Wait, I haven’t posted since January? Insanity.
Right then…Second Chances. I’ve had a lot of those lately and it’s provided an opportunity to think about my own growth (or possibly lack thereof). For those of you who know me in person, you know that I don’t have a history of being very assertive when I think my preferences will cause other people discomfort or disappointment. That’s been changing slowly slowly over the past few years and I can look back over the past few months and specifically point to examples where I didn’t chip away at my own integrity in an effort to spare feelings. The confidence in other people to handle their business and the comfort of knowing that by deliberately ending a situation that isn’t serving me will lead to space for other, better opportunities.
1. Grad School. Wow, the last time I mentioned grad school was back in October and I’d hinted that I was struggling. I ended up leaving the program shortly after that post was published. While I’m sure that the program is a best fit for some, it was a worst fit for me. For reasons that I don’t care to go into publicly, I made an ungraceful exit and quietly sat with guilt and shame. Misplaced emotions but they were there. After a few months had passed, I began asking myself ‘Do I need grad school?’ and the answer was yes. And this is where it gets interesting….. Having been part of a program that was so wrong for me, I was able to distill what I knew was important in a potential program. But even then, I didn’t look beyond Seattle for programs that fit my needs. And so I applied to a program that had accepted me the year before.
And I got waitlisted.
Ouch! Wow, that stung. But, in an ‘All things work together for good’ sort of way, me being waitlisted provided the time and space for me to find an even BETTER program. I applied and was accepted a week later. I begin classes next week and couldn’t be happier.
Lesson: Don’t stay in a situation simply because you’re being guilt tripped. Do what’s best for you. Everything will work out one way or another and the sun will still rise. Yeah, consequences can be painful but you’ll get through them. And sometimes, something even more awesome will come your way.
2. Relationships. I had a bright moment of clarity recently: If you have to ask if you’re friends with someone, you already know the answer. Why fight for something that isn’t there? Remove your focus from relationships that aren’t fulfilling and wait for/seek relationships that DO fulfill you. And no, this has nothing to do with Mr. Fluvial. Things are great on that front. 🙂
I’ve been taking stock of relationships lately and been going through some ‘letting go’ ritual as a way of marking an end to ones that just don’t fit. Again, it’s funny but the moment I did that, I ended up finding myself in amazing situations with amazing new people simply because my eyes and heart were open to new people.
3. Dance! Going along with Item 2, I’ve been creatively stifled for the past few years. So much was going on (marriage, illness, new job, new school (twice!), moving, etc.) that it simply did not leave time to experience creative outlets. Well, that changed in the most fantastical way on Sunday evening. At the invitation of a new friend, I experienced blues dancing for the first time and…I think I may have found my new passion. My tango experience served me well and I was able to keep up but beyond that, the people were friendly and the dance itself provided more opportunity to FEEL the music, connect with partners, improv, embrace lyrical movement, ALL OF IT. That evening, I think I released as much serotonin as I did on the Playa some years back. It was transformational. It reminded me of how I felt when these pictures were taken:
4. Marriage. My marriage to Mr. Fluvial continues to evolve in the most magical of ways. Through trial by fire (and second, third, and fourth chances), we’ve been able to learn what feels like ‘leveled up’ communication. We’ve become more complimentary partners and are really embodying the opening of our marriage ceremony (https://fluvial.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/what-is-marriage/)
So, second chances. They’re a good thing but most of the time, they are predicated upon ‘failure’. Basically, you can’t find something more awesome without having the courage to either consciously give something up or realizing that it’s been taken from you.
My $0.02. What say you?
And one final picture just because: