She Who Dares Wins

She who dares wins

“You are all brilliant, strong women. You go after your dreams and inspire me to do the same. Thanks for being part of my tribe.”

Yesterday, a precious friend sent me that image and note. I was floored.

  1. I had no idea anyone on the planet finds me inspirational. I’m usually more of cautionary tale than example.
  2. At the time I read the email, I was wearing a Captain America shirt for the second day in a row, yoga pants and Chucks I’ve had since my junior year of high school. I’m gonna be straight with you, that is not what I’d ever thought living the dream would look like.
Double Dare Nickelodeon Physical Challenge

Double Dare on Nickelodeon circa 1986: The Physical Challenge
This is the kind of daring my life feels like.

Most days feel more like a Double Dare physical challenge than the opening credits to the Mary Tyler Moore show.

Mary Tyler Moore Show

Mary Tyler Moore Show circa 1970
You’re gonna make it after all. Define “it.”

Long ago, a kind person told me, “You must pay very close attention because your heart’s desire may not know the dress code, and could turn up looking completely different from what you’d expected.”

About a year ago, my ego took a pretty big sucker punch. Since then, I’ve been examining thoroughly what I really want to be when I grow up. I still don’t have all the answers.

When I was in journalism school, one of my favorite professors told us when we sit down to write, we should ask ourselves one question: what do I know to be true? The answer to that question is your story. It’s also a great question for self-assessment.

So. What do I know to be true?

  1. I am happier, healthier and saner than I have been in a long time.
  2. I like the work I am doing and the people I am working with.
  3. I also like the time I have because of the work I am no longer doing. It’s created space to be a better friend and parent.
  4. It’s true that everything costs something. It’s also true that holding on to expectations for how your life will be that don’t work anymore has a higher price than letting them go.

I still don’t think I’m particularly daring or inspirational. This isn’t at all what I thought I’d be doing right now. But allowing us, against every fiber of my nature, to live a slower, more content life has brought more peace than I ever expected.

In that respect, I am absolutely winning.

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