I’m sitting on a couch in sunny Los Angeles in a house that does not belong to me. It belongs to my grandmother. I have so many memories in this room: playing legos on the floor. Watching Jeopardy every night over a small bowl of orange sherbet. That time a cousin’s boyfriend stepped on my train set and broke the bridge support (I’m still working on forgiving that guy).
Category "Risk and Fear"
In the early stages of any endeavor, we look forward to arrival. We set out with a goal in mind, and that is what keeps us moving forward. We long for the day when we come into our own and it feels like things are much less difficult.
I quit my job and started this blog with the intention of affecting change in the world. I want to help you bring more of who you are to what you do. It is meaningful work for me for many reasons, but it is also hard work. I started building this blog one post at a time, and this community one person at a time. Though I have big intentions for this work and for what this movement can be, it takes a long time to build.
As I feel the tension between where I am and where I want to be, I can easily idealize that future moment when everything will be in its right place (which is also a fantastic song). The problem then is that feeling “arrived” becomes the point, and we forget about the process.
Arrival is not the point.
Roughly once a month for the past year a small group of people have gathered in a wine cellar tucked away beneath a restaurant in Seattle. We gather to tell stories.
This group was birthed from a desire to use this beautiful space and a desire to create a place for people to bring parts of themselves that they want to be known to others. The structure of the evening is quite simple: each time we gather, one person brings an experience to the group and the group then interacts around it, with it, and in it. We start the night with a couple bottles of wine (ok, sometimes more than a couple) and some hors d’oeuvres. We then gather around a long, large wooden table— 16 seats attentively occupied. And then, the person of the evening (chosen by volunteering and/or some gentle pressure) begins to share.
I’ve noticed something interesting with almost every person as we’ve prepared for their night. At first, you don’t know what to share about. As we talk about this group (which goes by many names) with each other we often ask, “do you know what you’re going to share on your night?” Most reply, “I have no idea.” Or maybe, “I have a vague idea, but I’m not sure.”
Can we talk about that “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for a moment?
We hear this a lot, and it’s all really exciting, but I want to pick it apart a little bit.
“Once-in-a-lifetime” things are electric. They give us butterflies in our stomachs. They feel as though, if we play our cards just right, we will go places and experience things that we couldn’t otherwise.
- that job,
- that project,
- this risk,
- that trip,
- that guy/girl,
- that client, etc.
Thus, we feel compelled to say yes to:
I’ve been excited about launching this blog for quite some time. I’ve been talking about it and writing for it for a while. Now it’s here. Now it’s launching. And in the last few weeks, I have found myself dragging my feet and coming up with so many reasons not to do this. All of a sudden, I have so many other things to do. It’s as though I once had a force within me that wanted to move forward but now that force wants to stand still and avoid what’s next.
Years ago I directed a program for high school students at a camp way up in northern CA. The camp has lots of high adventure programs, one of which is white water rafting on the Klamath river. We’re talking big, cold water. It’s epic, and so much fun.