Monday, February 8, 2016

The Shitty First Draft

Curiosity is a shit-starter. But that's okay. Sometimes we have to rumble with a story to find the truth. -Brene Brown (Rising Strong)

Curiosity is an absolute shit starter and that's a fact. The truth is, I've been rumbling with it for quite some time and I'm just now ready to take action on it. For those that have followed along with my journey; this outlet is going to look different. It's going to be raw and messy. I'm not going to gloss over the middle anymore; you're going to see the process that gets me from "well shit, that just happened" to "okay, that's why it happened; what did I learn?". It's been almost 2 years since my last post and I've been telling myself for quite some time the following lines of bullshit:

  1. I don't have time
  2. Nobody reads this and cares what I have to say
  3. My life isn't exciting
Well the truth is: I've been scared. *whew* ...there I said it. I've handled some really heavy stuff in the last 2 years and some of the writer's block has been the shame of failure. I have FAILED at so many things. For someone raised in a "failure-is-not-an-option" house this is shameful, gut-wrentching painful, panic-attack causing, "shhhh please don't tell anyone" stuff. 

What I know now? Failure is what has gotten me where I am today. I have survived the things that I never thought I could and they shaped me into the person I have become. I am GRATEFUL for failure... crazy, right? Who says that? The person who has lived through all of this:

  • Providing end of life care for my Grandfather
  • A hysterectomy at 27- resulting from 14 years of Endometriosis pain
  • A post-secondary surgical infection that almost killed me
  • Divorce
  • Starting over
  • Finding my way
  • Moving back to the scene of the crime- moving back to the city that I was happily married in
  • Taking on a dream job that turned into a nightmare
  • Losing a job- being fired for the first time
  • Putting my heart on the line and being truly vulnerable
  • Providing end of life care for my Grandmother
  • Taking on a new career & starting over
  • Managing health issues that are, without a doubt, kicking my ass
  • Daily pain
  • Hearing from the best of the best that long-distance running is not in my cards
  • Finding balance, not perfection
  • Letting down my barriers and showing the "hot mess" to a room of perfect strangers

...quite the list, huh? That's just the highlight reel. The reason this is a SFD is that this isn't for you! It's not... this is selfish and unpolished, a literary pile of vomit from my heart and brain. This is clearing out the garbage- it's the janitor with with wide push broom sweeping up after a basketball game. I'm clearing out the arena to tackle that list above. 

Want to know a secret? Shame loves perfectionists and I will be the first to tell you that I am 100% a perfectionist, through and through. Okay, so maybe that wasn't a secret... this is, I was okay to let shame win. Yep, I was curled up in my little shame ball, hiding out in my blanket fort, being as still as I could be and hoping that the world wouldn't notice me. I WAS MISERABLE. I was exactly where shame wanted me to be. It took me taking a huge leap to break the cycle and muster the power to fight back against shame. 

Lately, I've been reading stories of struggle, heartbreak, resentment, pain, fear and loneliness; all from women just like me. I got so angry! How could I be letting shame win? I know that I am so much tougher than shame. It is time for me to be brave with my life; not only for me, but for these women that are battling shame on the front lines, for those that haven't found their courage yet. It is for this reason I am writing my SFD and putting it out there into the world... Shame can't win anymore, not with me; not with any woman! 

I'm going to openly tackle all of that list above, I'm going to work through it and show you the process; even the messy bits in the middle. If my rumble can help a single woman come to terms with the asshole in our brains known as shame; it's worth it. 

We're in this together and shame, you're going down. Pack your bags, I'm even willing to give you a head start. We're through. 

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