Together or Apart

Together or apart, there is a certain group of women in my life who absolutely fill me with happiness and peace and joy and gratitude. When I think on them, I think (almost) always of how abundantly I am blessed despite my great flaws and shortcomings. (Let’s be honest: There are times I just won’t have it. I am determined to be pissed. I am determined to hate my life. I am determined to find a reason to give up.) These women are near and far in age, learning, and background. (I tend to be “lowest on the totem pole” in each category, if you were wondering. One of them only beats me in age by a handful of days, though!)

Today I was working earnestly on a project I started some time ago with a local runner. He publishes a small running newspaper of sorts and wants to take it online. As I was working through this process, determined to work harder and faster this time while still achieving a desirable result, I was struck with this deep peace about changing my life.

You see, I was reading article after article on these runners and the obstacles they had overcome in their careers. I was inspired by their stories of running and the stories shared about them by friends and family. “That’s what I want to be,” I thought. “I want to be genuine and loyal and fun.”

Last night as I lie awake in my sleeping recliner, I thought to myself how rewarding it would be in later times to write more often in my journal. To write down the thoughts I was having instead of calling a friend and letting the words vanish into the air. It was not that I valued my best friend any less or thought it any less important to speak these things out loud to another person (especially her), but rather that I had realized on some level the beauty of being able to reflect on these moments in my life that inspire me to take that next big leap.

I have walked around lately with this feeling on my heart that I am approaching big changes. You know that funny feeling you get in your chest which signifies approaching the readiness to change? That’s been the feeling, I think. My mind wanders and always lands in this place of big dreams and a desire to be something more authentic than what I am presently. It’s a place where I love myself and take care of myself first and above all else. It’s the place which allows me to stand firm in who I am and equally enjoy the souls occupying the bodies moving in the world all around me. It’s happy, joyous and free.

Last night I sought out three very important people in my life. I wanted to share with them my dreams. I wanted to say out loud these things which have occupied space in my heart but which I have stuffed and asked to keep quiet. I had to get it out. I had to vocalize to my committee what was going on in order that I might keep my sanity… and continue steadily on in the direction of my dreams.

It all sounds so silly sometimes. Some of it probably even sounds foolish. But it is neither silly nor foolish. These are my dreams. This is my passion. These are the things – the people, the places, the experiences – I was meant to live for in this lifetime. These are the people, places and experiences which allow me to feel at peace and to connect to that which is greater than me.

Sometimes I sit and wonder where my life might go, where it could go. What is possible? What is impossible? Are these words – possible and impossible – keeping me from seeking out that which is pleasing to me?

It is at these moments that I am most grateful for the women in my life. There are six of them and I don’t know where I’d be without them. They are my cheerleaders, my confidantes, my companions in this world. Each know me to a varying degree, but all know me well. And all support me. Encourage me. Have faith in me.

I fail in front of them constantly and they never turn away. They always push me, even when it’s difficult, to be more than I am. To aspire for greatness. To recognize and seek out that which is fulfilling for me.

I decided yesterday – January 12, 2010 – to save up and buy a dSLR. I want to be a professional photographer. I won’t stop until I am.

When I wrote to the first one, there was no hesitation. It was as though I said I was going to put on socks. Or brush my hair. Or drink a glass of water. It just was what it was and it was time to do it. There was no doubt in the response and oddly, no encouragement. It was as if this is just what was supposed to happen. As if this is what I was meant to do.

When I wrote to another, the response was similar. “I’m going to be a real photographer one day,” I said. “I refuse not to be.” “You absolutely should be,” came the response. Again, no encouragement. No doubt. Nothing, really, except the confirmation that I should continue to follow my dreams.

I hope every woman in the world has friends such as these.

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~ by Elle on January 13, 2010.

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