Seeing Myself


The 24 hours before I left for Wyoming were not pretty by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. All my talk of being brave and “Cowboy up!” put a certain picture in my head of how casting out on this big adventure would look. And, trust me, such a picture did not involve mindlessly zoning out online or tearing up every time I stopped to think about the trip for longer than 3 seconds. I surfed the internet a lot during that last week. I also cried a lot during that last week. The trip seemed big and long and far. Add in packing, transportation logistics and worrying that Tom was going to lose one of the boys at Wrigley Field – and yeah, I was slightly unhinged.

I knew once I got in the car to drive myself to the airport it would be better, but I wasn’t sure I was going to survive myself until then. My breath was shallow and high in my chest. My patience thin. And the voices in my head were deafening: “You don’t do this. You don’t go to Wyoming. You don’t ride horses. This is not what you do. This is not who you are.” That last line was an unending echo: relentless and smug. In contrast to this inner monologue were the kind and uplifting words sent to me via voice, email and text. At some point, I was tired of pretending that all was going well, and when my dear, dear friend Siobhan texted me something about being brave, I responded “Brave sucks.” Which at that point, it did.

When I could begin to look at myself – (meaning: after Siobhan put on her therapist’s hat and talked me off the ledge (thank you, Siobhan)) – I could see I was coming up against my growing edge, acutely feeling the tension between who I am and who I am daring to be. This has been a theme in my personal growth this year: pushing myself to see myself beyond the confines of my own rather narrow mind. It’s been a slow process of not allowing old patterns to dictate new growth. It has not been pretty or graceful or tidy. It sure as hell hasn’t been easy, but beyond a doubt, it has been worth it. In Wyoming, I found a place inside myself where the view of who I am is wider and deeper than I thought possible. Coming home from this experience has honestly left me a bit restless and breathless and at a loss for words that truly capture where I find myself right now. I’m trying to give myself some space, with time to think, time to write, and time to listen to those voices that are kindly and gently pushing me to take another step. S




14 thoughts on “Seeing Myself

  1. Sometimes brave does suck. But gosh, after facing the giant and still standing, man alive. So proud of you for letting yourself experience this and sharing it. And I am just so glad to know you. Xoxo.

    • I know that you know how much brave can suck.

      I wanted to share this story bc I think we rarely let people see that ugly scared part of us. I certainly did NOT want to Siobhan to see me like that – nor did I necessarily want to start off my Wyoming reflections with this image of me. But letting myself be seen is how I am learning to live in the truth of the moment. And BTW, not all moments are pretty. LOL

      xoxo right back at ya!

  2. I cannot begin to tell you how much this post speaks to me. Stepping out to ’embrace your brave’ is scary as crap. And I often find my most violent internal moments are right before I embark on something I thought-was-a-great-idea-at-the-time-but-then-wonder-what-the-hell-I-was-possibly-thinking when it gets close.

    As in right now. Recording my second CD has been a pendulum swing between ‘this is incredible’ and ‘how much self-doubt can one human possibly contain’.

    So thanks for being brave enough to share this. It’s honest. And it helps the rest of us to see the ‘raw side’ of the brave-mountain top experiences of others.

    • For you, my dear friend: “Hold Out Your Hand” by Julia Fehrenbacker.
      Be kind. Keep singing. Hold out your hand.

      Let’s forget the world for a while
      fall back and back
      into the hush and holy
      of now

      are you listening? This breath
      invites you
      to write the first word
      of your new story

      your new story begins with this:
      You matter

      you are needed—empty
      and naked
      willing to say yes
      and yes and yes

      Do you see
      the sun shines, day after day
      whether you have faith
      or not
      the sparrows continue
      to sing their song
      even when you forget to sing

      stop asking: Am I good enough?
      Ask only
      Am I showing up
      with love?

      Life is not a straight line
      it’s a downpour of gifts, please—
      hold out your hand

  3. It’s amazing to me that we can have a sense that something is going to really shake the foundations of who we think we are without having any clue of how it will do that, or in what way. And I think the scariest part for me was always not knowing what that would mean afterwards. It’s like cutting your carefully arranged life into a jigsaw puzzle and then throwing it up in the air. Who knows how it will all land and if some of the pieces will still be joined together? What if a piece gets lost?
    It’s such a cliche but there is no brave without fear.
    We are all so damn scared to show our vulnerability, our messy, imperfect humanness. But it’s such a relief when someone does! Thank God! I’m not alone.

    • I always love the thought and honesty that accompanies every one of your comments, but this one may take the cake.

      It’s all true. Everything you said. And the puzzle analogy is spot on.

      Love to you, my dear.
      And no, you are not alone. Not ever.

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