Thursday, January 27, 2011

The View from 2011

One of the things I realized over the past year is that I needed to change. Not because that’s what any magazine article or helpful friend told me to do, but because I could feel the need to evolve in my body, mind, and soul. The ‘three against one’ push to move forward was getting intense, and showed me just how detached I had become from “me.” There were so many elements to consider—the house needed to be cleaner, my overflowing desk needed to be organized, my body needed to be healthier, my weight needed to go down, my patience level needed to go up, and my dreams needed to be pulled out from under the bed, dusted off and, at the very least, acknowledged.

I struggled in private, attempting to make all the changes happen at once. I wish, knowing what I know now, that someone had encouraged me to change publically. Not complain about my struggles, but rather acknowledge that I was attempting change—get it out in the open. Change happens all the time. I still question myself today—by attempting change openly, am I more afraid of success or failure? People would see my mistakes and comment on them, (or worse), try to help or question them. Why put myself, successful or failing, out there for judgment of any kind?

And then along came Rocket. The ultimate learn how to struggle in public life coach. You have to train and/or correct your dog in front of other people…and if they are a puppy named Rocket, this is a constant. People shared their opinions about his sick nature, his hyper energy, his spastic behavior, his constant need to party. Everyone had advice for me. Everyone, for the first time in a long time, watched me break decorum and give in to my boiling frustration—in public. This was a big “no-no” for me on a personal level and it sent my cheeks flaring with embarrassment on many occasions. All self-induced, of course.

My thoughts on change today?

Seek support. I wish I had done that first. I was out there on my own, listening to all the naysayers, both strangers and acquaintances, who gave their advice and opinions away constantly. I placed too much emphasis on other people’s beliefs about something that had to do with me (not them). I forgot all of my formal school training that reminded me to go to a knowledgeable source…like a dog trainer.

Educate yourself. Be responsible for gathering the information you need to be successful. Life isn’t just a bunch of opinions, gossip, and here say. There are facts and informed conclusions still out there in this world. If I wanted to know more about a specific book in my field of study (Children’s Literature), I’d go to my professor or an author, not just anyone who had read or heard about the book. It’s okay to take things to a deeper level and find what makes it personal and important to you. And yes, it turns out I still need to gather information about subjects I feel like I “should” already know about…like dogs (you mean you don’t just love on them & put food in a bowl once a day?), and running (isn’t it just one foot in front of the other?). I don’t have all the answers. Neither does anyone else. But there are those who do possess educated information that I need. It turns out I wasn’t born knowing everything…even some of the simple stuff. (Whew! What a relief to acknowledge that out-loud!)

I’m a 30 year old novice at life (and a novice at blogging). But that just means that I’m a newbie navigating new situations everyday. Isn’t that what all of us really are anyway?