Here we are at the end of another year. I find it mildly shocking that I have lived in Miami for nearly 30 of these. To the version of me who showed up here in 1995 with plans to make it brief, that sounds way too long to be true.
A scene from an interview shortly before I came to town pops on my mental movie screen.
In preparation for a legal research position with the federal government, the FBI conducted a thorough investigation of my past. Agents in dark suits and shades knocked on former front doors, asking roommates and neighbors all sorts of prying questions.
I received some concerned phone calls inquiring about what I had gotten myself into.
Sitting at a large conference table across from me, the crew-cutted agent asked what had accounted for the TWENTY-SIX different addresses. I had really put them to work.
I suppressed the urge to provide my usual answer to that question: I killed a guy.
As these fellows did not appear to be in a joking mood, I kept that one to myself.
Over the years, however, I’ve thought about the question. Why all the moves?
My latest answer is this: I had been desperate to leave all those places because I didn’t feel at home in my own skin. I had focused all my energy on being what others expected of me, leaving no room for my real self. Not saying the things or finally just saying the things and then quickly bailing out, I left a trail of abruptly ended relationships in my wake.
Then I’d pack and leave.
That may sound totally bananas, but that’s how I rolled. I rarely checked in about what I actually wanted for me. My needs lingered below the surface and when they inevitably rose to the top, it was time to go.
These days, however, impressing others is not my first order of business. I’m not going to claim I am cured of the disease to please nor that I do relationships very well. While living here, I have faded out of plenty of social situations where I felt unable to be real. I can’t do small talk anymore so if that is happening, I will be brief or not at all. I am no longer so concerned about being accepted by people who aren’t even into me. I can now face the discomfort of being who I am a little more each day.
As Glennon Doyle says, humaning is hard.
But here’s the good news:
We CAN have the life we truly want but it takes this trifecta:
1. the belief that we f-ing deserve it,
2. the knowledge that our own inner guide knows best; and
3. the courage to step into it.
Here’s a quick way to determine if you are doing life on your own terms.
Do big decisions require a panel of trusted folks to tell you what to do? Then you may have some work ahead of you.* It’s possible your most valuable resource remains untapped: your own intuition.
If you get still and quiet, your inner knowing will tell you everything. And if it’s saying nothing, give it time. If you’ve ignored that voice for a while, it may need a bit to clue in that you are listening now.
We’ve covered this territory a lot but it always bears repeating: the inner guide communicates through the body. Physical sensations are trying to tell you something: a tight throat, a throbbing temple, a flipflop in the belly. For me, tingly toes are my signal that I am on the right track.
If this sounds weird, try it first and then decide.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming that living this way is all easy breezy perfection. Not hardly. Following your true path can be terrifying. I have had to walk into some very uncomfortable situations recently, with the faith that I will only reach my full human potential when I am embracing all of who I am.
And for me, doing it this way means I don’t have to feel suffocated, pack up and catch the next Uber to the airport. It’s #worthit wouldn’t you say? I can stick around because I am now at home wherever I go, just being me.
If you honor who you really are, accept all parts of you, you get the sense that it’s all going to be okay.
WRITING PROMPT: What’s coming up for you as you take stock at the end of the year? Notice any patterns you are you growing out of? How can you tell? What would your current self say to your younger self?
*Aaaaand here’s my pitch! Ready to start doing some work on you? Email me to schedule a free Discovery Session at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about this work at luckybirdcoaching.com And if you are family or a friend, I have an amazing coaching community ready to partner with you.
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