Oh heeeeey! So… it’s my birthday! I’ve spent the better part of this year wanting to sit my ass down and write, so here, on this day that marks the beginning of my 39th trip around the sun, I shall do exactly what I want to do. (Within the parameters of momming, of course… deep bow to preschool and an amazing nanny).
This morning I had so many thoughts running through my head about life and where I’ve been, where I want to go… how will I get there and how much of it do I have control over? Not much, I’m sure. We never have as much control as we think we do…. Lessons learned from babies and threenagers every single day.
I have goals, though. I have dreams – big dreams. And I have support, a loving partner, cheerleaders in my corner, a strong-willed brain between my ears and, I’ve been told, a LOT of tenacity.
I was reminded this morning that one of my strengths is that I’m a problem solver. Made me smile. Turns out, she’s right – I love solving problems. Sudoku is my jam. I get uncomfortable when things don’t feel right and I love improving upon a situation. I’m not a fan of band-aids as a form of fix – they don’t heal anything they just make you think you’re doing something (#toddlerlessons). We live in a band-aid society and it freaks me out sometimes. I don’t prefer medicine (there’s a place), I prefer to find the root of the problem and fix it once and for all. You know, get to the root cause. But, so often we don’t know WHY things don’t feel right, so if we don’t even know the problem, how do we fix it? Big life questions….. fodder for future posts…
What also dawned on me this morning is that what I’m looking for in life is not going to look like anything that’s out there right now. The markers of success for my life are different than those of other people. They’re different than what society tells me. I don’t do well with labels and in this world of highlight reels, hearts, filters, and meme’s – what are you if you can’t be labeled?
I crave real human interaction.
My real, given name is Rather and I’ve known for as long as I can remember that I am special. (Wow, why does it make my heart skip to write that?) Sure, my parents made me feel special…. But they (or at least my mom) would resist the fact that it’s my name that makes me special as I insinuate here. Of course it’s not my name that makes me special. While I may be the only Rather you know, I’m most certainly not the only special person you know. We’re all special in our own way and I guess that’s what I’m trying to say – it’s inherent in all of us. I don’t need to fit into a label, I am perfectly special just the way I am. My name might remind me occasionally (like when people gawk at it when they meet me), but my name is not what makes me special. As Marie Forleo likes to remind me (you too?) – “the world needs that special something that only you have”. In a way, we are robbing the world if we don’t go out there and be the special person we are! Wait, not even “in a way”, I think this is one of the few absolute truths of the Universe. Our big task for life is to figure out what that something is and to go do it. Can you imagine if Jerry Garcia or John Lennon listened to the “rules” and just found a 9-5 job to save for retirement and raise a quiet little family in a suburb? I’m listening to a new album called “American Utopia on Broadway (Original Cast Recording)” by none other than my personal favorite – Mr. David Byrne. I can’t imagine a world where he ignored his calling to make music. I grew up with the Talking Heads, but in so many ways, his art hasn’t gained popularity until the last decade or so, and wow…. The hits!! Same with Jerry. Same with Lennon…. On this side and the other – Paul Simon, Jim Morrison, Santana, Janis Joplin, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, Katie Perry, Aretha Franklin, Lizzo, Bowie, Timerlake, Lennard Cohen, Springsteen…. The list is endless. What would our world be if these people had listened to the lies that society tells us? If they had ignored their truth and decided to take the safe route instead? Focused on all the “should’s” and forgotten what their spirit was calling them to do? I won’t get into the ridiculousness of what we are taught to want vs. what we may actually want… This is also fodder for future posts…
The more I shape my life based on what people expect of or need of me, the dimmer my glow. When I figure out what makes me happy and do it – wow, I SHINE! Who doesn’t love shiny things? No one. Shine on.
But back to being a problem solver. How do you figure out what it is that makes you happy? Oooooohh, good question. And what a problem to solve! There’s probably some ancient Greek proverb or myth that showcases this eternal dilemma. I’m on a tight schedule for all the things I’d like to nourish my soul with today so I’m certainly not going to bog down this post with research (like it’s recommended to do – back up your facts, yo! – not today). I probably won’t even edit it very hard and may or may not include a picture…. Eh, whatevs!
My 38th year of life was all about growing and completing our family. We’re setting a foundation to build the rest of our lives on. It has been an, at times ugly breaking down of the “old Rather”. I’m beginning to see where there is space for this “new me” to begin to bloom. A “prescribed control burn” in order to nourish the soil for new growth. I’ve been studying the moon, noticing the seasons. I’ve been witnessing my energy, occasionally tracking my moods. I can see the cycle of every single day, month, year, project, stage and season of not just my life but the girls’ too. I see, honor, nurture, and live by the cycle of my own, feminine body. It feels like the unfolding and stretching of a wildflower welcoming the morning sun. So much knowing, strength, and realness in that tiny stem that knows only to support the weight of the beauty at it’s tip.
Let’s just say the veil has been lifted and I can’t un-see what I’ve been shown.
So again, now what? How is one to solve this problem of not clearly knowing what your calling is? I don’t take myself as a poet or songwriter. I’m not great with numbers, though I’ve worked in banking. I’m not the most convincing actor or gifted singer (unless nursery rhymes and lullabies count). I’ve been a bartender, barista, server, cook, host, dishwasher, manager. I’ve been an athlete, team captain, coach, ski bum. I’ve done start-ups and shut-downs. I’m a seasoned partier. I know how to make, and keep, friends. Before my world got turned upside down, I did this Health Coaching thing for a hot minute – that felt good, somewhat aligned and just out of the box and entrepreneurial enough.
I’m tired of searching for a label to live by. Do we really need a title? I’m creative. This much I know. If you knew me in my art supply store days, you probably heard me rant a time or two about how everyone is creative. If you knew my GrannyBob you know there’s a knack for painting everything in sight that lives in my genes. I went to college on an art scholarship for goodness sake! So, I’ll claim creative and I’ll let that be my guide from here.
I can mother creatively.
I can cook creatively.
I can earn a living creatively.
I can love creatively.
I can move my body creatively.
I can dress creatively.
I can travel creatively.
I can keep in touch creatively.
I can live my life creatively.
There, permission granted…
Maybe I’ll take coaching back up. Maybe I’ll take bartending back up. Maybe I become a hugely recognized artist. Maybe I put my art in shows and festivals and travel the country. Maybe I discover something new like yoga teacher training or surfing. Maybe I’ll get back to something old like ceramics or volleyball. Maybe I’ll make it big with this blog. Maybe I’ll write a book. Maybe I’ll be flown around the world to speak to strangers about how to figure it all out. Maybe I’ll figure it all out. Maybe I’ll run for president. Maybe I’ll move to another country. Maybe I’ll take our family for 6 months out to sea on a sailboat. Maybe we move to New York City. Maybe we go back to the mountains. Maybe I’ll fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Maybe my body decides she wants to keep this lap that’s big enough for both girls. Maybe I find time to write every week and keep consistent touch with my “list”. Maybe I fall off the wagon for another year again. Maybe we adopt a pet, maybe we adopt a child. Maybe we buy a house, maybe we stay put forever. Maybe, maybe, maybe…..
The point is not where I land, but more importantly the road I take to get there. How much ease, joy and play can I inject into my life, right now, so that wherever I end up, I’m proud of the life I’ve created.
So, problem solving today looks like giving myself permission to stop seeking the label and begin listening to myself – every.single.day – to understand how I can creatively show up in my life in that given moment. I think that’s my whole point. There is not a single answer to this question. It’s going to depend on your very own self in any given moment. The more we can give space to hear those answers, the easier it will be to listen to them. The more we listen to them, the easier it is for them to guide us towards that special something we each have inside of us. No one wants to rob their life of it’s meaning. We’re all special in our own unique way. I’m excited to see what’s to come and feeling very receptive to the unknown.
Happy Birthday to me. My last year as a 30-something. My first full year as the Rather I am meant to be. Thanks for witnessing this for me and for inspiring my journey. There’s so much cool stuff to come, I’m grateful to have you along for the ride!