Sitting on my porch this morning and drinking coffee, I’m excited to write my next blog post. I have so many on my list, about hiking, traveling, singing, playing guitar. So…..why am I stuck? What’s holding me back? Why am I watching the cursor blink on my laptop screen, unable to start?
The Pink Elephant
And then it hits me. I’m avoiding, two-stepping around, the one post I want (need) to write, like a giant pink elephant in the room. Yes, I for sure want to share with you my experiences about hiking, traveling, playing music. These are the things I love to do, and I’m all about doing what you love, expressing yourself.
Still, I never intended for this blog to just focus on the doing. I want to go deeper than that with you. I want to share with you my personal why, why I started this blog, the messy truth behind the beautiful hiking pictures. Let me tell you, writing this post and putting myself out there is just about the scariest thing I’ve ever done. So, here goes…….
Hello Heartache, Welcome to Me
About a year ago, after 12 years of marriage, I went through a gut-wrenching divorce. I never in my wildest dreams imagined he and I would get a divorce. It shocked the shit out of me and broke my heart into a million pieces. I’m still reeling and still not really OK. And yet, I’m also wildly grateful and more OK than I’ve ever been. Instead of allowing myself to wallow in bitterness or take up permanent residence in a bar, I chose to look at the divorce as a huge gift. The divorce led me to start figuring out who I am. For the first time in my entire life, I asked myself who I wanted to be when I grow up and decided to actually do something about it.
I love hiking and I’ve always gotten outdoors, in nature. Still, even though I’ve always wanted to write and play music, I’ve spent nearly my entire adult life not following those passions, letting them batter against my creative soul like animals in a cage. I allowed these callings to haunt me and reside in the “if only I could….” category. Really, by not doing these things, I was just denying who I am, basically telling myself It’s not OK to just be you. And that’s the real reason I started this blog.
My quest is not just to do all of the things I love to do. It’s to be my true self, to fully express myself, to accept me for who I am and be totally OK with being me. And I want to share that journey with you, in the hope that I can inspire you in some way. Even if you haven’t gone through a major life changing event, maybe there is something you’ve always wanted to try and haven’t. Not yet, anyway!
What I’ve Learned So Far
On a Monday morning in May 2017, I gave notice at my Nordstrom technology job. Even though I’d been thinking about quitting technology and starting a blog for months, I hadn’t even planned on giving notice that morning. I walked in to work, had a cup of coffee and a conversation with a co-worker, and decided it was time. I’ve worked in technology for about 15 years and the industry has been good to me financially and career-wise. The money I’ve saved up from my tech jobs has enabled me to take time off and start this blog. Leaving a high-paying job has been transformative and terrifying, and a necessary part of me finding freedom. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- I don’t need to be perfect. What in the world is perfect anyway? The only person who is watching my every move to catch me doing something stupid is me. Here’s to embracing the joy of being a beautifully messy human!
- There is no such thing as failure. The more I try new stuff, the more I learn, and the easier it gets to try more new stuff. Even if I fall off the stage ass up in front of hundreds of people, it’s OK. Things are just getting interesting. (No, that hasn’t actually happened to me, but I’ve felt as embarrassed as that on stage before!)
- It’s OK, and even necessary, to do things that make me smile and make me happy. Really. It’s OK.
- Writing and playing music really are callings for me. They weren’t lying. When I dig deep and write something from my soul, when I find the harmony on a new song with my band, I feel truly in touch with me.
- Some self-analysis is good, but not 24/7. Go outside. Have a beer. Hug a horse. Sing for no reason. Laugh. Love.
Learning to trust myself is hard but fun. Sharing the journey helps, and I really hope it helps you, too. Thank you for joining me on this ride!