... of something new, that is. After all, I'm a long way from the start of all this. What I've come to realize, though, is that there is no point to point journey like I originally thought. You don't just decide on a path, take it, arrive after a while, and voila, you're done... free to live the rest of your life like normal, uncluttered people thereafter. In fact, in light of recent wake up calls, I feel a little stupid for having so recently believed such a thing, but I suppose that's the price we pay for progress.
That said, I've decided it's pretty clear to me know that we never stop. There are only levels that we pass through, each with its own crucibles and opportunities, and wise to this now, it's no wonder I've had such a difficult time shutting doors behind me. I've been under the impression there was no where else to go, nothing else to figure out or discover about myself, and nothing more out there in terms of life lessons for me to interpret, which, yes, in hindsight---hell, typing it now---seems so impossibly naive I'm embarrassed to even admit it. But there we are, I suppose. And because of realizing this, I can now really move on.
To start off, I guess the best thing to do at this point is to take some inventory. What am I leaving here at this hub, what am I taking with me...and you know, I'm leaving this idea that I somehow need to prove anything to anyone. I haven't needed approval for a very long time, and even then it was only ever my own that I needed to recognize and accept. Life is too short to worry about judgement, especially about that of people who don't have the compass with which to even begin mapping me. I think by leaving this here, I'll be free to take risks that will pull me out of my comfort zone... sounds like a logical first step, no? I mean, how else can a person get anywhere? Can't say where it'll take me, but it'll get me moving again, which is all that matters.
And what am I taking... let's see...I think that will have to be this perspective that there is no finish line I want to find anytime soon, and that processing these "life projects" isn't something I can check off my to-do list of elf-actualizing accomplishments, PTSD unpacked baggage, or anything like that because they aren't finite like I thought they were. Ironman was a leg of a journey, and this is another. I don't need to prove to myself that I'm strong enough to endure, that I have the courage to face my fears, or that I can conquer them like I once did. Now, I need to forgive myself for all the mistakes I've made along the way, and I need to stop feeling guilty about pursuing my own interests again...I don't have to sacrifice everything in the name of perceived retribution for the five years I spent climbing out of a hole in my spare time because damn it all, I never missed reading a story, a tuck in, or a tooth fairy note, even with 20-hour training weeks. To the rest of the world, no one was shortchanged by my dragon slaying, so the only thing I can think of that could cause this guilt is the knowledge that I didn't have enough of myself in tact to appreciate what I had in my life for how amazing it was, and I can never get that back. I missed that whole time of being aware, to the degree that I know I'm capable of feeling it, and that kills me. But I have it now---I mean, I'm in tune enough to really experience these feelings of appreciation, and that ability isn't in jeopardy just because I take some time to do things that help me evolve as an individual too.
So, I guess we'll see where this takes me. As for what direction to decide to go in, let's pick what scares me the most, because there's obviously something waiting for me there...I'm dusting off my skates, and am going to seriously contemplate embracing, and in doing so, confronting why certain aspects of this sport such as the unabashed, unapologetic self-expression of it make me so nervous. Suffice it to say, the hot pants and fishnets may not be my style, but I can't unilaterally decide that without honestly trying them out, or I'll never know if it's really just my comfort zone holding me back. Yep, I'm the head of an English department, a book worm, and I live in a conservative small town... but I worked pretty hard for these thighs, too, now didn't I? And at the end of the day, I suppose no frogs will fall from the sky if they see the light of day once in a while.
In front of people I know.
Gulp. Well here we go...