Invisibility, Choice, and Discovery

I have written about my entire life being spent trying to be invisible, and it worked. Then I started to be become noticed and recognized for what I was. A caring, compassionate human being who longed to serve others before myself. This is not meant to aggrandize, this is actually who I am. Those who know me can attest to that.

I think I have finally figured out why the past six to eight months have been so odd for me. People started to recognize me and outside my immediate circle. For a person who until a year ago, at most two, wanted to blend in the with the crowd this took some time to adjust to. I didn’t recognize it. I thought it had something to do with my move into my place, which was a factor but not the ultimate reason of my weirdness. It might have been the reason why I was like, “shit this is real.”

white party pic

Out of Integrity
I am going to be totally vulnerable here. Which I really despise doing, by the way.  Writing is the place where I become most vulnerable because I can take the time to express it. Up until the point where I actually did get a place on my own, I felt almost like a fraud. I confided this to a dear friend of mine and asked for her advice. She said, “because you are living out of integrity with your true self.” If there is one thing in my life I really have a profound and utterly disdain for is dishonesty and not being integrity. If I tell someone I am going to do something, I damn well am going to do it. It may take awhile, sometimes much longer than I anticipated. But it gets done.

So I got to work. It was a slow process, but I eventually got my life together and moved on my own. This was a month after the phenomenal Arbonne area manager retreat, and for whatever reason things became very real and very scary in terms of accountability and recognition. I froze. I was in activity, but without intention. I did all of this without realizing WHY. I truly didn’t realize it until now.

I never wanted to be an inspirational figure, leader, or role model but I became that in the past two and half years. I have written about it before, and truly thought I had come to terms with it. Except I clearly hadn’t. For all of you who have stuck with you and supported me, it means more than you know. For those that wondered wtf happened to her (with good reason)?  HERE I AM.

Standard cargo pants and fleece at Island Beach State park in New Jersey. Photo taken by Looie Voorhees

Slayer My Smaller Self

I am ready the slay the dragon. The dragon is myself. It is my own crippling fear in something bigger, and becoming something bigger and very public. It is the belief that I AM the leader that so many in Arbonne think I am. I AM COMING. It is one of the most terrifying and inspiring moments in my life.   I am finally seeing myself as so many of you do. I am the badass leader who has transformed from a treehugging hippie and into a shimmery water ninja.

This is not about what I want. It is about what I deserve, and how many other people deserve to be inspired by my story. I have grown into my creative self who actually loves to doodle, and perhaps even draw.  I have always loved photography, and this year will be the year to blossom into that.  I am becoming my true self.  It is amazing, terrifying, and realizing it is one of the most understated but determined moments in my life.

I will be a regional vice president and a national vice president with Arbonne THIS YEAR. It’s all revolved around this fraking moment of discovery. In this journey there have been so many moments, but to this point this is the biggest. I am growing into myself and being a whole person, an adult. A woman who up until quite recently didn’t believe I had any artistic talent or even a desire to be an artistic in the traditional term. I am growing into me, and I am a powerful freaking being. Watch me roar, because I am coming like never before. BOOM.

Codependency and Responsibilities

The two biggest lies about adulthood is that your life is now your own, and that you should live your life to be “comfortable”.

The other thing that people don’t tell you about adulthood is that it is Fraking Hard. You essentially have two choices once you reach the pinnacle moment in adulthood: to stay or create a the cloud of comfort known as mediocrity or change into something bigger. The something bigger is almost always painful, and often times brings you into positions that you’d never thought you would have to fulfill or want to fulfill.

two-options

Responsibilities

This is what being an adult comes down to responsibilities. This is why I love certain aspects of my life, because I have none in one of my jobs. I still do them because I have a strong work ethic, but it’s not expected. And if you don’t, there really aren’t consequences that are noticeable at first. Depending on where you are in your life, those consequences may not surface for a very long time (raises hand).

This is what has separated my apparent adulthood from actual adulthood, codependency. I paid most of my own way for most of my life, except college, which will be forever grateful for, except living space. It was easy and comfortable, and I settled into a cloud of mediocrity. I am sure that my parents thought they were doing me a favor and I am grateful for them, but they didn’t realize they were doing me a disservice.

My life was not ultimately up to me. If I didn’t make “rent”, it’s not like they were going to kick me out. So I stayed, and I stayed far longer than I should have because of the cloud of codependency and comfort of mediocrity allowed me to.

As I am making epiphanies as I write this, it is evolving as I write it. Here is what I have learned about being comfortable in a fog of mediocrity: it is comfortable, but truly unfulfilling. You begin to question your own self-worth, as well as so many other things about your life.

Decide to Thrive

The word Decide means to literally cut off. Who wants to cut off a portion of themselves? Nobody. If a person has gangrene, and it was up to them most people would let it fester and spread throughout their bodies. Why? It’s easier that way. The pain of surviving that pain is often worse than living in their current state.

Changing sucks. It just does. What I have learned about change in the last year is that it happens, and often at odd times in one’s life. It forces you to grow into a role that you didn’t expect to ever take on. Roles that you never wanted to take on, sometimes. Circumstances dictated you to be the rock., be the one to ask questions, and be the painful truth teller in your family.

It would have been so nice if your journey had stopped there. But it doesn’t.

The Choice

fear pass, regret not

Growth and change never stop in the world of responsibility and adulthood. When it does, a person starts sinking into the mediocrity of comfort. I was used to love being comfortable, until one day it wasn’t. I craved more. It was easy. I am OVER it being EASY. Nothing good happens there, bring on the pain.

Here’s the choice that we adults get to make every day: be comfortable or grow into something better. There is no judgment for being comfortable. I lived in comfort for about a decade, and I struggled sometimes in the mediocrity of comfort.

I spent the majority of my life being “comfortably” uncomfortable. It was easy, it was being meh, and it ended up not being enough. I have written before that most of my life was spent trying to be invisible. One day someone saw something in me, and suddenly that was not enough. It shouldn’t be enough.

The pain and growth I experienced in the last 4.5 years was worth all of it to experience the journey of self-discovery.

The regret? It will suck worse than any of the intensely person growth I have experienced in the last 4.5 years. It is about being an inspiration to not only others, but more importantly yourself. Choose your inspiration.

Fear of Success and Codependence

 Codependence

I have steadily been moving towards independence, and took a big step towards it by finally moving into my own place. It is exhilarating, scary, and necessary. My whole life I have been enabled and codependent, mostly without me knowing it.   This has lead to some unhealthy and self-destructive habits that I have been slowly working my through to be the best version of myself. I have written about the personal growth aspect of the journey repeatedly.

The Battle

I have never shied away from it. The necessary pain of personal growth until recently. I didn’t know why until yesterday. The last vestiges of codependence are attempting to adhere a strangle hold on my road to greatness, and they are powerful, deeply entrenched, and are not going away without a fight. It is possibly my hardest personal growth battle to date. My will, grit, and determination are even greater.

decisions regret

I don’t think I have ever been more scared to continue on my path to greatness, to success. I will beat this. I will conquer the doubt, frustration, and little nagging voice that says “no you can’t”. I have to. It is past that, I deserve to.

It is bigger than me. It always has been. It is just more real now that it ever has been. The fear of success, and the lingering doubt has been crippling as of late. What if I am not good enough, what if I am not the leader everyone expects me to be, what if blah blah.

Belief

It’s all bullshit, of course. Some of the biggest leaders in Arbonne believe in me, and it’s been a long time since I have felt this uncertain about myself. This is how I know I am close to a breakthrough. The closer one gets to the breakthrough, the more the universe challenges you to see how much you want it. I deserve to get out of my own head not for the last time, but certainly one of the most important to date. I am at the critical junction where my fear of being noticed and success have come to a head. This is my pinnacle moment where I can aspire and reach greatness, or I can shirk into the background. The latter is not really an option. It would be so much easier, but I am never one to take the easy way out. Bring on the pain, I’ve got this. Finally. Yes, I realize I have said this numerous times. And every time it has been true in different aspects of my life’s journey.

New Reality

This poem reflects about my current evolution of moving into my own place for the first time.  Enjoy 🙂

 

New Reality

sometimes
Revisiting
your

Previous
life

Causes

Reflection
Emotion
Pain

like tonight.

I came
back for
an evening.

the
Range
of

Emotions
are

Staggering
and

Perplexing.

It
feels

Foreign.

it’s now
Just a

place.

not a

home.

but
familiar.

What I
think it
may be
like for
amnesia
Victims.

Lost,
Open,
Vulnerable,
Afraid

also

Free.

I am no
longer

Shackled

by
my
Surroundings

I
Embrace

Love

Immerse

myself in
Them.

Blank

Slate
has a

completely
Different

Meaning
to me.

Another
Life,

Chapter,

Being,

Self.

 

Persona, Myself, and Reality

I have developed this persona of sports chick meets business casual.  And that’s what it is, a persona.  It has been hard edged and intimidating, which is really not what I had intended.  It was a barrier in a sense for people not to get too close.  The weirdest part?  I didn’t even know I was doing it.  All I need to fulfill that is persona is some straight up killer heels, super spiffy clothes, and then boom.  Intimidation persona complete.

persona4b

The reality is I am a down-to-earth, relatively easy going person who is easy to talk to.  Now, it would be MUCH easier to get the aforementioned clothes than change my style and approach to people.  However, I am not the type of person to take the easy way out.  I am nothing if not true to myself.  It will suck some of the time, and take more personal growth that will most likely be painful.  But I will do it, because that is my truth and my destiny to be that kind of leader in Arbonne.

Becoming Yourself

This year possibly more than any other year has been a year of change, epiphanies, and becoming the person I am truly meant to be.  If there was one thing I thought about myself my entire adult life was that I was always me.  I didn’t put on airs with people.  The odd thing is as you grow into adulthood is sometimes who you are smacks you right in the face.  Like BOOYAH, the past 34 years I was just kidding, this is who you truly are.  And it’s scary.  Despite Facebook and this blog, I really don’t like people knowing the real me.  In the past that has just led to heartbreak and misery.  The keywords in that sentence are the past.  I am sure I will have heartbreak again, but at least this time it’ll be in my truth.

Reality

What is scarier to you:  becoming the person you were meant to be and letting people see you or staying stymied in your old self?  For most of my life the former was infinitely scarier than the latter.  Some people do not want to see the truth, and would rather keep you down than see you blossom into the person you were meant to be.  The people that really love you will accept it right away, and sometimes the people who have known you the longest may take some time to see it or they may not see it at all.

The year of change and epiphanies just keeps getting better, and I am evolving into the person I am meant to be.

The Push

The last few months I have been living in the status quo.  I have been working my business and my life, but not to the degree I should have been.  More importantly, not to the degree I deserve to be.

Every time I have pushed myself it’s because of something I didn’t really understand.  College I pushed to get a degree, but why?  I went district manager because I had a day to complete something I worked so hard for, and I was going to be damned if I didn’t make it.  I truly don’t know what happened when I completed Area Manager with Arbonne.  It was quite honestly a blur of phone calls, activity, and wonderful mayhem.  Inspired action is the magic word.

Actions in proportion to fear is what determines progress.

This push is different, and it’s different because I realize WHY I am pushing.  In some ways it is worse.  Before, I wasn’t thinking of why.  I was ignorance on fire.  I was focused on the result, which will get you to a certain point.  I did not have a reason of my story of why I wanted something bigger.  It was a different push.  It was an external push, so to speak.  My previous pushes and epiphanies were fueled by grief  and/or stress.

The push I am having now is internal.  I have realized my reason for doing this business, and going for it so big that it scares the living schnikes out of me.  Internal pushes are as scary as any class four rapid, any height (I’m really scared of heights), or any disappointment in myself.  They will push you to the brink, and then beyond if you choose to take the challenge.

I have never backed down from a challenge, and I’m certainly not going to start now.

What’s Your Superpower?

I went to see a speaker tonight named Cornell Thomas, and I had a number of takeaways. The biggest one for me was when started asking my friend about her superpower. Everyone has a superpower that is unique to them, and it’s our life purpose to figure out what that is and to serve the world. His analogy (Cornell’s) was when you don’t use your superpower, it would be like Superman walking to rescue a puppy instead of flying.

Stolen from the interwebs

So what is your superpower? Mine is listening to others, assessing a problem, and applying a solution in a logical and analytical matter. I have known that I was a good listener for quite awhile, and I’ve become aware of my ability to solve other people’s problems. It is something I use quite often at work, with friends, etc. I realized tonight that I could be using it so much more effectively and more powerfully.

Why are we so afraid to identify and use it? It is all about fear, doubt, sense of deserving to be of service (self-deserving), and self-belief. Fear that they think the solution won’t work, and doubt that they will not believe me or that it is possible.   Self-deserving and self-belief are the biggest culprits in holding myself back in most aspects of my life. The self-deserving part is where I deserve to share this gift with people, even if they reject it. The self-belief is my realization that I can change thousands of people’s lives by utilizing my superpower in combination with my story. Not only do I deserve to believe that I will change and impact the world in a real meaningful way by unleashing my superpower, but the rest of the world deserves it as well. I not only have a responsibility to that, but I have an obligation to leave this world better than I came into being.  It’s utterly terrifying, and at the same time, it is one of the most freeing moments I have had.  This is my purpose, this is my life, and it is mine to give.

Day 12, Gym 11 Walking with Dad

After so many of years, months, etc of trying to figure out things.  I have figured it out.

There is such a thing as fear based versus caution.  Fear based is based on limited information, fear, and an overall scared mentality.  Caution is based on informed decision making, facts, and pros and cons list.

Having lived this life on fear based thinking and mentality, I get it.  Trust me, I get it ALL of it.   Fear is easier to handle, it’s easier to push away, it’s easier in general.  I’m scared of heights, boom, done.  I’m scared to talk to that person because I’ve been devastated before in the past when opening up to someone BOOM, done.  I’m afraid to do this thing so outside my comfort zone, what if I get ridiculed, embarrassed, and want to hide in a corner?  BOOM, activity over.  People coddle you when you make excuses, hide yourself, and hide under a rock.  They do not coddle you when you make a decision to change your life.

People commiserate over sadness, and make excuses for you.  My friend Keri, said when she broke her foot, that people would say to her, “oh it’s ok you’ve gained such and such weight, you broke your foot.  Let me help you.”  All of that is okay.  But it is so much easier to commiserate than it is to move past your own obstacles, own them, figure out a way to fix the problem, and move on.  This is why people stay where they are for years.

Own your life, your decisions, and be happy with it.  I had a talk with my dad about a few different things tonight as we were walking.  The universe conspires in weird and wonderful ways, and sometimes those ways suck hairy monkey balls.  The best thing that ever happened to me was being fired for forgetting to lock a door, literally.  I was working 60-70s a week between two jobs, and quite honestly, I didn’t see that changing.  I got a promotion at work, and literally two days later was fired.

I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do with myself.  I spent the first month vegging out on TV turning off my brain.  Then I took my first whitewater kayaking class, and started paddling.

However, for the next two out of the three jobs I had were fear based.  Fear that I would lose my job, that I wasn’t good enough, and I put in more hours than ever.  This is really no way to live life.  When my last environmental consulting job, which was the worst in terms of job security than any of the others, ended, I was actually relieved.

Fast forward to the present.  I am working retail at a job I’ve worked since  high school, which is as far from fear based as you could possible get; and I am passionately working my beloved Arbonne business.

I say that I found myself in Arbonne, and it’s true.  I have found so much more than that.  I have found my purpose for being on this planet.  If I can inspire one other tree-hugging hippie paddler, introvert, and outdoor junkie to understand that they can do whatever the hell they want in this life, than what better honor is there than that?

To inspire others to live their dreams, and make them realize that if I can do them, than why the hell not them?  Truly is there any better privilege than that?  No there isn’t.

Yet another big shift.   And I’ve only just begun.

Moments

Have you ever have one of those moments where you realize you are the not the person you perceive yourself to be?  Or at the very least, the person people used to know.

know me last year

 

I was at dinner with friends of my parents, one of them my English professor at community college, we all had dinner together.  They really didn’t say anything, and they didn’t really have to.  I felt it, as odd as that sounds.  They noticed and felt something different.

I have taken control of my life; more than that, I have taken responsibility for it.  I am done letting my circumstances control me.  I am done letting my living situation control different aspects of my life.  I am done thinking that people owe me something just because of whatever reason.

This is my life.  I have fought, grown, persevered, and built a life that I am proud of.   I am building a life I can not only survive, but thrive, on my own.

I cannot control if others are proud of me.  I can’t, and I didn’t even realize I was trying to until about a two weeks ago.  I am proud of myself, of my decision to be responsible, and to let go by an invisible rope of financial means.

I AM DONE. Proving myself to others that don’t understand me, my motivations, and my life choices.

This year has been one of growing, building, destroying internal walls, and severe personal, emotional pain.  All of that equal THIS realization.

This moment of “I don’t give a frak what happens”.  It’s a choice, it’s amazing, it’s gold, and it’s coming.  And it’s worth it.

And, you know what?  It IS about me.  Just a little.  Because you have to believe you are worth the life of millionaires to get there.  You have to believe you are worth inspiring and leading thousands of lives.  If you don’t believe you intrinsically are worth all of those things, rethink.

This is from a recovering sarcastic, invisible person, who didn’t believe I was worthy of much at all-you need to believe that you are.  Surprisingly, people pay attention.

If I can work through an immense amount of self-doubt, pain, and personal growth, trust me you can too.  (Find a mentor).

Why?  Because YOU, yes you, are worth it.  Maintain a giving, selfless heart if that is your nature, but understand that you are worth everything that want and for others.

Moments and Shifts

Sometimes there are moments that seem like they are still-life, and they are pictured in your mind forever.  Some good, some bad, some just are.

Then there are moments that change your thinking, change your perspective, and ultimately change your life.

I have had so many of these lately that it’s been a bit overwhelming.  My friend calls it “the gauntlet”, and she had run hers a few years ago.  I am running mine now.  It’s a series of life-defining events that are sometimes cataclysmic, but always kind of an emotional do or die situation.

tragedy-strength dalai

This year has been one of the toughest emotionally, but one of the best years of my life.  There’s been loss, heartache, emotional pain, and stress from a variety of sources.  All of that leads me to this.  This moment, my gauntlet.

I am done hiding.  I have hid behind a wall for so long, and I have written about it.  This is different.  It’s visceral.  It’s one of several breakthroughs I have had in the past months, but this is one of the most important.

Because it’s about me.  A lot of the other breakthroughs I’ve had, and the success has been because I wanted to be an integral part of building others up.  Because they deserved it.  It wasn’t because I deserved it.  I didn’t think I deserved that success, but I for damned sure wanted to help them achieve theirs.  To be apart of something greater, and we pulled together as a team and succeeded.

It was amazing to be part of that, and I’ll never forget it.

Now I realize that I DESERVE success, too.  For me, for my team, for my family.  And all of that is okay.  It’s not selfish, it’s not narcissistic, and it’s deserved.  I have worked to grow myself to the person I am today, and it was hard, it was painful, and at times it quite frankly sucked.  The outcome though?  The best thing I have ever done.  To realize I AM worthy of all those things.  Me.  Not for someone else, is my biggest shift to date.  I am quite literally shaking with fear and realization.