A recent addition to my Life List was #78: “Stop letting the fear of judgment dictate my decisions.” which, let’s be real, is code for “STOP GIVING A SHIT WHAT PEOPLE THINK.”
I’m speaking of courage.
You see, up to this point I’ve kept my big dreams and goals very protected. No, that’s not true. I’ve kept them a complete secret. Why? It’s simple. Self-preservation. If no one knows what they are, they can’t tell me my ambitions are wrong or silly or impossible.
Since returning from Camp Mighty, I’ve done some things that have taken incredible amounts of emotional strength.
I started by confronting three very close friends who have been less communicative or supportive of me lately than I’d hoped. Previous Peach would have justified their reasons/life situations and brushed off my own hurt feelings as being too sensitive. I’d have told myself I wasn’t being understanding of my besties and what they’re going through. But Current Peach decided to not let my hurt fester until I was seriously pissed off. I instead addressed the issue with each of them. Did I have a meltdown on two of those three when I came clean? YUP. BIG, UGLY CRYING INVOLVED. But I did it. And they all loved me even more for speaking up and voicing what I needed. I love them so much for hearing me out and understanding me. And in return, I hope they will give me the same courtesy of calling me out, should I ever drop the ball in our friendships.
If that wasn’t enough, I sat my family down in person and told them all about my experience at Camp Mighty and revealed to them the five goals I want to accomplish in 2013. Go here if you want to read em. I was nervous as I explained everything and walked them through my most personal wishes for this coming year. There were some raised eyebrows, some delighted laughter, and a lot of questions, but there was also love and support. So much. I can’t claim there was complete understanding, but for as much as they are capable, they got it. I even made sure they understood that there will be times that I will bail on them or not be as available. It’s only fair: I can’t expect them to innately know where my focus is, OR what kind of support I need from them, unless I verbalize it. They surprised me with their immediate and enthusiastic agreement. I am a lucky lady.
After these two emotional whoppers, I hit a wall physically. Maggie said in her talk: “Your body is a compass. Listen to it.” At that point, my body was worn down to the point of showing my Grumpy McCrankyPants. Perhaps it was all the travel – to/from Camp, then the six hour drive to my parent’s – but I’ve survived worse than that before. This level of tired felt like I had been slugged by the world’s largest Valium. I knew I should rest, but I felt preemptively guilty, because it was Thanksgiving and *they* say you should spend every waking second with family that you’re with them. But I flipped *they* a double bird. I listened to my compass and bowed out of family ice-skating time in favor of a 2.5hr nap. My family? They got it. No guilt trips, no resentment, just compassion. Awesome.
Now that I’ve recovered physically from the travel and had time to process all the discoveries and emotions of the past week, I’m finding this: My biggest, most secret goal is no longer shoved in the back of my dream closet. Yep, it’s peeking its little monster-head out into the light and invading my mind at the most bizarre of times… like in the shower. (I find it SO weird that I’m doing my best brainstorming in my too-small-to-shave-my-damn-legs-in standup shower.)
Why is this little critter a BFD? Because never before have I allowed myself the freedom to believe that this goal was possible, which is probably why I’ve never had these ow-motherf***er!-soap-in-the-eye moments before. Something has been unlocked. I’ve gained the courage to truly believe. And in doing so, it’s almost as if I’ve finally given myself permission to hunt down those big and fuzzy dream monsters and full-body tackle them. Ideas are developing. Plans are forming. Creating is happening.
I must admit, I’m not quite made of 100% courage though. Have I been able to be completely open about every single thing I have up my sleeve right now? No. For instance, I’m aware that I have not revealed the identity of my fuzzy dream monster(s). Some things are still percolating. Other things are still too raw, too precious for me to share yet.
Baby steps, people. Courage takes time. But I’m getting there.