Summer’s Recipe for Success (Yeah- I’m just gonna own this)

August 30th, 2017

Alas, there is no magic pill. No quick trick to escape the sorrows of the swamp and move through the murky muck of stuck. I must trudge – and believe me, right now it feels like truuuuuuuuuudging. One step at a time, small as each may be, I – must – trudge. Where am I trudging to? Still no identifiable destination. But my guide to finding my inner Bad Ass is helping me identify the tools I’ll need for this trip. First step: identify the tools I’ve used in the past.

Upon reflection, I’ve been able to identify two specific times in my adult life when I didn’t feel stuck. Yes! There are two, clearly transitional times where I was living my truth, listening to my gut and “on purpose.”

The first time I can remember feeling truly on purpose was during my first year of roller-derby. Roller-derby came to me at a time of life when I really needed it and yet, I was totally unaware of how much I needed it. I wasn’t conscious of my unhappiness or depression or desperation. I was conscious of the fact that after my first practice I was full-on addicted. That was it. I was a derby-girl and despite the fact that I’d had minimal exposure to any roller derby at all I knew I was carnally connected to all the women who had ever strapped on skates and stepped onto a track. At some point, I do plan to document my “derby story,” (every derby-girl has one) and share the life changing onset, 5 year journey and bitter-sweet closure of that chapter. Today is not that day. I will say that my time in roller-derby built a confidence in me that changed my whole life perspective. In that sport I overcame physical and mental challenges that I never thought possible – not for me. Every time I stepped on to the track I was a warrior. I knew the danger. I knew the job to be done. I did it.
The second time I can remember feeling “on purpose,” was during my divorce. This milestone marked the first time in my life where I truly took a conscious risk. I was fully aware of the gravity of my decision, completely in touch with the fear of what was to come and committed to going through it. As a mother of two young children, the depth of the impact of my choice was always at top of my mind. I knew I had to. I knew it would be awful. It was…and I did it.
I’ve reflected on what was in common in these two very specific times of my life with the hope that I can, once again, move forward through fear and the unknown with perseverance – hell maybe even with some excitement? Low and behold there are some interesting commonalities that give me hope! In fact, the commonalities in these times are almost like a recipe- a recipe for success? Okay maybe that’s a stretch, but I have to have faith and I have to have hope and if a “recipe for success” will get me one step farther along in my transformation then fuck it. Let’s do this.

Summer’s Recipe for Success:

  1. A clear goal
  2. Strategies to overcome fear
  3. Willingness to take risk
  4. Willingness to fall and get back up
  5. Willingness to succeed
  6. Love and support from others

Here is where the real work begins. Time to find a way to access all the optimism and inspiration I felt in Puerto Vallarta for my big life change- minus the unlimited food, drinks, sand and sun.

Hmph. Harder than I thought.

Truth? I cried so much my first day back from Mexico.

Truth? I’ve cried a LOT since I’ve been back.

I’ve moped. I’ve indulged my self-pity. I’ve embraced the fear and the stuck.

Time to move forward.

Hmph. Harder than I thought.

A Spiritual Awakening in Mexico – Part A

August 20th, 2017

Here I sit, on a plane flying back from Puerto Vallarta, having had the most amazing vacation of my life. Coming back with me is perhaps my most treasured souvenir, a new faith that this life of mine- this rat race- can be different. I’ve had an awakening.

After 3 days of decompressing with piña coladas, strawberry daiquiris, Bahama Mamas (an amazing drink that is closest to a piña colada but has grenadine and banana liquor- YES PLEASE), endless time on the beach under an umbrella indulging in mystery novels and cheap magazines, I finally had the energy to get my mind straight (sober) and be present in life. What do you know?!? 3 full days of unlimited access to food, relaxation and imbibing inspired me to want more from my every day life! Well that, and this deep pit in my stomach…this gnawing feeling…..this sick feeling….this feeling of inadequacy, anxiety, restlessness, fear, depression, sadness…..this feeling that was becoming harder and harder to suppress – harder to numb. It was becoming my consciousness- which is why, in preparation for my trip, one of the (many) books I picked up was “You Are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life,” By Jen Sincero.

This book is essentially a self-help book specially written for (late) 30 something women finding their way through the post-divorce, pre liberation stage of life! And probably others too….but that’s how I read the title. Clearly, I knew I was on the precipice of an awakening and all I needed were a couple of tools to get me there. In this case, “tools,” being a dreamy vacation and the right book at the right time.

I’d been reading about how to get in touch with my inner Bad Ass for several days and had a couple good (albeit brief) meditations when one of the staff members at our all-inclusive resort casually approached me and my girlfriend (fellow bad-ass and travel companion) sitting in our beach chairs under our umbrella. His name was Jorge (pronounced George) and he spoke to us like an old friend as we bonded over Ru Paul and tattoos. He was considering a new tattoo and wanted to ask my girlfriend about the ink on her shin. This was one of those times in life where you take note of coincidence, and if you are on the verge of a spiritual awakening, you wonder if this is more than coincidence and perhaps a part of your journey. All week my girlfriend had been jonesin’ to leave the safety and security (the luxury) of this all-inclusive oasis from real life and head into downtown Puerto Vallarta to get tattoos! Tattoos PLURAL- as in one for her and one for me. I’m down for a tattoo and all but a tattoo in Mexico? I had played the skeptic all week laying out one logical argument after another about why we shouldn’t get tattoos in Mexico. My primary argument being that, we were in Mexico. Yet here sits Jorge, perched with his legs crossed on the little side table meant to hold drinks and sunscreen, trading stories about ink. I was starting to think maybe, just maybe, we should get tattoos in Mexico!?

 

 Jorge, ‘G’ and me.