Life Lesson: Growing into a New Year!

Lowi and I have been at this blog game exactly three years today and it’s been a process. In this time we’ve grown as writers, as people, as storytellers. Our courage has ebbed and flowed as any good, self-deprecating, corn-fed, small town girl’s should. It’s been a mix of vulnerability, uncertainty, consistency, commitment and just plain foolishness.

I haven’t shown up to tell you today that we’ve figured it out. Not even close. Instead, I think we’ve gotten closer to embracing the chaos and absurdity of it all. Life is messy business. Living it in all its raw, raucous, awesome and awfulness is a choice each and every day. We see many of you dig deep and start again each day in the face of immense obstacles and heavy burdens. You show up in ways that amaze us. You show up in our lives and bless us.

In these 36 months of living in the blogosphere, whatever that really is, we’ve had the opportunity to share our stories and that’s prompted many of you to so graciously share yours. And that has always been the ultimate goal. We show you our crazy. You show us yours. Then maybe what felt like crazy the day before feels better. You feel less like you have to hide. You feel less like you need to detract, distract from who you are and what you are living.

facebook-live
A little sample of my live video yesterday with the lovely Heather Doyle Fraser.

It’s not unlike the experience I had yesterday. I did a live Facebook experience with a friend who is highlighting local businesses and she was kind enough to include me. The whole idea of being live, on Facebook, in living color, talking, really sent me into an insecure, critical space. But I also knew that in the context of what’s happening in the world it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t anywhere close to life or death. What mattered if I talked in circles or said something unintelligible? It really didn’t. I didn’t need to do something amazing to distract whoever watched the video from who I really am. I didn’t need to hide. It’s just Facebook for heaven’s sake.

What mattered if someone made an unkind comment? Was that possible criticism scary enough for me to keep me still, to keep me quiet? This is a constant battle I have of taking myself too seriously but at the same time not valuing the work I do. It’s a convoluted little mess that Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud should battle out so don’t think on it too hard.

This got me to thinking about this meme I saw recently:

dont-fear-failure-fear-being-in-the-exact-same-place-next-year-as-you-are-today-22-760x760

It sent a little shiver across my body because I had the suspicion that I was about to arrive at January 1, 2017 in much the same place I was on January 1, 2016. That was motivating and terrifying in the same breath.

How did that happen? How had an entire year nearly passed and I hadn’t grown? I hadn’t changed? I was standing in what felt like almost the exact same spot. Have I been running in place for 12 months? It does seem like the floor beneath me is a bit more worn that it should be for just a year. I feel compelled to make a commitment to myself, and say it to all of you so you can call me out when I backslide, that this next year I will take more chances, risk more, be scared more, have more fun, stop apologizing unnecessarily, stop thinking the worst of myself, and start thinking the best.
As we head off into our holiday hiatus of celebrating Christmas, a New Year, eating too much, and, possibly, drinking too much, what will you be doing differently, less of, more of in 2017? How will you show up in ways that are true to you in spite of any reaction or rebuff you may receive?

What will you do in this next year so that the first glimmer of 2018 shines a light on your amazing.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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