I’ve been thinking a lot about the in-betweens, whether it’s the grey between black and white, the yes behind no and never, and saying, “This is good” when the place I wanted to get to still seems miles away. As is almost always the case, I can attribute the considering to the girls and kids in general, their ability to live in a realm where it’s ok to want things, ok to imagine that anything can happen, and, most bitingly, their ability to see what we cannot.
I want to take less time to relent; so much of what I resist is good for me and those around me. A couple of weeks ago I posted something on Instagram. There was something about the morning light and an unexpected wave of tenderness toward myself that prompted it.
Sitting in the beams of sunlight rolling through the first floor of our house. The girls slept at my parents and the quiet is like a sweet and sour candy, sugary indulgence with tartness that sneaks up and tightens my jaw. I choose to float inside the different emotions, absentmindedly flipping through images on a brand’s IG account. “If only I had the nerve to dress like that.” The thought blasted and I felt the let down of not going for it on the global level—of reserving daring, boldness, sexiness, and selfishness for others. “It’s not me,” is something I think a lot of us say, but why? Last year at about this time I found out I was nominated for a @mom2summit #IrisAward . The category was for Best Writing and I allowed myself exactly one hour of feet not touching the ground, breathless rapture before telling myself that I would never win. I literally didn’t allow myself to even imagine winning after that one exquisite hour of maybe. What would happen if we allowed ourselves (commanded ourselves) to let the moments of “Oh, how I wish I had the nerve,” to become declarations of “Here I go.” Whether it’s wearing a fedora or scheduling a boudoir shoot, running for office or giving your notice. How would the world open up if we stopped saying, “I couldn’t possibly” and “It will never happen.” When I heard my name called and realized it really was me they were inviting to the stage to claim the award I trembled, like literally quaked. The ground beneath me felt foreign and I half expected someone to call out that it wasn’t mine. Our willingness to deny our own light is life-altering. I am still scared and riddled with doubt, but damnit, I want to hold hands with you and race forward breaking through all we think we can’t like some magnificent winning of a game of Red Rover, Red Rover. Will you come with me? Whatever that means for you…you can. #selfconfidencenow
The comments on that post made me realize that there are so many of us bobbing along in the water, hoping that the tide will somehow carry us into shore where we can finally begin. We don’t realize that we are the sea—the stillness and the strength, the waves and the spray, but we are also the undertow.
We can make everything happen sooner. Today can be the day that we begin to quiet the words of doubt or the day that we conquer a fear. If doing it for ourselves is too much, we can begin with a friend or someone we love. The only catch is we then have to look ourselves in the mirror and answer honestly why we wouldn’t be every bit of deserving of time, patience, grace, or love as anyone else.