I've been living in a state of unrest for some time now. Not the flu, no broken bones, and nothing specific to point to as the cause. I tolerated it for awhile, swallowed it down, ignored it, bullied it into the corner, and drowned it with a few glasses of red. It kept coming back, like the stench of rotting food you cannot locate in your teen's room. You can spray the air freshener and close the door but lurking inside is still the source and the stench.
So I decided rather than mask it or ignore it, I'd stare it down, try and get to know it and seek to understand it.
I spent some time really looking at my feelings and my frustrations, my wants and my regrets. I dug deep into those things that I'm willing to share and those things that I would never.
I started with my job because, honestly, that's where I'm spending most of my time these days. I uncovered a few bits of evidence for my case. While I still loved so much of my company and my role, there have been some clients and some changes that have me "ruffled". My over exaggerated personality had me thinking, "I'll just sell some stock, sell everything and move into a shack and be done with this corporate life." Extreme yes. How I think? Yes. Luckily over the years I've learned to use my passion for good and not evil pursuits and so before I called a realtor, I decided just to let this be some evidence in my case file and continue to explore.
I found myself looking and reading books about running. I was craving that feeling of accomplishment and the infamous runners high. I was craving that "stuff your face after a long run" no guilt high carb breakfast with friends. I was reading posts on Facebook from friends about their running and feeling real jealousy. I however, hadn't run in almost two weeks. More evidence.
I then heard myself giving updates on the book I'm writing and felt like I was talking about someone else. I hadn't written in at least two weeks. The writing ideas spinning in my head as I drove from place to place always in a hurry, always feeling frantic but never putting those words on a screen.
More evidence the day I pulled the tubs of Christmas decor from the attic and simply "cherry picked" the few items to place around the house. Good enough, ringing in my head.
I found myself strained and short with my key relationships, sometimes even bitter and angry. I told myself I was just tired. Which has been true. A lot.
There's more evidence in my file, some too personal to share even for me.
Over the last few days, I've sat with my file of evidence and explored it like C.S.I. -I've organized it, looked at it under my microscope, sent it to the lab for testing. After really allowing myself to hear the truth, it bubbled up and slapped me in the face.
The truth is, I'm exhausted from trying to be someone I'm not.
I'm a consultant and partner, who is paid well to sell solutions with high value and return on investment that transform people and organizations. I am not a sales person that sells things for a commission.
I'm a writer. I'm a writer who hasn't been writing.
I'm an artist. I'm an artist who didn't really do much creating this holiday season, I logistically placed a few decorations around the room. No crafting, no glue gun, no multiple trips to Hobby Lobby to make what's in my head.
I'm an introspective soul who needs time of quiet reflection coupled with laughing and bouts of joy. I'm not a person who tip toes around conflict trying not to trip the triggers that cause pain and angst.
There it was ...... there's no real crime here. Just a case of mistaken identity. Too much time trying to live in a life that isn't meant for me, isn't really me. It's someone else. Someone I don't really recognize.........or like.
Now comes the really difficult part. Something has to change. And *gulp* it's me.
Yes, I can give you a laundry list of the people that have been a part of this investigation. People I would have liked to pin for this crime with a jury and a trial. I can easily give you a list of their sins and indiscretions and I can tell you how incredibly stupid and off center their actions are. And ...... it's entirely possible that none of them will change. So, the only chance I've got, is reclaiming the me I'm meant to be, and that means .........to change me.
I want to write, and run, and create amazing solutions for my clients and I want to find an antique store and lose myself for hours. I want to turn off the TV and turn on the music. I want my kids in the kitchen covered in chocolate and flour.
I want presents to be wrapped and tucked lovingly under the tree. I want a shopping list a mile long for amazing Christmas meals and treats. I want to smile and know that I'm the me that God created me to be, not the version of myself that others expect. I want to be the me that sees the hurt in others and doesn't take it on but continues to emit the Light that I have inside. I want to stay up late sitting quietly by the tree and feel the unbelievable enormity of this season.
Just imagining it, brings me closer. Closer to the me He wants me to be.
Because a runner must run, a writer must write, and an artist must create. A soul that craves optimism and connection and solitude and joy must enjoy the fruit of that spirit. The music must play and the people must laugh and all will be right in their hearts. None of this is given as a pass for the day or a ticket to ride, there is no token to cash. We must choose. We must choose to live the life that is uniquely ours. We must choose the path that will let us truly be.
Whatever that takes.
Sometimes we've stumbled onto a path that is not our own and we must find our way back to where we belong. We must pick up a few we've left behind and leave..... a few behind. Choices. Choosing. Believing we're on track. Until we can again be the me we've been created to be.