Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: process

Keep Your Shit Together

So, how does one act like they have their shit together, when they don’t?

Is there something in the way they carry themselves, the words they use, the fingerprints they leave (or don’t) on glasses they sip from (or don’t) on tables they wipe clean (or don’t)?

You may think I have my shit together because I value self-care. Because I went for a run this morning, after I wrote in my journal, before I showed up for 3 meetings and called a few caterers for an event. The event that, every year, makes me feel like I don’t have my shit together. (Here is 2013‘s and here is 2012‘s)

And each year, I think, I’ll do better this time – and I rally the troops (it’s just me) and make lists, send emails, gathering my courage… and still, something goes wrong. Someone nit-picks and no matter how many people are in the room, how much applause there is, the response is – we can do better next time. But all I hear is, you will do better next time which really means you didn’t do good enough this time.

I’ve done enough work over the past 4 years to know that my work is not my worth. That even if this event crashes and burns, even if it is cancelled for reasons of horrible planning or no one RSVP’d, I am still worthy of love and connection. I am still worthy of being here.

But it still gets to me, y’know?

Do you know this feeling? Do you hike up your pants and strap on your highest heels and show up and smile, only to see yourself deflated post-whatever? Because you weren’t good enough?

Because I’m pretty sure I have my shit together AND stuff still goes wrong. That’s the point isn’t it? Showing up and facing whatever it is because no matter how much we prepare, we don’t know until we’re in it. Like, knees deep, maybe even waist-high IN IT.

So, how do you do that? Well, I can only tell you what works for me…

  • I make a list of everything involved in said issue and organize it to be tackled in a logical approach
  • I vent to people who believe I’m awesome and also understand what a shit-show this thing really is
  • I actually keep up on my self-care practices (for me: writing, running and reading)
  • I say “no” to other things that could splinter my energy even more
  • I tell big, dramatic, funny stories to people about how ridiculous it all is going / feels
  • I ask for help
  • I allow myself to feel how I feel because there are some things my logical brain can’t process
  • And I  reassure myself to trust – because my version of the outcome is usually a small, often marginalized version of the possibilities that are out there… and if I can just use the above points as support and keep feeling my way through, the actual outcome will be so much more magical than I imagined.

I know this list won’t always be the right combination. Because just as I catch on to what works, my life changes, and I’m back to being in a new situation, learning new things. Like right now, with this big event coming up. It’s bad enough it’s a pain, but now I am completely revamping it due to the usual venue being booked.

But I digress…

I will keep you posted on this event, and how things pan out, if you will share with me what works for you. I would love to hear about it. I think it’s important we compare notes. What does it mean to you to “have your shit together”? How do you keep you keep it all together?


Resting Up

It is silly for me to think that after 6 days of stressful, jam-packed events and schmoozing, that one day off would re-energize me.

It didn’t.

The truth is, I was kind of frustrated with myself when I didn’t feel positive yesterday or really couldn’t get out of bed this morning. Because, I mean, why does anyone even need ro rest? What does it say about me if I can’t rally?

But I worked around it – and somewhere during the 4 hrs (torture) of conference calls today, I started to feel better. Once I ate lunch and got some tea into me, I felt even better. And since then I haven’t been able to stop working through a small To Do list.

But I’m also promising myself that after this post, I’m going to lounge on the couch, read Bossypants with the Flyers vs Rangers game on the background and eat the left-over dinner my sister is cooking up.

Oh, and that’s us in the photo above. We’re too cool for school, obvi.

How Far I’ve Come – Or How Far I’ve Gone

I’ve been blogging for over a year now, which means that I have archives to go back through.

And what a long, strange trip it’s been.

A year ago, I was panic-stricken daily. Doing the work was a struggle similar to pushing boulders up a mountain, the weight my own assumptions and the mountain my life. Racing thoughts about worthiness, work and being “enough” choked even the smallest activity. The worry of what I should be doing versus what I wanted to be doing paralyzed me. Happiness was a thing that other people had that I didn’t, like a new car or a designer handbag. It was infuriating. I felt so smart, so on top of my shit, and yet didn’t have a fucking clue.

In 8 years, I’d lived in 4 different places, 10 different apartments. I had roommates, I lived alone. I worked in an office, I worked from home. Writing crept in and out of my life. My circle of friends expanded and contracted, new people arriving and others drifting away. My long-distance relationship was many miles and phonecalls and then it was over, he was in my living room. My parents were a plane ride, a 4 hour drive, down a set of steps from me. I read books promising me productivity and happiness. One job was fantastically challenging with a crazy boss and another was completely boring with a nice boss. I worked out, I did yoga, I tried switching between coffee and tea. But nothing, I mean NOTHING helped.

None of it helped because it was all outside of me. I was the one constant and consistent factor. And I couldn’t keep living like that.

Change your thoughts, change your life, right?

It took months, a therapist that led me gently through waves of bewilderment, and allowing myself to go into a space between the life I’d been bending over backwards to have and the life that was right before me. I started making little bets…

Sometimes, in order to find the life you need, you need to leave the life you have – and navigate that uncertain space between. You have to declare yourself. You might have to be solitary for a while. You will encounter doubt and dark nights of the soul (although this would happen anyway). You will have to stand up against conformity and shed your false identity. ~Justine Musk post

I went through all of what Justine talks about in that post, and I’m sure to go through it all again. Such is life, but now I have perspective, I have faith in myself. And I have this deep contented feeling that my life is my own and whatever I’m here to do with it, I know I’ll be led.

I’d lived for so long with a false identity, I didn’t know who I was. And I’m still sweeping the floors and shining the door knobs of my soul, but it’s so lovely to be here on this side of it all. To know how far I’ve come, or really, how far I’ve gone, inside my life, into my own soul, and all I’ve discovered here.