If you know anything about me or follow me on social media…this past year has been a season of molting. Like a butterfly, (Cheesy, but I can’t really think of any other analogy on this so please bear with me.) I’ve been shedding the layers that kept me from becoming who I was meant to be. Letting go of doubt, fear, expectations, limits, subconscious ideals…etc. It’s been tough. Once I started coaching in December, I decided that part of this process (scary as that may be) needed to be lived out in the open. I needed to be authentic about all areas of my life if I was going to keep this growing process going. I needed to be real real…not just with myself, but with others.
I am what you would call an extroverted introvert. I am equally both, but as I get older I’ve found that I find solace and rest and renewal in leaning into my introverted ways. It is sometimes exhausting to me to be around other people believe it or not. When I am having a very introverted day, week or even month…I just simple can’t force myself to be excited about being in a room filled with people. It’s daunting and it’s hard and depleting. My inner ambivert also battles with the need to constantly build and foster relationships. One on ones and small groups of close friends aren’t nearly as hard, but sometimes…I really just want to go home and cuddle with my puppy.
I want you to know that this is completely real to me, this whole ambivert, extrovert, introvert thing. Some people have been like oh your just shy and quiet…well, no I’m not and I can for sure talk to a brick wall. But the fact of the matter is that we all get recharged in different ways. Mine just doesn’t happen to be in a party-like setting or out in a large gathering…most of the time. It has nothing to do with the people and everything to do with me.
So, I’m going to level with you. In my effort to continuously pursue my best life and authentically share it in front of you. I am here to tell you that it is really really really really *BLEEPING* hard sometimes. Can I get an amen here? In my newly found pursuit of the glass half full life and my constant need to grow and give, I’ll be honest with you…that glass gets emptied really fast.
I was on my way in to work Tuesday morning and I hit the lever of our parking garage. I mean, I am not going to tell you I am the world’s worst driver but for real, like for real, I think that I need to just take UBER everywhere or maybe God is telling me to live in a city where I can walk everywhere (cough *Seattle* cough). But, I hit it. Then I forgot to go down and make sure everything was okay so I got paged to do that from work. Awesome. So any of my friends reading this who park in the parking garage that can be fun, you know the one, yeah that big dent was me.
I’ve also been dealing with a crazy sinus infection for the last week that I can’t really seem to get rid of. So, when I decided to cheer myself up on Monday, (before the whole garage debacle mind you) I used my free coffee coupon and I downloaded a free Audible audiobook written by Chip and Joanna Gaines. So I am driving in my car on the thirty minute drive home drinking my coffee, listening to my new audiobook…and I start BALLING.
I listen to the book again on Tuesday (after the whole garage debacle mind you), and I start BALLING. What is the deal?!?! The thing is, I cry now. I didn’t use to. I use to be tough as nails, and bottled that s*it up man…rub some dirt in it. But layer after layer, twenty million self development lessons later…I start to show emotion outwardly now. When I have empathy towards another human, when I’m sad or happy or thankful and when I just love.
I kinda cried a lot the week my nephew was born in February. The new baby smell, the thought of possibilities. Then when I started to pray for him and Jase even this week I started balling asking God to give them loving hearts and make them good men who earnestly sought after him. I pray a lot more these days. I don’t really know how not to. It’s not really a super religious experience , its more me just talking to God out loud or in my head just trying to get and keep my head above water. I don’t know if you get that impression yet or not…but I am constantly trying to keep my head above water. I’ve always taken on too much too fast and lately I’ve had to learn how to reign that in and start saying no, and being okay when the ball gets dropped sometimes. Because life goes on and people forgive.
So this book. It’s really not sad or depressing or tragic, it’s just their story. If you watch the Fixer Upper show that they host on HGTV you know that it isn’t just a home improvement show. The couple are two down-to-earth people who just love out loud and do what they’ve been called to do. They create with joy, persistence and gratitude. That stamp is everywhere in this book as I listen to them tell their story. They tell the story of how they met, fell in love, first year of marriage, etc.
So what is it that makes me just ball every time that I listen? I think it really just boils down to this constant thread that is becoming apparent in my life — pursuit. I am no stranger to hustling/busyness, but what am I in constant pursuit of? I know how to work hard, but what am I in pursuit of? What is my purpose here? Where am I creating and inputing value? Are the people in my life adding value or taking it away? Am I scared of the pursuit of what really sets my soul on fire? Why?
Components of their story really resonate with me. The fact that I see a lot of the qualities of Joanna Gaines in myself, (I know, bold ask. But bare with me.). She is tenacious and caring but at some times can be seen as a stick in the mud for being the straight laced one next to Chip Gaines. She constantly has to take care of things, people and places. She’s nurturing but she also struggled with her identity and trusting God when it didn’t really seem like what he was telling her to do could possibly be what he was telling her to do. She boldly declares that people should be doing what they are passionate about every single day.
I love their candidness and the way that they appreciate little blessings and at the root of their story is a whole lot of grace and authenticity.
Sometimes, we don’t know what we should be in pursuit of. Sometimes, what we are in pursuit of feels right but doesn’t necessarily make sense. I accept a lot of that in my current circumstances right now. I don’t know what the next few months hold but I know that this culmination of change is going to come to a head in my life because I feel it. Something big is around the corner. I feel constantly ill equipped to handle big things even though I am always in constant pursuit of them.
I know this revelation has been all over the place. It’s probably poorly written to some, and to me it would be if I were looking at it through my work lens. But I write in all candidness, like I would talk to you in a conversation. If I took the time to really edit it out I would probably cut a lot of it out, but I know that that would not be the most authentic version of what I am writing and how I want to say it. So that is why I leave the errors and the grammar and all the things at this point in time, because I know it would never get published otherwise.
I will leave you with one last thought before I wrap it up and blog again in another month. I was helping some friends of mine set up a photo exhibit the other day. While we were setting it up they had these old crepe myrtle branches that someone had given them to hang on the sides of the photos. As I was standing there holding one of these branches, I noticed it was almost split in two. Yet, it still did it’s job. Our lives are like trees. Sometimes we are planted in shallow soil and we don’t really ever take root. But sometimes, when the soil is really fertile and the water adequate, we become big and giant and beautiful. We have purpose in both places, but we don’t always have substance. A broken branch is still a branch, it’s still part of the tree. Just because the tree is partially broken, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have purpose. It doesn’t mean it isn’t usable. Sometimes, we just need to be replanted. Sometimes we just need someone to come alongside us, uproot us and put us on fertile soil so we can flourish. It’s possible for us to be split in two and be resilient and still be useful.
So, my friends, it seems that life is hard. When you do life with other humans you see that. When you do life yourself, you feel that.
But the tree can be uprooted.
The empty glass is refillable.