Sunday, August 07, 2011

Beth/Rest

A few years ago I answered the phone at work and my boss told me she was quitting. I had no idea how to react-we had just signed a major deal with a big celebrity and things felt like they were finally going to take off. The person I admired most at the company leaving seemed like a sign that maybe I was wrong. The HR Director told me to take the afternoon off and I went straight to Crystal Cove to run on the beach and try to figure out what the hell to do with my life. I decided that no matter what happened with the big celebrity contract, for me personally it was time to get out of the comfortable bubble I was in and look for new ways to grow.

It was only a few months later that I was packing up my life once again and moving across the country for a job opportunity. A new opportunity that turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. I do not regret anything about that move-I made incredible friends, learned things about myself that were disappointing and things about myself that were awesome, and had experiences that have increased my capacity for empathy. It was a good move. However, deep in my heart, I know that it was a move I talked myself into because I was a little too chicken to figure out how to grow where I was. A new job, a different city, a new ward-it was a wonderful external way to force myself to change. The last fifteen years of my life have been all about clean slates.

Cut to late summer 2011 and staring down the two year anniversary of moving to Colorado Springs. I have zero reason to be restless, I have a great job, good friends, I'm close enough to Utah that I can drive there or get a cheap plane ticket, the weather is lovely, I've picked up some new hobbies I am loving and I have an apartment that makes me happy every single time I come home. Life is good.

But.

It's easy to get complacent when things are going well. And it's very, very easy when you are single and making a nice living to just be having fun all the time and totally forget to stretch. A couple of months ago an old friend from college asked if he could set me up and while we were talking about it he said, "you have a great life but it's time to quit goofing around and get serious." Let me be clear, I in no way think being 34 and single is an indication that I have been "goofing around". I don't think married people are all responsible and single people are all flakes. (And to be fair, I don't think that's how he meant it either.) But what he said hit a nerve on some other fronts.

Instead of daydreaming about what else might be out there and imagining how I would reinvent myself when I got there, I've decided to make some changes I've been thinking about but not DOING much about for awhile now. This weekend I went on a blind date. I got up early on a Saturday to go for a bike ride and we did some evil hills. I took every box and drawer and pile of stuff I said I would go through "after the Olympics" and sorted and organized and trashed things like an episode of Hoarders. I've committed to some lofty goals at work. I keep thinking about the scripture about needing to be humble lest you GET humbled.

Hard things here I come.

Willingly.

And for your Monday morning listening pleasure-here's a live version of Bon Iver's Blood Bank from Boston recorded Friday night. I heard them play this many years ago, also in Boston, and it was one of my very favorite music moments. A beautiful song that is simply outstanding live.

2 comments:

H. Brown said...

mmm. wow, you know how to talk about those tough things. what tightropes we have to walk between complacency and growth, reinvention/flexibility and commitment to a course. it's so hard to grow when i'm not being forced! good on ya for those boxes and bike rides. love.

Jayne said...

In my favorite (only) self help book How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci, he says that we should challenge deeply help beliefs now and then. At first I was bugged because I thought he meant things like our philosophy or faith - but it's much more than that. More like, challenging the I-am-this-kind-of-person so I don't ever need to try that kind of thing (read, climb,change,work, whatever) I have to come to believe that is is the best way to stay alive and to grow.Good girl.