Today I am doing something I haven’t done since I became a mom. I am flying… for business. Flying… alone. I am speaking for a small group of professionals tomorrow. And then flying home after. And then again, in another city in two weeks.
I haven’t mentioned too much about it all because I think I thought, “this isn’t real.” Or, “no one will care.” But just as I hafta keep relearning post-cancer, “who gives a flippety flop who else cares?! I CARE!” And this blog is an important self-discovery catalogue and captain’s log of this whole life thing that I’m doing. So. I write.
Last night, I checked in for a flight. A flight that seemed somewhat touch-and-go because of Irma. Today, I wrote notes to the sitter about getting the Littlest out of the school van. And about where the after-school-snacks could be found. I packed one bag. And high heels. I firmed up child coverage for tomorrow. I went to the store and got some treats for the boys. And I kissed my husband goodbye as I left for the airport.
Holy crap. I’m a grownup. I’m a mother. A wife. A writer. A speaker. A soul who gets to make decisions… with a God who gets to say yes or no. I’m an adult.
When did this happen?!
Is it weird to say that so much of my life, I still feel 20? Like, every once in awhile, I look at my children and think, “what happens when we’re all 35 together?” Because it feels weird to be a 35-year-old momma to 3 gorgeous souls. Like, “hey you, God… do you know who you entrusted these boys to?”
I sat on the plane, the entire row to myself, reading a book, and felt this incredible feeling of wellthisisamazingness. Because I’m getting to put into action the things that, outside and inside of motherhood, are my strengths — communicating honestly, being real, and showing what compassion and empathy and goodness can do for the world. And whether I’m writing or speaking, I feel very privileged to get to use my gifts.
Before… before… I am fairly certain, knowing my old ways… I would have said no to this. I would have been too anxious to arrange all the arrangements that need arranging when a stay-at-home-mama needs the day off. I would have felt too self-conscious to talk pay and fees and the like for my services. I would have not believed in my enoughness.
And gosh. I would have missed out. And that would have been a big ol’ steamy pile of BS. Because even we ordinary humans have chances to experience something out-of-our-ordinary that can transform our tiny corner into something extraordinary. And why would we ever say no to that?
So I’m speaking. And I am getting more and more gigs lined up. Radioing. And still keeping on with the written word.
My life has been normal. Average. And yet, miraculous. Just like yours.
My life has been full of joy and happiness and silliness and quirks. I have been full of life. And as I sat tonight, and I read, I had a moment of understanding that God is allowing me the opportunity to continue to be uniquely and fantastically me… the very same privilege that each and every human gets. Because oh-am-I-unique… just like everyone else. And gosh that’s a pretty dynamo thing.
My life has also included challenges. Just like yours, maybe? And I’ve felt anxious. Or uncertain. And times where I felt like I lost the light I’d been holding so steadily. Like I would never be my own person again.
And yet. Here I am. Getting to try new things. Capturing dreams. And instead of putting them in a jar on the shelf, I am trying them out and giving the living thing a whirl. As much as I possibly can. And oh, to live is quite a lovely thing.
My boys are at such great ages. Ages where I find myself examining what kind of things I am showing them about women through my own example. Ages where they can be more independent and so, as archaic or old school or traditional as it sounds, I feel more free to be a bit more independent, too. My husband is so insanely supportive; constantly reminding me that a woman’s work is whatever she makes it be. And I am navigating the world post-illness; the self-findings are thick up in my soul. And while I still, on so many mornings, wake up and feel 20, I know that these are big girl dreams and I’m a grown-ass woman. And these dreams aren’t just gonna do themselves.
Today I am doing something I haven’t done for 9 years. And damn, it feels good to be a gangster (and yes. I was giggling all over myself as I type that.). It feels good and fulfilling and fun and like life my life is being lived… by me. And turns out, I’m actually pretty good at it.
Oh. And instead of that voice inside me that sometimes says, “what if people think FILL IN THE BLANK WITH ANY POSSIBLE THING THAT PEOPLE WHO CAN THINK WOULD THINK?” I am learning to say, “what will the people who matter to me think?” (And while that isn’t perfect, its growth for me). And the answer to, “what will the people who matter to me think?” Well… it’s always, “they think I’m awesome.” Because really. That is what the people who matter to us should think. Right? Right.
They might also think I’m bananas. Or totally loony town. But the biggest portion of them thinks I’m awesome. And the biggest portion of your people think you’re awesome, too. And that’s all you need to know.
So stop doubting. Stop being your worst enemy. Or thinking of the worst-case scenario. Start telling yourself that the opinions from people who don’t matter to you don’t matter. And start taking your dreams off the shelf. Or start knocking out your goals. Or take steps toward the you that you are working to get to know. Or just take a deep freaking breath and let it soak in. And remember this most of all: every day is new until we die (I know. It’s kinda morbid. But also… pretty true).
And from me, to you: this is your weekly reminder that unless you’re planning on coming back as a snake or a duck or a beetle, this is the one earthly life you’re going to do. You might as well do it up right. And I think when you get the opportunity, you might as well fly.