The question sat in my Instagram direct messages, waiting to be answered.
…not much lately, I thought.
Lately I’ve been a little busy. Busy building cycle classes Busy supporting my partner in his new adventure. Busy trying to be more present as an aunt, as a daughter, as a sister, and as a friend. Busy changing gears and venturing into my own new work adventure—Y'ALL I STARTED A FREAKING BUSINESS.
Okay...kind of. So really I filled out some online forms and opened a business bank account so that I could call my new freelance work a business for tax purposes. So maybe it wasn't as grand or bold as making an high-stakes financial investment or building my brick-and-mortar dream from the ground up, but I'm proud just the same. There was a significant investment of my thought and energy, and those things count too.
So lately I have not been blogging about much but this woman on Instagram didn't need to know all of that. What she needed to know was the truth: that I blog (even if not recently) about mental health, self-discovery, healing, creativity, and… unaplogeticness?
Yep, that’s it. Unapolgeticness.
In the spirit of unapologeticness, I should tell you that I never wanted to run my own business or be the boss. I’ve spent most of my short career working directly under or close to the boss at small companies and I like that. I like being someone's right-hand lady. I like being dependable and working for amazing people…but here I am freelancing and being my own boss.
Choosing to embark on this freelance journey wasn’t about me following a grand dream or carefully laid out plan. It was about moving forward.
It was about getting un-stuck, which is how I spent most of fall feeling.
Fall has historically been my season of growth and accomplishment. There was no burst of creativity this year, though. I didn’t have the same romantic, energetic high that I normally ride through October. My Libra-season groove had gone entirely missing and in it’s place came a manic, daunting depression.
Every day was accompanied by life-is-so-heavy-even-the-thought-of-choosing-between-toast-and-oatmeal-for-breakfast-makes-me-want-to-get-back-bed levels of overwhelm.
I felt utterly worthless. Me, the same woman who has spent her spring and summer coaching other women to believe the very opposite about themselves, was struggling to put her own tools to work.
Until, that is, I re-discovered my mantra.
I was sitting on the living room floor after dinner on a Sunday night when I burst into tears, finally admitting to my partner just how overwhelmed and stuck I felt.
This confession was not for him, of course. He knew. He’d seen me shrinking at the sight of other people’s success. He’d been living with the manic exhaustion with which I seemed to approach every task. He wasn’t the one who needed to hear what I was saying.
“I wish I could tell you that I had the answer,” he said. “But I don’t.”
When I looked up at him, I could see frustration in his face but what I couldn’t quite see was if he was frustrated for me and with me in solidarity, or more so by me for being so unwilling or unable to start finding that answer myself.
That’s when I realized that I didn’t want him to have the answers. I realized that while a small, petty (yet incredibly human) part of me did want him to be frustrated for me and support me in throwing this temper tantrum, a bigger, wiser, (albeit eye-roll inducing) part of me wanted him to be frustrated by me. I wanted to be held accountable for my ability to do better for myself, not to be saved or fixed by the grace of someone else’s sympathy.
I knew I had to start moving forward. I had to crawl out of this self-loathing space I’d sunk myself into, and the only way I was going to that was by starting to make some choices.
At the time, all I could see in myself were these floating inconsistencies. I was paralyzed by the fear that all of the steps I’d taken over the past year hadn’t gotten me anywhere. I worried that I'd wasted my time shuffling side to side.
It was then, while wiping my tears on the living room floor, that I started to see 2018 for what it was:a year of choice.
When I decided to step away from coaching women to food and body freedom, I called my sister to discuss my decision. She was also in the midst of some big decisions regarding her future. “I just keep reminding myself that I have the freedom to choose,” I said, "and that it’s okay to make the wrong choice, or have to choose something else down the road.”
Making choices was not always something I did with ease. In the past, I’ve been guilty of looking for the path of least resistance or, if we’re being really honest, of least risk. Making bold choices is scary because often times in saying yes to something we need, we have to say no to some of those contingency plans. It's much easier to avoid failure when your making safe choices or not choosing at all.
What I said to my sister that day was the beginning of me setting the mantra that not only pulled me out of my stuckness but let me appreciate the massive amount of work I’ve done this year.
Make a choice, move forward.
It’s easy to overlook or underscore our own work. No one likes to be a braggart, right?
I chose to let go of things this year. I chose to dedicate my efforts as a cycle instructor to one studio, rather than two. I chose to step into the world of coaching, taking on new learning and responsibilities, and then I chose to let go in order to better serve myself. I chose to have bold conversations and to honor my needs. I chose to step into the challenge of freelance and self-employment. I chose to honor and be relentless in my self-healing.
The thing about making choices is there's not a "good" or "bad." Choice is simply action. It's power in motion. That can power be scary and can come with big consequences. But refusing to choose also means leaving your power on the table for the taking. Refusing to choose means standing still.
So if you’re feeling stuck ask yourself what you can choose in that moment. Big or small.