel fear – the difference between those who put their work out there and those who do not is how they deal with the fear.

    One more thing – I fear a lot of things, but one of my big battles is fear of criticism. I keep reminding myself that the critics criticize because by doing something remarkable, you are a threat to their self worth – they have a vested interest in the status quo, and in the end, the criticism is about them, not you.

    Good for you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and admitting what it is you want – go get it, girl, because you can!

  2. I think you are a fantastic writer and you should definitely live for your dream. You can do it! Can’t wait to read your article. 🙂

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