I’ve spent the bulk of my life with other people telling me what to do – parents, teachers, professors, managers. But I’m just now beginning to do things on my own. There comes a certain joy in not having to ask for anyone’s permission or approval. I’ve never really been excited by telling anyone else what to do. Having power over another person is not something that excites me. But having power over myself, my movements, my decisions has been something I’ve sought out for years. For me, to have it, is to be free.
If you’ve ever been through a difficult time and then things started to improve it can be hard to try to work towards anything more than what you have. The fear of returning to the state you used to be in is so strong it’s hard to move forward. So instead of going for more and possibly failing you enjoy being where you are. I used to think that there was something wrong with that but I don’t anymore. I don’t wonder how someone can work at the same job for twenty, thirty, forty years. I don’t wonder how a couple can stay together for more than half of their lifetimes. It makes sense to me now. I understand the difficulty in staying put and I understand of the strain of constant change. I’m at a crossroads. I don’t know which person I will be in the future – the one who was content and stayed put or the one who went for it and failed or the one who went for it and succeeded. I know that the fear of success is just as strong as the fear of failure. I know that I have one life to live but taking too long to decide what to do with it can result in stagnation. So I think about this everyday and take one more step on a path filled with risk, possibility, comfort, and turmoil.
I know for a fact now that no one believes you can do anything until it’s done. Sure there are people who support you all along the way giving you guidance and words of encouragement but no one believes anything until it actually happens. And then they can’t believe you actually did it once it’s done.
Sometimes the person with the least amount of faith in you is YOU.
Try to impress yourself. It’s harder than you think.
I’ve heard the same story told many different ways
One Way – A dog was tied to a fence with a long chain. Whenever a squirrel came by he would run after it but have to stop when he was yanked by the chain. This went on for several years and then one day the owner took the chain off of the dog and then a squirrel came by. The dog ran as long as the length of chain and stopped. He didn’t realize the chain was gone and that he could go after the squirrel.
Second Way – When an elephant is a baby it is tied to a very heavy pole. The pole is too heavy for the baby elephant to get away from so the baby elephant learns to stick close to the pole. When the elephant becomes an adult and has much more strength and power it is still tied to the same pole because it does not believe it has the strength to break free.
I’ve felt a bit like these animals. I wonder what happens when I go beyond the length of the chain, recognize my own strength and move far away from the pole.
Throwback to when I tried to lose weight by working out at home.
So many attempts – So few pounds lost!
The struggle continues. . . .
Lately I’ve been thinking of some of the things I believed when I was younger that I now know I was completely wrong about. There were things I believed within me as absolute truth and I was completely wrong.
It makes me think of all the things I must be wrong about but I don’t know yet. I’m sure as I get older those things will be revealed to me. The thought makes me look forward to getting older.
I used to think that if I didn’t give someone a reason to be mean to me then they would treat me well or just be indifferent. I had to get older to understand that people are mean to others mainly because they feel like they can get away with it. So if someone hurts you or treats you inappropriately you have to stand up for yourself and make sure that they know you will not let them get away with it. This is what has helped me forgive people. It’s easier to forgive someone if you make them acknowledge that they did something wrong.
I worked really hard to get something I thought I really wanted and once I got it I just thought is this really it? And so I make the most of it and try to look at the bright side and remain positive but each day I cringe a bit on the inside as I think is this all there is? I have a choice of just accepting things as they are or starting anew. I’ve never been good at settling.
I worked and went to school.
I work and I write.
The truth is I used to love having two very different things to do. When I was doing one I could forget about the other. I used to think it helped me feel and think better.
It is a lot managing two major competing priorities but as they say – “You do what you have to until you can do what you want to.”
I actually used to tell people that I was the mistake. I use to tell people that Harvard made a mistake when they admitted me. I didn’t have the perfect SAT score or the straight A average. My college essay was about the first play I ever directed and at the time Harvard did not have a theatre concentration (they do now)!
As I remember it an older Harvard student told me I was a mistake freshman year because of these reasons and I just went with it. Everyone seemed smarter, more impressive, better at everything. Even though I came from St. Paul’s that didn’t seem to matter much. I was the mistake.
It doesn’t feel that way anymore.