One of the ideas that I explored via the podcast with my friend and former grad student, Linda McShan, over the past several months is how I have come to appreciate the ability to observe my life while also living in it. Linda is in LA and I am in Arkansas, so we meet via telephone and she tapes our discussions on her podcast platform. I post them here on my website, with the recordings saved as links in my "Blog" tab. Linda and I talked about how the "hamster path" of routines keeps us from flying off into the abyss, but that while the familiarity and comfort of those routines is important to feel grounded, I am also driven by my equal and just-as-important need to explore and learn and grow.
These days, I find myself with more time to be "less busy," and to just enjoy my life. No longer on a career path, I still have to work, but I no longer have the pressures or demands of building a career. Now divorced, I can still pursue relationships if I want, but I no longer have the pressures or demands of a marriage. Having just bought my first home by myself, I no longer have the pressures or demands of joint ownership in an asset or binding partnership. Now an empty-nester, I no longer have the daily demands that come with motherhood. What a wonder to wake up one day and realize that I no longer spend my time, energy, and talent in the whirlwind of roles I had constructed for my life.
I don't regret any of those chapters, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't have done it any other way. And yet, now that I have flung myself back out into the planet of possibilities, of reshaping the time and energy I have left on the globe, I am enjoying this "brand new kind of me." (Thanks, Alicia Keys.)
And yet, with this blank slate...I kinda sorta know something about myself, I kinda sorta have a general direction in life, I kinda sorta have some paths I am on...I still feel clueless most of the time. Having a growth mindset means you are always restless. Always seeking.
I find that my lack of knowing not only creates my own unrest, but puts me at odds with others. I can admire those who say they have locked down who they are, and can shut out the world and "just be" who they are and not even need other people. I also can admire the gurus who think they have it all figured out. Their aha moments have led them to heights of fame, being looked up to and sought after, and some have even gotten rich by creating followers of their words.
Many conduct their lives in the public sphere. This is my first time doing it. Blogging, claiming a space in the life coaching world, writing, publishing, speaking... In my family of origin, we would call that "navel gazing." My own father is probably watching me from the other side (he died in 2013) with a disdain for this very public exploration of self and sharing my thoughts with the world as I have them.
Who cares what you think, KB? No one, really. But that doesn't stop me from being me. And, from having those thoughts. And for expressing them.
In summary, the "brand new kind of me" is ok. I don't have a problem with being ok. Ok is good even. And I thank everyone who has ventured into this space with me, also seeking their "ok-ness."