I’m sitting in a Barnes and Noble in Northern Florida, feeling so happy because I love Barnes and Noble, being surrounded by books, having my belly full of the warm sandwich. Sitting in the bustling cafe in the strip mall, I feel a sense of my old normal as I watch my face pop up on screen looking much more put together than I am today.

My new normal is cold. In fact, it’s been so cold the past couple of days that washing my hair and then walking the quarter mile back to our campsite with it wet was, not only too much to even think about without shivering, it was also probably not the smartest thing to do to my body. So, my hair is currently an unruly mess masked by the cute hat I have tucked it up under.

As my “put together self” from the past asks my current “mess of a self” from the present “who are you?” I tense up and tears start to well in my eyes. I look to the side in order to mask my sudden emotional reaction from the packed cafe full of strangers as the reality that I have NO idea who I am right now starts to sink in. I collect myself, push pause on the video and begin to think about the question.

I think back to when I made that video, so sure of myself and who I was, not knowing that the insecurity I’m currently feeling was right there, not realizing just how fragile the case the insecurity was tucked in was. At the time, I was deep into solidifying my belief that all you have to do is focus on the positive and that will be your life. I wrote the other day about my “Cancel! Cancel! Cancel!” experience and how you have to acknowledge where you are in order to move forward. I completely believe all of that. I also believe that what you resist persists and what you focus on grows. These are all beliefs I hold dear.

And, in the spirit of acknowledging and moving forward, I must take note of the fact that these past couple of years have shook me to the core, the foundation of those beliefs has been all but destroyed at times. It’s like that scene in the Never-ending Story when Bastian’s world explodes and the princess is left standing in front of his with one tiny grain of sand. My beliefs feel like that grain of sand, that my entire world exploded and instead of just acknowledging it, I’ve been fighting it and ignoring the fact that my beliefs have become so tiny they pass through my fist as I work to grasp onto them.

As I committed to reexamining those beliefs this year, I am now able to hold onto that image and realize that in order to hold onto that grain of sand, the foundation for rebuilding, I have to open my hand and gently cradle it. From that single grain of sand, I can rebuild, I can refocus, I can stop denying and fighting and making it so that I have to combine all the work I’ve done in the past into my career and life today. Those experiences will always be with me, but they don’t have to be who I am and what I do. Wow!

What a revelation.

That is who I am – or at least part of it – I am someone who finds the positive and makes it my reality. I am someone who has had many years of different experiences.

I’m excited to explore the question of who I am from this new vantage point because the woman looking at me in the video, the woman who made that course in the first place, knew who she was in that world. The woman I am now will figure out who I am in this new world.

It’s everything I can do not to jump up and yell into this Barnes and Noble. But, I will restrain myself, pack up my things, browse the journal section (because I can’t go into Barnes and Noble and not do that) and then head back to the campground where the love of my life is waiting to continue this epic journey we’re on <3

because, that’s life in a teardrop

 

 

 

 

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What is this “course” I’m talking about? Check it out here