Day 30!!!! The challenge has concluded.

Holy macaroli. It’s day 30. I’ll tell ya… I’m glad. What a crazy month this has been. First of all, I’m proud that I pretty much stuck to it, there were a few instances but not a lot of “cheating.” Mostly this past weekend.

Even tonight, after work, I had to run out for an errand and didn’t feel like cooking so as I was driving I was passing all these great fast food restaurants and wanted to eat all of them. I also really wanted a milkshake, like a solid, fatty, oreo milkshake or something.

Alas, I came home and had egg salad lettuce wraps. Bleh. The great news is that I am starting a work out regimen tomorrow! I decided to sign up for Orange Theory fitness. I worked at one for a few months once, it was my night job and I loved the culture but couldn’t handle the 2 jobs. At the time I was really fit, the fittest I’d ever been and going to the gym regularly. I had had a personal trainer but that got too expensive. So now, this is a cheaper option than having a personal trainer.

I am using this to force myself into becoming a morning worker-outer. It’s an expensive membership – almost $200 a month! I’m committing to 2-3 months and I would like to go 4-6 times a week. What I do love about this studio is two things – 1) if you reserve a spot in the class and don’t go you have to pay a cancellation fee. While it’s only $12-15 bucks it’s certainly enough to keep me a woman of my word if I say I’m going to go. 2) There is no thinking involved. The workouts are coached in a group setting, all you have to do is show up and give 60 minutes of effort.

I’ve seen some AMAZING changes in people through Orange Theory. From physical changes to just a wonderful community of supportive friends encouraging each other to hit goals. So, I think this is the perfect way for me to segue back into working out. I had to think about it because it’s really a lot per month, but I haven’t been utilizing my $20 gym membership so let’s see if this helps.

Also, in very exciting and very personal news I am starting therapy! Thursday will be my first session and I am so excited about this journey, too. I had a counselor when I was 22/23 and she was incredible and really changed my life in a lot of ways. I’m hoping this counselor will help me to work on a few things I’m struggling with and hopefully I can take some big steps forward.

It feels like a new season has started in my life. It’s like a level up. I’ve mastered the previous level so now I get to move on to the next and this new level has dogs, work outs and therapy – haha! It’s the trifecta of self-care and self-love. Working from home really has been a significant game changer for me. At least especially recently, my anxiety is so much better – it also helps I work for a dope ass company that treats humans like humans. This is not something I’ve experienced much of lately, so it could have just been the jobs I was working…

Day 30 is tearing us apart at such a great point in my life. Do you ever feel like you’re on the edge of a cliff? It’s scary and stressful and the worst possible thing that could happen is you having to jump off. I stood on the edge of a cliff once, and willingly jumped. Luckily I had a paraglide-sail attached. But there I was, floating off a mountain in Nepal. Completely trusting of the guy that I had met about 30 minutes before and his ability to keep us safe. That initial feeling of “OMG I’m seriously going to walk off a cliff right now” gets soaked up quickly by the realization that that was 100% what I signed up for and if I didn’t beat the fear in that SPLIT SECOND then I would never have had that experience.

That’s sort of what my life feels like right now. I’m at the edge of the cliff and I can do one of two things. I can turn around and say “no, it’s too scary, dangerous, unknown blah blah” and drive back down the mountain OR I can jump. There’s always a risk in jumping, but truthfully, there’s a risk in driving down a mountain. However the reward for driving is – THAT EVERYTHING STAYS EXACTLY THE SAME.

Whereas the reward for jumping is nothing stays the same. You are never the same person after you come face to face with that little scaredy cat that lives inside you telling you NO all the time and finally screaming YES in their face. When the scaredy cat wins, you lose. When you say oh shut up, I’m doing this, you automatically make it easier to say yes again and again.

One of my all time favorite quotes is “If you want something you’ve never had before you have to do something you’ve never done before.” This is actually my favorite quote because it’s so true.

I may have talked about this in a previous blog, but I’m gonna use this example again because it’s so important to me. When I was in NY in August of last year – that was when I had the breakdown and drove to see my family. I had a really wonderful week with all of them and it was great to be there. I was ready to head home at the end of the week but I hadn’t been completely honest with them while I was there.

I hadn’t really opened up about everything I was thinking and feeling. I since have – actually some of it was in this blog over the past 30 days. At the very end of the trip, I was saying goodbye to my brother, his wife and kids were gone and it was just the two of us. I don’t know how it started, but we managed to have a really great and out of the blue heart to heart.

I’ve always been the wise one of the family. Also the funny one, but who’s keeping track? Anyway, back to my infinite wisdom… My brother is a smart guy. Like, he wins for the intelligent one in the family (and that pisses me off) but he’s not always the best at giving me advices. A lot of that has to do with the fact that we are wired really different and so our choice patterns are different because we want different things. It’s crazy how that works.

So, this kid drops like some major nuggets of wisdom and advice LITERALLY AS I’M WALKING OUT THE DOOR TO DRIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. I don’t remember all of them, because I really wasn’t listening but one of the things he said was there are two versions of me inside. There’s the strong fierce, jump of cliffs, travel around the world alone, don’t take no crap off nobody version and then there’s this weak, scared, insecure, self-doubting person.

I was going to say one was a woman and one was a girl, but that’s not fair because there are plenty of woman who embody negative traits or who aren’t the woman they thought they once were going to be, or hoped to be.

So then he said, and this is my favorite part – I have to kill one of them. He may have not said one of them, we all know which one I need to kill, so he may have said kill the weak one. You know that story they tell about the wolves that get separated and one is “the light” and one is “the darkness” and the one that becomes stronger is the one that gets fed more, well it’s sort of that logic.

There are two dueling me’s inside. The duel must end. I can’t be the weak one anymore. I can’t waste time second guessing everything and thinking I’m not good enough. I would 100% rather be that person who tried 1,000,000 new things and fails over the being the person that never tries anything new and stays exactly the same her whole life.

That, would be a mother fucking tragedy.

My brother is also my biggest fan, he thinks I could just spit out oscar winning screenplays at the drop of a hat. Maybe I can, I’m not sure, to be honest, I’ve never tried. I’ve lived so much of my life being afraid of some of the stupidest things. Like, afraid I’ll never win an oscar? Who. is. afraid. that they’ll never win an oscar?

People are afraid they’re not going to eat next week or that they’ll be evicted. They’re afraid they’re gonna get killed or hurt by someone. People shouldn’t be afraid to be happy, they shouldn’t be afraid to go within and find the light of joy and to flame that sucker all over their lives, every day until they die. People should be afraid that they’re going to work their entire life away at a job that doesn’t give a shit about their well being. People should be afraid they’ll never be able to feel what it’s like to step off the cliff and feel that split second when fear turns into freedom. When you win. When you win a silent battle. That’s nothing to be afraid of.

I’ve always been afraid of sticking out. I had to try really hard to stick out as a kid, I always had to compete with my brother. He wasn’t the funny one but he was the brave one. He would dare to step out of his (well at least my) shell and perform for people on stage. He would get the laughs because he wasn’t afraid. I was afraid. I couldn’t even audition to be on stage.

We moved to a small town when I was 8 years old and a part of me feels like that was when I shut down, the first time. The kids didn’t like me a lot at first. I guess I’m kind of obnoxious. I mean, I understand and can see why people think of me like that. My dad used to pass my elementary school on his way to work. I remember a couple of times him stopping and pulling into the school parking lot, which was next to the gated playground. He would come over to me and ask me why I was standing alone. I would have to tell my own dad that no one wanted to play with me.

He would try to be positive and encourage me to go ask kids to play with me, or maybe start playing on my own and then others would come. It was so hard. It took a long time for me to be friendly with kids and almost 2 years before I made a close friend. I remember feeling like I couldn’t be myself and couldn’t shine around them. They didn’t like my light.

To be honest, I didn’t care for theirs much either. There’s less than a dozen people that I keep in touch with from my school years. But, I also think some of that contempt or disdain comes from not feeling accepted. When we moved to that town in the early 90s, it was very sheltered and their scope of life was limited. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but growing up I couldn’t identify that. So to them, I was new and unknown and a potential threat maybe and therefore I was chop liver and left to fend for myself.

I constantly think people hate me. Lolz. It’s funny to say it out loud, or admit to it. I just constantly feel like I’m not good enough and that I’m too aggressive and it doesn’t sit well with people. There’s a part of me that can get along with anyone, I’m really good at making conversation and asking engaging questions. The problem is I find that SO incredibly boring. Because nobody does that for me. Nobody is like let’s get in there and call out your soul.

I think that’s kind of why I shut down as an adult. People take all my energy. I can make conversation and make sharing time with someone enjoyable but when it completely depletes my energy bank and I walk away from it feeling empty then there was no point. Sometimes it’s nice when I see other people get a little bump from my energy, but most of the time people just waste it. People waste energy all the time, I do.

The narrative we have have inside our own heads can be so illuminating. It’s like, I feel like shit about myself because some little shit in 3rd grade told me to shut up? Our identities are wrapped so tight and so deeply into our past. We’ve been telling ourselves the same lies our whole life, it’s hard to understand that some of them could in fact be lies. That’s what we have to use our adult brains for, to distinguish the real from the fake. If your adult brain can’t distinguish your own lies from the truth then – you start therapy.

So in conclusion, it’s time for me to jump off a proverbial cliff again. Things must change. I want something I’ve never had before…

Also, in other news, if you’re interested. I’ve lost 9 lbs and 2 inches in my waist. Last time I lost almost 30 pounds so, it varies.

And also again, my brother is very funny and wise. He also reads my blog every day so it would be rude to not clear that up.

For those of you that have read this every day, I thank you. Thanks for sticking it out with me. What a ride. See ya again next year and remember … NEVER STOP CHALLENGING YOURSELF!

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