she is a wildfire and you are standing still
she is a wildfire and you are standing still
Tenacity is important to me. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’ve achieved so many things simply by being stubborn as fuck. By flat out refusing to give up. Perhaps it’s tied up with my midwestern upbringing, which seemed to be based on two primary tenets: 1.) don’t be lazy 2.) don’t be a pussy.
There was a third which had something to do with drinking as many shots of Jim Beam as possible while the jukebox blasted Kid Rock in the background, but that one doesn’t seem applicable here.
And so I’ve spent many (so many) years working my ass off while pretending to be perfectly fine.
What I’m trying to discuss today is failure. About the ability to be imperfect and be okay with that. This is a difficult topic for me to discuss honestly (even with myself) because it’s so hard to tell the difference between giving up and using common sense. Where is the line to help me know the difference between weak willed rationalization v. good self-care and healthy prioritization? And what to do with the realization that this or that thing was never your goal to begin with (or worse, that it WAS but that it never should have been).
The world is full of mixed messages and I have one foot firmly planted in corporate America while the other one tries to stay on solid ground while going about the business of creative self-discovery. I know this is also true of many of you, because let’s face it – someone’s got to pay the electric bill but our true joy resides elsewhere. It’s a precarious position in which to be. For all the well-meaning corporate slogans ostensibly directing us toward healthy lives, acceptance, balance, etc., the underlying message is still constant evaluation, competition, and “continuous improvement”. Taking off my rose colored glasses, I realize that this last one can be interpreted as “You’re not good enough now and you never will be.” And so.
So despite numerous academic and professional accomplishments, I strive everyday to keep up and get ahead. I am constantly competing – with others, with myself. Most of the time, I do just fine. As one of my slam poems says, my shoes make a satisfying clack when I walk.
But every once in a while, something happens to shake your confidence and knock you off of your game and this is when big, important questions come up for me.
Am I selling myself short? Could I do better? And I don’t mean professionally because truth be told, I’m pretty sure I don’t care all that much about that.
I mean personally. By setting goals and allowing myself to accomplish them. By not undermining myself with critical self talk. By allowing others to help me when I need it. By giving up goals that don’t make any sense any more.
By being truly brave, not blindly, stubbornly brave. Brave enough to love myself through failure. Brave enough to pick myself up and really believe that my worth is not based on the accumulation of meaningless accolades, qualifications, and trophies.
I think the answer is yes.
I’m sure going to work on it because when I think of the things that make my heart sing, they are the people I love, the process of creating things, and the experiences that I have. xoxoxoxo
“Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other large organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate.” – Dave Barry.
Yep. Back to work today.
Remember when I was a teacher in 21 Secrets?
Myself and 20 sweet, beautiful souls share our art journaling methods with you. It’s truly fabulous.
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Full circle. Loop back. Finish what you started.
Lately, I’ve been getting a whole lot of what I asked for. You know how I’m always running my mouth about change and transformation? Newsflash: it’s a whole lot more comfortable to talk about it than it is to actually walk through it.
The past year has been brought so many incredible new things into my life. I’m not the same person now; that I can assure you. The year has been one of incredible growth and glorious solitude and it’s rapidly drawing to a close. The first week of April marks a year since I moved into this lovely and quirky house. It has been a fine companion and I’m already mourning the loss. I sit this morning surrounded by boxes of books and piles of art. Is it significant that these are the first objects I pack? That when I think of losing all of my possessions in a fire, these are some of the first things I think of? Probably. They are my heart. They have kept me company, pushed me in new directions, and given me solace.
I moved here with goals that sound simple on the surface, but which are in actuality exceedingly difficult:
Find my center. Seek myself. Learn silence. Create beautiful things. Stitch my life back together again. Just be. Let the silt settle around my toes. Hear the quiet voices.
In many ways, I’ve accomplished these things but I understand now that I’ll never be completely finished with this crusade. It turns out that these things are the real work of my life. That the career is just fluff. That every time I think I’ve grown strong enough or open enough, something new will drift into my life and teach me another important lesson.
Right now I’m learning the lesson that sometimes one must go backwards in order to move ahead. That if you just slam the door on certain phases of your life, you may be required to go back, take a seat, and hold some space for that person that you were. Loop back and say goodbye properly. It’s hard because I’m not one to turn back or slow down, but I think this is as it must be. And it is beautiful.
Today, I welcome the new adventures coming my way and I embrace the old Robin as gently as possible so that when it’s time to let go, I’m ready.