I was leaving the house in Long Beach after packing up my final carload of stuff and driving to visit with GT/Becky (whose couch I'm sitting on to write this because that's the kind of relationship we have. She's a muse honorer.) when I realized it was here. My new life was here. My new life IS here. And I cried... big, fat, hot, salty, alligator tears of relief.
Yes, the move is now done, spiderman is registered for kindergarten at our neighborhood school, filing fees have been paid and the signed divorce papers have been filed with the court, I'm out of the closet I was never really in, I'm comfortable enough at my new job to tell my team members embarrassing stories about my dating life... and I'm finally used to being blonde. All of the external processes have resolved and the mad, crashing waves around me have slowed to a rippling pool. This is all helpful, and important, and the still waters let the tears know to come out but what's really here isn't the new life. What's really here is me. The new me who lives this new life is here. I am here.
Maybe you remember when I wrote about letting go of limiting beliefs? It wasn't a very well read post which felt awkward at the time because I thought it was a gem... but what I think is best isn't what always gets the most attention. In general y'all seem to gravitate towards vulnerability (and juicy dirt) and it felt vulnerable at the time, but it seems to fall into the category of things I tell people I've realized about myself and they respond with "duh."
A few days ago at work I was in training all day. I am a trainer, so sticking me in a room for 8 hours as a participant can be hit or miss. I'm not a passive learner, if I'm not involved I suffer... and so does everyone else. This training was great and I was involved. I had just written about aversion to silliness the night before and all of a sudden I was über-gooberiffic (which the iPad wants to auto correct to "goo erotic")! Cracking jokes and being playful with the other training participants (all within the scope of a professional learning environment of course).
At one point we were given a group assignment to build a freestanding structure as tall as we could with a pack of index cards and a role of masking tape. I quickly asked what "freestanding" meant to determine if my idea could be pulled off. The instructor said it meant it couldn't be held up by people or leaning against walls or furniture, but we could use the table or floor as a base... but she didn't say anything about the ceiling (and I didn't ask). So in our one minute group consult session I convinced our team to take the risk of being called cheaters by "building" our structure out of one long piece of tape that stretched from ceiling to floor that we would stick index cards to. At one point I heard myself say/ask "what's the worst thing that could happen, we get in trouble?" and they went for it!
|innovation or cheating?|
Our "structure" was definitely the tallest, most attractive, and leant itself to the most metaphors about risk taking and innovation throughout the rest of the training.
Steve Jobs would be proud... if he were alive... and knew me... And cared.
The other groups insisted that we cheated... and that was okay, it didn't hurt, not even sting. At one point after I'd inadvertently (ha ha ha) become the center of attention I found myself explaining that this was very unlike me. That I was normally a rule follower who prioritized being "good" over anything else... and that got more laughs than anything else I had said all day. A chorus of "yeah right, Kate!" vibrated through the room.
over lunch, eating the tomatoes I hadn't asked the restaurant to leave out of my salad (I can't tell you how big a deal this is. I have been avoiding tomatoes my entire life. I used to have nightmares as a child about ice cream sundaes with cherry tomatoes on top instead of cherries! As an adult I've tried them once a year or so only to confirm that I despised them) I was thinking about what I'd just witnessed in myself: I was being silly and playful, I was willing to take a risk and break the rules, I was eating tomatoes and enjoying them! ...it was pretty clear: I was changed. I was not becoming my new or best self... I am my new, best self.
The reframing of the limiting beliefs was a spell... and like good spells it was specific and quiet and didn't get a lot of attention giving it time to work it's magic. The belief exercise was just that at the time--an exercise. And now it's become reality.
I am here. And I am so grateful to be. And you are here to. Thank you for that. Woot!