I’m staying in my pajamas today. It’s day three of adventure2015 and I’m staying put, in the house, in my pajamas. It’s my attempt to get focused and get some work done. There’s some grant writing to be done for work and that requires focus. Something that has been lacking the last few days with the final push to pack up the apartment, load the car and hit the road. I made the 655 mile, 12 hour drive to Newport, OR on Monday. This is my first stop. It’s my best friend’s place. Where Ophelia (the cat) will make her new home. It’s a place to regroup, get my bearings. I need to finalize the timeline for the longer road trip to Jackson, MS. Friends and others there are anxious for my arrival, I’ve been told. And I too am anxious and READY.
There have been a lot of things on my mind the last few days. 12 hours in a car is a lot of time to think. And question. And doubt. And recall again what brought me to this place. What I learned yesterday, is that all the planning in the world won’t prevent the unexpected from happening. See yesterday when I left the house, I bought a new car. Definitely not in the plans.
On Monday, while I was driving, I missed the posting of this column on Miss Matters by my friend and former boss Julie Lythcott-Haims, “How to Live the Life You Imagine”. In it she lays out a three-step process to living the life you imagine. For me, the most critical of those steps and the one I keep coming back to, is: “Give yourself permission to be that person.”
The most common response I’ve heard from people when I’ve told them about my plans for this adventure, is “wow, I’d love to be able to do something like that.” A year ago, if someone came to me with this idea, I probably would have said the same thing. I acknowledge, that I have a lot of privilege that puts me in a place to be able to actually do this thing. But all the privilege in the world, wouldn’t have made it happen, if I hadn’t been willing to give myself permission to be “that person.”
Most of us spend the bulk of our life trying to live up to the expectations of others; our parents, our spouses/partners, our friends, our bosses, the media, society in general. It’s a lot of pressure, mostly unacknowledged. Many of us have this little voice inside saying something like, “but what if I could…”. The truth of it all is, you could and you can. And you’ll never know if you don’t try. And trying–requires giving yourself permission to be that person.
If you knew yourself for even one moment,
if you could just glimpse
your most beautiful face,