“All this time I was finding myself, I didn’t know I was lost.”
How adequately that sums up the many months since I’ve last posted, mes amis. Finding myself and losing myself all at once.
But let me back up and explain a bit, so I don’t just end up quoting a dance club hit at length 🙂
When last I wrote (super random cat-themed photo cartoon strip aside), I was talking myself out of a sleepless night, and back into sweet sweet slumber. And sweetly dream I did – the month after I wrote that post, I ran face-first into a most incredible opportunity and embarked on a new venture, and I’ve been dreaming and riding that crazy roller coaster ever since. But, as most of us know, all roller coasters – no matter how loopy and wild they may be – go in a circle. And at some point, what once was thrilling can become tedious – it is, after all, the same roller coaster every time.
To clarify – I opened a yoga studio. A couple of investors handed me a seaside building and some capital and the chance for me to see what, precisely, I was capable of. As it turns out, I’m capable of quite a lot. As it also turns out, I’m not a miracle worker. After just over a year with the studio, I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked at anything in my 32 years. And making almost exactly what I did waiting tables. Also, unlike waiting tables, my work follows me around like a lost puppy, needing my attention even after I come home, even on “days off.”
This is not to say it hasn’t been an incredible experience, that I’m ungrateful for the experience. I took this last year and a half on as an informal grad school – I was in it less for the money (or complete lack there-of) and more for the education. I learned from the owners, from the students, from adults and children alike, from other yoga teachers, from other business owners, from late nights staying up to teach myself new software and skills, and from many, many, many mistakes.
I’ve been finding myself, yes. Underneath all of the bullish#t, the pretenses, the expectations, the perceived limitations, the doubts, the fears… what’s left when all of those layers are stripped away? Well, just as I was starting to see something under all of those heaped on layers, I began to throw them back on – or I allowed others to throw them back on me. And just as quickly as I’d started to find myself, I lost myself again.
It hit me hard one night in class when I was utterly horrified by the voice coming out of my own mouth. You see, once you’ve had a glimpse at (and a listen to) your true self, anything less is jarring, embarrassingly inauthentic. During the final pose, savasana, as my students rested serenely in the dark, I sat quietly in sadness, feeling a sense of loss.
A day of hermitage, pajamas, and Kitchen Nightmares marathoning ensued.
Fortunately, a call with my brilliant (and ridiculously tough-lovey) mom this afternoon, however, set things straight for me. Never one to attend my really unhelpful pity parties, when I mentioned that I was just sick of feeling stuck and like I had to wait to take the actions I really wanted to take, she basically asked me what, exactly I was waiting for. And I was suddenly (and uncharacteristically) speechless. Well… but… something about responsibilities… blah, blah, freaking, blah, and I was definitely caught without any valid answer.
What was I waiting for?
When was I planning to start taking care of myself and tending to *my* needs? You see, even just writing that, I feel a little bit selfish, which is utter, utter crap. I’ve let everything I care about dictate my life to the point that I stop caring about it and start resenting it. And that, my friends, is some seriously bad news.
It’s one of those Michael Jackson “Man in the Mirror” moments when you realize the only thing (once again) standing in your way is your own fear and self-doubt. And haven’t we just learned through the last-year’s experience that you *were* capable of everything you were afraid of *not* being capable of? It’s like I’m standing at this point where I’ve stood many times before (let’s call it Point A). Each time I set out, take a little trip, but in the end find myself having journeyed in a loop, standing right where I began. The circles widen every time, but I inevitably still loop back to point A.
So here I am again, right now, standing at Point A. Ready to set out on a new journey. With every intention that this journey will be the one that spirals out into uncharted territory, the one that’s totally fine with leaving the safety (and misery) of Point A in the past.
Bon Voyage 😉