I think it's time to reassess where I'm at and where do I need to be, what do I need to leave behind, where I need to put my energy moving forward and what progress am I expecting to make and in what direction.
One of the first questions I need to ask myself is how comfortable am I with uncertainty. I know I've beat this horse down to within an inch of its life but ever since WDS I've been at a crossroads and this time the FILDI factor is tugging harder and harder... to the point where it's becoming harder and harder to resist the lure.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
~ Marianne Williamson
I've bitched elsewhere (in private) about work and about the limitations so I won't rehash it here. Let it be enough to say that I can and will explore boundaries and will enjoy life to its fullest with the resources I've gained in this past year.
I wrote this when I was working on my personal evaluation of WDS in July:
I came in with one question in mind: Stability versus life. Whether it’d be better to stay where I’m at (and where I’m professionally happy) or where should I head from here… Book publishing beckons and it’s getting harder and harder to turn down the opportunities that are coming across.
As with many things I'm realizing that it's not an either/or situation. I'm reminded of a conversation I had with Jonathan Fields while at WDS... that it may not be a black or white world but a world of grays where uncertainty can be channeled into creative pursuits.
And, for the first time in a long time, even the "I told you so" voice is ok with the not knowing what it's going to happen. I'm becoming more and more convinced that great things will only happen to those who make them happen themselves.
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
~ Maya Angelou
It doesn't mean I'm not scared. Quite the opposite. But courage is not lacking fear but pushing forward despite fear to accomplish your goal. I'll be patient and give it 12 months of undivided attention but then accept the outcome, whatever it is, and move on. If it doesn't work the way I want it to then at least I know I gave it my best effort, it just want meant to be and that I'm OK moving on to whatever may be next...
I also get to swim like I haven't since Jr. High school when I was swimming at Universidad Católica (somewhere around 30 years ago). And now I'm coming back full circle in many more ways than I probably realize.
Swimming, finding out what it is that really makes me happy, enjoying the possibilities is something that I have never really done. I've always been worried about what might happen rather than enjoy the trip and figure out the destination later (so to speak).
I've mostly given up on the youthful dreams of working at google for 20 years and retiring a rich man or even working at Google altogether. I guess I define richness differently now than I did on my 20s and 30s.... Yes, cash is nice (who ever tells you otherwise is a fucking liar) but it is not the only thing, far from it. I treasure time spent with friends and loved ones; having the time and the energy to go for a long bike ride; even considering doing the bay bridge to golden gates swim are such awesome possibilities...
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I refuse to let the world drive my ambitions both inside and outside sports I'm identifying more and ore with Liz Waterstraat who, besides writing beautifully, has some amazing insights on her blog; for example this little jewel: http://elizabethfedofsky.blogspot.com/2013/09/chasing-gap.html
I've asked myself several times why now. I've asked other people to give me feedback and to be critical about the journey I'm planning. The jury is still out but I'm planning things in such a way that I won't regret leaving. I will be happy, pursue projects I'm interested in. And if it doesn't work, then move back to the 9-to-5 grind knowing that I did what I felt I should at the time.
An Invocation for beginnings
Don't call it a comeback, I'll have hair for years.
I'm scared. I'm scared that my abilities are gone. I'm scared that I'm going to fuck this up, and I'm scared of you.
I don't wanna' start, but I will.
This is an invocation for anyone who hasn't begun, whose stuck in a terrible place between 0 and 1.
Let me realize that my past failures that follow through are no indication of my future performance, their just healthy little fires that are gonna' warm up my ass.
If my FILDI* is strong let me keep him in a velvet box until I really really need him.
If my FILDI* is weak let me feed him oranges and not let him gorge himself on ego and arrogance.
Let me not hit up my Facebook like it's a crack-pipe, keep the browser closed.
If I catch myself wearing a tutu (too), too fat too late too old, let me shake it off like a donkey would shake off something it doesn't like.
When I get that feeling in my stomach, you know that feeling when all the sudden you get a ball of energy and it shoots down into your legs and up into your arms and tells you to stand up and goto the refrigerator and get a cheese sandwich - that's my cheese monster talking. And my cheese monster will never be satisfied with cheddar, only the cheese of accomplishment.
Let me think about the people that I care about the most. And how when they fail or disappoint me I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them - let me extend that generosity to myself.
Let me find and use metaphors to help me understand the world around me, and give me the strength to get rid of them when it's apparent that they no longer work.
Let me thank the parts of me that I don't understand or are outside of my control, like my creativity and my courage.
Let me remember that my courage is a wild dog, it won't just come when I call it. I have to chase it down and hold on as tight as I can.
Let me not be so vain to think that I am the sole author of my victories, and a victim of my defeats.
Let me remember that the unintended meaning that people project on what I do is neither my fault, nor something that I can take credit for.
Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he's a little bit of an asshole and nobody invites him to their pool parties.
Let me remember that the impact of criticism is often not the intent of the critic, but when the intent is evil that's what the block button is for.
And when I eat my critique, let me be able to separate out the good advice from the bitter herbs.
Let me not think of my work only as a stepping stone to something else, and if it is let me become fascinated by the shape of the stone.
Let me take the idea that has gotten me this far, and put it to bed. What I'm about to do will not be that. But it will be something.
There's no need to sharpen my pencils anymore, my pencils are sharp enough - even the dull ones will make a mark. Warts and all.
Let's start this shit up.
And god let me enjoy this, life isn't just a sequence of waiting for things to be done.