There are no mistakes

I’m at the office today. I’m in the process of selling my company and have so many loose ends to tie up. I’m the biggest procrastinator I know. I put off paying bills, not because I don’t have the money, but because of the effort it takes to stop what I’m doing right now and get my checkbook out. I’m the person that never gets around to sending in the mail-in rebate. I let gift certificates expire. It’s so much easier to say “I’ll do it later”. I put things in a pile for “later”, and before you know it, I don’t even notice the pile exists. It gets covered with other piles of “later”, and when I finally decide to take care of it, I can’t figure out which “later” pile it’s in. So now, it’s later. I’ve got to finish all of these tasks before the sale, yet I’m writing here instead. Typical. I think I lack discipline.  How I created a successful business is beyond me. My house is a disaster. Seriously, it looks like an episode of COPS. You know, when they bust into a drug dealer’s home and there’s piles of laundry and papers and dishes everywhere because the residents are too busy doing drugs and ordering pizza to care about tidying up.  I hate it, but not quite enough to prevent it.  I blame it on being busy, which I am, but that’s not true. It’s just easier to do it later. No, that’s not true either.  It’s just easier to say I’ll do it later. I judge myself for these decisions. I like having a clean, organized house. I just can’t do it consistently. I’ll have my spurts, and get it done, but before you know it, it’s back to being a COPS house. We have an open floor plan, so when I do clean it up, it doesn’t take long. Of course, that’s just because I throw it all in my bedroom. It’s amazing how quickly I can clean it up when I want to. I can get more accomplished in the 10 minutes before company comes over than I can in a week of being alone. That being said, NO ONE gets to see my room. No one.  “Sorry, but I can’t give you a tampon. Oh sure, I have some, but that door doesn’t open with company here. Use this Christmas dish towel, instead”.

The weird thing about my procrastination is that it ceases to exist when I get my mind set on something. Like when I started my company. I had no clue what I was doing. Sure, I was a great nurse, but that’s it. I had no one to help me figure it out, no examples to follow. It was just up to me. I used my current mantra “What is the next right step?” I learned that from Oprah. She’s got a great video about “there are no mistakes”. I didn’t know I was using that mantra at the time, but now that I’ve seen her video, I realize that’s exactly what I was doing. I became tenacious. I started by googling “How to start a home health care company”. From there, I contacted the Division Of Labor. From there, I applied for licensing and obtained insurances. Next thing you know, I’ve got myself a business with 50 employees and sales of half a million dollars in my first year. A business I created all by myself, out of thin air. Sometimes, I have to remind myself of that. When I’m feeling like I’m not making any progress in life, like I’m barely keeping my head above water. When I’m doubting myself about getting divorced and selling my company . When I’m wondering if telling the story of my childhood trauma is really what I should be doing. When I’m slouching under the weight of my insecurities, I remind myself of all the things I have been able to do, and I stop slouching. I come out of the water. I ease up on the self doubt… a little bit.
I was thinking this morning, that I bet my husband regrets ever agreeing to marriage counseling. He thought it was great the first few months. It really worked out in his favor… lots of sex in return for buying me dinner once a week (dinners I arranged). I imagine most of our mutual friends, the ones who don’t really know our story, think our marriage counseling didn’t work. We are not a “success story” to the world.  They don’t get it. The thing is…I don’t care that they don’t  get it. I get it. This was the most successful thing I’ve done in a long, long time. More successful than starting my business, for sure. I never would have had the courage to face what I’ve faced this year, if I hadn’t gone to marriage counseling. I would have spent the rest of my life just existing. Going through the motions. Feeling that empty, sad feeling and not knowing why. I could never figure out why I felt so connected to depressed, broken women in movies. I think I’ve watched Bridesmaids a dozen times. Yeah, it’s funny,  but I watched it because I knew the feelings of Kristen Wiig’s character were my feelings. I had no idea why they were my feelings, but I knew they were mine. If I hadn’t gone to marriage counseling, I would have kept on absorbing anything negative given to me by the people who “loved”me,  as though I deserved it…as though I should be grateful for the good they gave me and accept the bad as part of the package. You were never supposed to get married and have kids, anyway, Jami. Just be grateful you have what you have. Stop being selfish.

 

Marriage counseling sucked. We both listed our complaints. We both struggled to list what we liked in each other. We both insisted we were there to save our marriage, not dissolve it. We both did our homework. We called it “fake it till you make it”. He faked pretending to want to spend time with me by taking me out to dinner. I pretended wanting to have sex with him.  We both knew we were faking. After a few months of this “deal”, he was happier than ever in our marriage, and I felt like Kristen Wiig, 10 times over.  As we sat in therapy, I blurted out, “This just isn’t working for me. I can’t feel it.” Our therapist seemed perplexed, and decided to delve deeper into our lives, by asking about our childhoods. Bulls-eye!  So, here’s where marriage counseling led to individual counseling, which led to me finally becoming aware of what I really was….I was a caterpillar stuck in a cocoon. When you’re not aware of being in a cocoon, you just think that this is how life is.  I had never put myself first in a relationship, ever. I don’t think any one person should be “first” in a relationship…they should be equally “first”. Both partners should desperately want the other to come “first”. I have always been placed second, or placed myself second. That’s the rule in my cocoon. That’s how it’s always been, so it’s all I knew.  If I tried to put myself first, I felt selfish. Putting myself first never worked, anyway, because I had always only chosen partners who were in cocoons, and caterpillars can’t share cocoons. My husband is in a cocoon, but it’s his cocoon. His cocoon has different rules.  I could go in his cocoon…it’s roomy enough. But it wasn’t comfortable. It was dark, like mine, but colder. I was so used to mine, that the darkness was kind of cozy. I liked the warmth. It was familiar, like an old, tattered security blanket. You wouldn’t think shame would be so cozy, but when it’s all you know, it’s safe.  Once I started putting myself first, once I started letting go of my shame, once I started breaking out of my cocoon… I realized that caterpillars hang out with caterpillars and butterflies hang out with butterflies. I’m a butterfly now. I’m not flying yet, but I’m a butterfly. I see my wings. I’m moving them…figuring out how they work. It’s not easy to start flying when you’ve been suffocating your entire life. You have to learn how to breathe again. You have to learn how to move again, because moving is different when you have wings. You’re not sure they will even work.  They are beautiful, but it’s kind of scary thinking about your first flight. What if I jump off the ledge and I’m not strong enough to fly? Maybe I’ll just go back into the cocoon for a little bit, just to rest.  The things is…I don’t fit in my  cocoon anymore, or his. If I tried to go back, my wings would break.  It takes me a week to put away my laundry, so imagine how long I would put off repairing  my broken wings?

I don’t know when I’ll start flying. I don’t know if I’m making the right decisions, in the long run. Looking at the future is scary. All I know is right now. I know how I’m feeling today. Today feels right. If tomorrow doesn’t feel right, I’ll figure out what the next right step is and I’ll take it. And if that step doesn’t feel right, I’ll just take a different one. There are no mistakes, just different steps, different paths, leading you to your destination.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “There are no mistakes”

  1. I love how freeking connected you are! You were already doing what you need to do, even when you didn’t know how to create a business. I watch Bashar videos now and then (a guy in CA channels this being named Bashar). One of the things he said that stuck with me is that we create ideas in our heads of things we want to create in our lives, and the best things we can do to see them come to fruition is to know that this thing is already ours, and to not get hung up on the “how” it will arrive. We are not supposed to know HOW to get from point A to point B. Our job is to do just what you do: take a step, listen to signs and synchronicities, pay attention to advice given that resonates with you, follow that breadcrumb. Repeat. My next favorite advice was when I couldn’t make a decision about something, and it was driving me nuts. My girlfriend told me to stop thinking with my head and decide through my heart. It instantly became a no-brainer (literally). Easiest decision ever. So your wings are still drying. So what. You’re getting there!!

    1. …”take a step, listen to signs and synchronicities, pay attention to advice given that resonates with you, follow that breadcrumb. Repeat.” Perfect summary! I just did the same process a few weeks ago when I decided to sell my company. I was really stressed out, so I talked it out, then quieted my mind, and the decision just came to me. Like a “Knowing”. I popped the business on craigslist and had a buyer the next day. Everything just fell into place, and all from me making a life changing decision just by feeling what the next right step was. I still don’t know if it’s going to work out, or not, but I feel good about the decision today. You’re spot on about using your head to think, when you’re having trouble making a decision. Sure, you need to think it out, but once you’ve done that…thought it out completely, and you’re still tormented over what to do, the best thing, I think, is to feel what the answer is. Pay attentions to what resonates with you:)

  2. I have always been called…”sensitive” by those that know me the least… weird in a way because you would think I could let it all hang out with those that love me best…but during my early conditioning years…I was called many names by those that knew me best whenever I shared my inner most thoughts…deep… soul searching thoughts that were kinda abnormal for my age ( I was told many times throughout my life you are such a romantic/too emotional/too deep/too ..wtf are you talking about …but mostly I was told by the silence I received in response to my most vulnerable thoughts….that maybe I should shut up and just laugh at something funny…cuz that fits better with the “mood”…. So my escape was always music… it was my “therapy” a voice that understood EXACTLY what I was feeling or going through… this song was my song…my go to.,,after my gram died…I was lost…I had no hope…I was so alone… I had also given birth to my first child and I was miserable… alone…sad…and going through the depths of post-partum depression..but I didn’t know it…because most of my life I have had many a time where I felt like this…sad…lonely…unworthy…incapable… I had no idea that this was possibly normal…so instead I hid…shut down…closed off…I was ashamed of my feelings…this was my song…and sometimes still is….

    Angel
    Sarah McLachlan
    Spend all your time waiting
    For that second chance
    For a break that would make it okay
    There’s always some reason
    To feel not good enough
    And it’s hard, at the end of the day
    I need some distraction
    Oh, beautiful release
    Memories seep from my veins
    And maybe empty
    Oh, and weightless, and maybe
    I’ll find some peace tonight
    In the arms of the angel
    Fly away from here
    From this dark, cold hotel room
    And the endlessness that you fear
    You are pulled from the wreckage
    Of your silent reverie
    You’re in the arms of the angel
    May you find some comfort here
    So tired of the straight line
    And everywhere you turn
    There’s vultures and thieves at your back
    The storm keeps on twisting
    Keep on building the lies
    That you make up for all that you lack
    It don’t make no difference
    Escape one last time
    It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness
    Oh, this glorious sadness
    That brings me to my knees
    In the arms of the angel
    Fly away from here
    From this dark, cold hotel room
    And the endlessness that you fear
    You are pulled from the wreckage
    Of your silent reverie
    You’re in the arms of the angel
    May you find some comfort here
    You’re in the arms of the angel
    May you find some comfort here

    1. Karen, it’s pretty unbelievable, yet also completely believable, that you post this song while talking about your gram. My Nana passed when I was about 8 months pregnant with my firstborn. This song had been out for a little while, and in the months after she passed, I would play it in my car, belting it out while sobbing, singing it to her. Really, the lyrics didn’t apply to her…they applied to me. I think maybe I was singing it to her because I wanted to be in the arms of an angel…her arms. That’s where I always found my comfort.

      I’m glad we are able to share our vulnerable thoughts with each other…finally. Imagine what the world would be like if we could have done this back then??

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