Monthly Archives: October 2017

Comfort

We all like our comfortable cozy beds and the lure of deep sleep. We love the warmth and security of sweaters, dressing in layers, and the solace brought about by a well-made bonfire in the autumn chill. Most of us, I’ve found, love to sneak into our covers cold only to drape ourselves with enough blankets to heat a small village. We seek balance. We all do. It’s human nature. Life events like weddings, beginning a new job, giving birth, saying goodbye when a loved one dies, divorce, starting school – all of these things are scary because they challenge us. These life changing events feel like getting into a cold bed naked, only to be further chilled by a strong artic wind. There is nothing comfortable about change, and yet there is nothing as debilitating as stagnation. When everything in you tells you to step out of that comfortable place, and something puts a great big halt on that possibility, well let’s just say – that’s just about as uncomfortable as it gets.

Why? Because we were built for growth. We were built to evolve and change and bend in the direction of where God intends for us to be, and when we can’t go, we suffer. I remember thinking I was stuck in my life more times than I care to admit. I remember thinking we were all going to end up living in a box because I was married to a drug addict that just wouldn’t stop until everything was gone. And yet, just when everything but our condo that we rented from my mom was gone, I made the decision to get us out. The boys and me needed to survive, and that was our only hope. I had to break vows after years of lying, making excuses, and giving every chance known to man. We got out. We moved our lives forward.

I remember feeling I was stuck in a job – in the family business I had helped build. It was out of obligation to my mom, who would’ve felt terrible if she had known how miserable I was. Just as I was about to throw in the towel, my step sister said those magic words that led to one of the biggest changes I had ever made. She said simply ‘Can’t you sell the business?’. And in spite of my own doubts and fears, and without knowing my next step, I did just that. Ultimately, I landed in a position within a University and was surrounded by people that empowered me.

The things that scare us the most, the things that force us out of our own comfortable blankets, are the things that were meant to take us away from misery and carry us into peace and contentment. But first, we must be uncomfortable, and use the power of Faith to cling to – for better or for worse. We never know what lies ahead if we never take the first step. Life is about movement, and balance, and belief in a power much greater than ourselves. We were built for change. Life is change and love all wrapped up in a big messy bow. Embrace that. 

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Skating Story

Lacing up.

The boot shot up to the bottom fold of my calf muscle and clung to the plate and wheels by bolts, but when I laced up, these funky skates became my very own superpower. I may have been alone at home. I may have felt small and insignificant as a sprouting 9 year old, but these skates acted as my security blanket that also happened to double as my cape. With them on, I could go places. I could move faster, stand taller, and do jumps and spins that lifted me and empowered me into being an extraordinary being. Not everyone could do what I could do.

Of course, it didn’t start out that way. There were probably very few skaters with less natural talent than me. I wasn’t born into it. I wasn’t born to skate. I wasn’t built for it. I had more curves. I was bulkier, and my legs were short – but strong. All I knew was that when I started on this journey, 3 long years ago, I couldn’t keep me feet beneath my body long enough to flee from the side wall. I felt just like a slimy scaley oversized fish flailing about on a sheet of ice. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to be a gracefully, flowing, flowering skating princess. Every fiber of my being wanted it, and so it would be.

I worked hard, listened to everything my coaches told me to do – begrudgingly at times – but still. I knew what had to be done, and I did it, no matter how many times I fell. No matter how many times I lost, and came in 25th out of 25. I knew someday, it would all pay off. I just had to want it badly enough. That’s what my coach told me, day after day, practice after grueling practice. And while my more talented friends cut-up and bantered their way through, I remained focused on becoming great. 

Practices were quiet. I remember soft piano music playing over the speakers, the doors open to the springtime morning air, and Saturday mornings with their promise of freedom and whispers of innocent surrenders. I remember being in the moment, lost in concentration. For hours on end. The smells of polyurethane and wood floors, the gluey-inky smell of skate polish and sweat, the smoky 1980s air, because nobody knew second hand smoke was not the most glorious thing for skater lungs.  I remember the aches of muscle fatigue, and walking out into the 40 degree air wearing nothing but a skating dress, hose, and flourescent orange jelly shoes. I remember my first win, and I remember the last loss. But what I most remember is that I was surrounded by support – my skating family was everything, and my belief in working through your limitations became the most crucial lesson I could’ve possibly learned to live THIS life.