Preach Eleanor

I will perhaps share the actual story of this year at some point, I’m not sure yet. I think, if I can share it in a way to respect the privacy of those involved, it may be helpful for other women (or men) who find themselves lost, searching. But…that’s a consideration for a different day. Right now this is simply my healing, my outlet, my way to capture and honor what has been and where I’m going next, and what’s rattling around in my heart and head that I need to pour out. It’s highly likely nobody will even read this. Right now this blog has no path or plan, and that’s fucking fine. This is my own tiny rebellion against my need to constantly control and plan, and it’s just for me. With that…today Ms. Roosevelt’s words have been playing on repeat.

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” I will unabashedly and freely admit that (up until most recently) I have lived an easy life, a lovely life – a life in which for 32 years I have been taken care of, supported, provided for, and protected. I have not known loss, or struggle, or doubt, or that huge, dark, heavy, wet blanket of sadness/guilt/fear (pick your poison here) that wraps around your heart and body until it’s all you can do to drag yourself out of bed each morning. I have known none of this. I have intentionally (or I could argue unintentionally) kept myself comfortable and safe. And how wonderful and blessed that was, and how confused and unprepared I have been to now find myself plunging into the reality of all of life’s harder edges.

I don’t mean to aggrandize my story. Or to give myself too much credit or pity. My story is not, by any means, the darkest or hardest of the human experience. Not even close. I have not experienced abuse, death, exploitation, homelessness, abandonment, or any of the other myriad of experiences and stories I know others have experienced, survived, and thrived through. My story is really ultimately one of seeking, growth, self, and heart. That pesky heart, that frustrating and uncomfortable growth…

And that’s just it. Authentic growth, I believe, is often uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Sometimes extremely painful. More painful the more we fight it. Damnit. Eleanor’s full quote is “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Growth is facing fear – fear of judgement, pain, failure, disappointment, loss, rejection – and doing the thing you thought you could not do anyway. I visited a psychic reader this November, and after hearing my story and my struggle, he told me “You will get through this, unless you decide to drag it out.” Read that again…what he was saying was, “you will grow, unless you decide to stay in your fear.” Damnit again.

The beautiful and awful truth that we are ultimately the only ones responsible for our lives is simultaneously overwhelmingly freeing and terrifying. And honestly, I continue to struggle with this. I continue to wait for someone else to take over, to step in and say, “Ok girl, I got it from here, you go relax.” If I’m not the one to make a decision, I can’t be held responsible for it. I don’t have to own my opinions, my desires, my space, myself, and I don’t have to withstand any judgement of those things. I can stay neutral. But…fuck that right? I no longer want to live a life in fear of judgement, or uncertainty in myself. So I’m trying. Every day. To make decisions and choices that are mine, that face the fear in both my head and heart, and to grow.

Ha! And as I finish that last sentence, I hear my son in the next room waking up from his nap and growling. Time to get the monster up and have dinner. <3

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