For once, let’s have a serious conversation.
I don’t want to talk about racing or about my swim times or about the latest and greatest in tri shorts.
This time I want to talk about my life. Or rather where my life is now and where I want it to go. I’ve been forced into this situation recently but let’s be honest it’s been a long time coming. I’m good at pretending that things are fine when they most certainly are not. I’m great at making excuses for myself and others. I get squeamish when people ask me to talk about my feelings because I don’t like to go to those unfamiliar places.
What if I don’t like what I find?
What if what I’m feeling is in direct conflict with what I think I need?
Feelings can betray you.
Feelings you cannot control.
And the one thing I dislike more than anything in this world is being out of control.
Everything in my life is planned out to the millisecond. When I get up in the morning. What I eat. When I eat. When I work out. Where I work out. I live and die by my calendar. There is very little spontaniety in my life. Very few surprises. I have no one to blame for that but myself. I put myself into a rut.
I want that to change.
My dad likes to remind me that “life is not a dress rehearsal.” We only get one shot at this life so we better make it count.
I’m 36 years old. I don’t feel 36. Thirty-six always seemed ancient when I was younger. When my parents were my age they had two kids ages 10 and 7. Sometimes I look around my Facebook feed and I see friends from high school and college who have 2 and 3 kids and I think “how did that happen?” I feel as though life is happening around me, but somehow my pause button was pushed.
I need to figure out how to press play.
That is going to take me well outside of my comfort zone, and it’s going to force me to deal with my feelings. Those feelings I’ve crammed way down deep inside and will be hard to shake loose. After many conversations with people I trust and care about most, it became quite evident that I can’t do this alone.
A wise friend recently said to me, “Your friends and family can help you, but they can’t live it for you.”
I’m going to need some help sorting through the pieces. I need an objective third party to help me find the tools to become the person I want to be. A person who is fully satisfied with her life, and not someone who is simply going through the motions because that is the easier road to travel.
On Monday, I did something scary. I picked up the phone and called to make an appointment with a professional. I had a lump in my throat the entire time, and I had to fight back the tears. It’s scary and sad to admit that you’re lost and you need help finding your way. But sometimes simply exposing that raw emotion and admitting you’re powerless can be the most freeing experience. It’s as if a weight has been lifted, and you’re finally able to take a breath and say, “It’s going to be OK.”
I debated about whether or not I would or should write about this. Should I admit to the world that I don’t have my shit together? That some things in my life are broken and in terrible need of repair? And by admitting that some things are broken, I may not be able to put them back the way they once were.
But I know I’m not alone and that others who are reading this will have been through similar experiences or maybe find themselves in the exact same place.
I also wanted to write down a completely honest and unfiltered account of what I am feeling today so I could look back in the not-so-distant-future and say, “that’s the moment I decided to walk through the scary parts.” That was the moment I admitted that I needed to find my way. That was the moment when I decided to stop being fearful and confront my own demons head-on without any extra padding or armor. That was the moment I said, “to hell with control.”
That was the moment I decided to press play.