I suppose it’s a midlife crisis of some sort, all the whining and nostalgic angst. I mean, really; most of the recent entires on this blog are of the emotional, soul-searching, “something’s gotta change” sort.
Yeah; I’m sort of tired of myself.
But it’s where it’s at these days, and rather than fight it and push it down and avoid the pain (another thing I’m learning in my current batch of navel-gazing study – apparently I’m a 7 on the Enneagram and that makes me a person whose prime motivation is avoiding pain. What? I need an entire other blog to start to unpack that one…)
I digress. With all the longing and nostalgia and job changing and empty nesting and such, I must state that I have, indeed, made some deliberate progress and learned some specific things. Indeed, I have. It’s just that a) I haven’t been sharing EVERYTHING here, and b) sometimes I forget what I have learned.
Which makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Case in point:
Last fall I met with a professional executive coach. She offered me a free session, giving a gift to our non-profit, and I somewhat reluctantly accepted her offer. I love me some therapy and counseling, but this seemed like it would be way out of my comfort zone. Seeing as how I don’t regard myself as an “executive”, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my hopes were not high.
Any expectations I might have had were blown out of the water. In short, this intelligent, inquisitive, emotionally sensitive woman positioned me to answer her truthfully when she stood me up and said, ‘Stand here. Stand in this spot, look in this direction, and tell me: Who do you want to be?‘
Lord, have mercy; it was the right thing at the right time, in the right context, and my answer surprised me with its roar of authenticity and declarative claim.
Through unbidden tears and a clutch in my throat, this is the statement that came out of my mouth:
I want to be a wise old woman.
That’s what I said. And then those tears shook themselves loose and I cried. I looked out at the beautifully framed landscape of her yard, the shore of the lake, the shimmering of the fall leaves tethered to the tall trees, and I said it again.
I want to be a wise old woman. I want time to look out and around me, above and below, and see – really SEE – the trees and the lake and the birds. I want space to be present in this life. And I want to take all that I have learned and offer it to anyone else who needs it.
I’d never articulated such thoughts; in fact, I could not have told you that this truth was lurking in my heart. But there it was, and as the words shook themselves loose and swooped out into the air, it became my truth.
Tomorrow, I’ll write the next part of the journey; I’ll remind you of the time that God spoke, ever so clearly, and how I claimed another truth and got excited about the future.
Then, I’ll tell you how I totally forgot about ALL OF THAT, and whined for four months, and then went away to a work retreat with some of my most trusted friends, cried and whined some more about my confusion and instability, and then got smacked upside the head. Hard.