Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. ~Henry David Thoreau
I’ve done quite a bit of soul searching recently. I realize that while I crave security, I’m never unhappier than when I consistently know what tomorrow will bring. I always need to shake thing up. It’s always made everyone crazy, but at nearly 50 I’m starting to like that about myself.
I’ve come to accept that I am the sum total of all of my experiences. That all of the pain and love, the disappointments and the successes, the friendships and the betrayals, have brought me to this place and made me the person I am today. I’m learning to love all of those things. It hasn’t come easily and sometimes it doesn’t come at all.
I continue everyday to strive to improve without losing the unique person that I am. Embracing the frailties are just as important as taking pride in the strengths. I like that I’m a little quirky and that I see things differently than most people. I like that I’m usually the first person to try something new and that I jump in with both feet and tend to ignore the sign for the deep end of the water. Sometimes these qualities serve me well and sometimes they just make for a really entertaining story a decade after I recover from it. All in all, I’ll keep all the pieces because I’m enjoying the crazy ride of being me.
There’s a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside. ~Pearl Bailey
“You can’t ask for what you want unless you know what it is. A lot of people don’t know what they want or they want much less than they deserve. First you have figure out what you want. Second, you have to decide that you deserve it. Third, you have to believe you can get it. And, fourth, you have to have the guts to ask for it.”- Barbara De Angelis
How many of us really know what we want? Do you have a clear picture? Do you know you deserve it? Do you believe you can have it? Well then, go ahead, ask for it! Seriously…louder…there ya go! Keep asking until you get it.
I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want. ~Mark Twain
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.
How much can we really plan anyhow? Tomorrow I’m going to take a few leaps of faith and see what happens.
Whatever you are not changing,
you are choosing.
— Laurie Buchanan
As with most questions in life, if you pay very careful attention, the answer presents itself. First subtly, which is why those most ‘in tune’ get the message right way. Then, with a little more force. Perhaps the stain on the ceiling is growing and it’s time to check out the reason for that? If we ignore that message we often get a full-blown catastrophe. The ceiling stain becomes the roof that leaks, which becomes the roof that falls in on your head. The final answer is now given in a way that we just can’t ignore.
I have always aspired to be the person who got the message at the first whisper. Unfortunately, the reality is that I’ve often been the girl who stayed too long at the party; stuck out the bad relationship hoping it would change and when it did it was for the worse; worked at the stressful job until it made me ill; held the hand of the incredibly needy friend until they sucked the last bit of energy out of me and then were nowhere to be found when I needed them. I’ve almost always known what I should do, but instead I stayed. Maybe I was always worried that I’d leave right before things got good. Maybe I just afraid to be wrong.
I hope I have finally learned that staying beyond the usefulness of anything, whether it is a roof or a relationship, is not healthy. It is also not a failure to choose to change your circumstances when those circumstances conflict with what is beneficial to your overall self-worth, self-image, health, or aspirations. Choosing to surround your self with healthy, supportive people and rewarding work is how we love ourselves and it is impossible to create a fulfilling life, in my opinion, if you don’t first love and care for yourself. Many things, both good and bad, are wonderful learning experiences. It’s important to know when to let go and move on.
So as I step in to a new phase in my own life I am focusing on trusting my intuition. I am also trying to remind myself that sometimes even when you’re scared, for whatever reason, that’s not enough of a reason to stop going forward. The safety of the familiar, the hope that sticking it out will be rewarded, or just the fear of regrets, are not enough to of a reason to ignore needed change or prolong the inevitable.
Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway. – John Wayne
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘press on’ has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race.”
Nothing impresses me more than a person with a goal and who is unwilling to give up. As a special education teacher I think my role, more than anything, has been to try and instill the belief that given enough hard work anything is possible. Watching the revelation that a student is capable of achieving a goal that they didn’t initially believe they could accomplish has been the joy of this job. Having been any part of making that happen for someone has been an absolute blessing in my life.
I think that is what makes moving on to something new so difficult. I have made my mind up, but can’t seem to give my resignation. Then, I remind myself that I have something just as important to accomplish in this new role. I thought when I decided to teach that I would be teaching. Seems like something easily assumed, right? But instead I find I spend most of my days responding to emails, testing, writing reports and in meetings. Often, I’m forced to hand over my lessons and ideas to a tutor who then teaches my class. It has actually become a treat to be able to interact with the students. Enough! But still I can’t seem to resign. I do love the students and I enjoy my role in lives but that isn’t enough anymore.
My hope for this new chapter is that I’m able to instill that knowledge that anything is possible given enough tenacity and persistence. I may even need the occassional reminder of that myself! I hope that if I can offer support and also believe enough in someone at the right time, that they may be able to truly believe in themselves. That is the part of this job that has made me come in every morning and if I can recreate that I’m sure I will again feel just as blessed.
Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Never mind searching for who you are. Search for the person you aspire to be. ~Robert Brault
So, here is an update from the road along the way to becoming who I am. This weekend I am incorporating Magnolia Beginnings as an official 501(c) 3 corporation. I will have also signed the marketing agreements for the business that will fund the nonprofit and next week I will sign the agreements with the auto dealers who I will provide administration of their warranty and insurance products. This time next week I’ll be in business. Deep breathe! This time next month I expect to have the seed money accumulating for the nonprofit micro-lending program. Huge deep breathe!!
So far, the incorporation of the core business and the nonprofit alone will have cost in excess of $1000, and I have experience doing this so I did it all myself including the legal work. My goal is when a single mother has a viable idea for starting a business that will support her family Magnolia Beginnings will be able to fund the start up costs and provide the necessary advice and guidance to get her going.
Remember when you first started riding a bike and you had to look around and make sure someone else saw it too, because you just couldn’t believe it? I’m starting to feel just like that! Woohoo no hands next ; ).