Fear and All His Friends

“You’re like a potted plant—you take your roots with you.”

Suddenly I felt like a sturdy, hefty, bright and nourished pillar that someone could turn toward and say “look at that, doesn’t she just brighten up this space?”

After years of everything feeling temporary, transient, impermanent, her words made me realize that no matter how much I’ve moved, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been growing roots, or haven’t been healthy and thriving.

Fear is a liar. He knows nothing about gardening, but he memorized a few words in a Botany textbook and tried to spin them to convince me he is an absolute expert.

Call him out. That’s my advice to you about Fear when he shows up and goes on endless rants that try to shut you down and make you feel helpless and hopeless. Bring someone else into the conversation and call him out, find out if he knows what he’s talking about. Because chances are when bring some other people to the table they’re going to see through the facade and they’re going to prove it’s absolute nonsense. Fear is going to be the loser, the one walking away in defeat.

I’ve been carrying this lie around for so long now, and Fear had me convinced it was true. I kept thinking I’m just wanderer—a flaky nomad and people with white picket fences and strollers just see me passing by and think “Oh, that poor drifter, there she goes again rootless and barren…” 

But then I got sick of it. So I grabbed Fear and drug him by the ears to one of those white picket fences. We rallied the neighbors and called his bluff. That’s when they called me a potted plant: growing, healthy, rooted, but still moving. And then Fear ran back home crying; his friend Comparison had to scoot along too.

Sometimes you just need to rally, to grab someone else, to stop listening to the thing that sounds true, but that shuts you down leaves you voiceless, helpless, restless. Pull someone else in to say the thing you cannot see, the thing that Fear and his friends just keep talking circles around.

Because Fear wants you to believe he’s smarter than you, wiser than you, more experienced and better equipped. But really he’s just long-winded and loud-mouthed. He knows most of the headlines, but none of the substance.

Don’t let Fear dominate the conversation, be the center-of-attention, steal the show, stifle the party. Fear and his friends are the house guests I give you permission to always show the door. And if and when they’re rowdy, grab some friends, some experts, (maybe some moms with strollers) and kick them to the curb. If for a second you see him or hear him speaking up, he has overstayed his welcome, go tell him his time is up.

 

 

 

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Pep Talk: Buy The Leather Jacket

 We all want something.

There’s something across the room that your eyes keep falling on. It’s probably got a leather jacket on and knows the art of casually leaning against a concrete wall.

You’ve never fit into crowds with leather jackets because you think it’s pointless to invest and try wearing something you could never pull off in the first place. Never mind that you’ve never put the thing on, walked the runway of a dressing room and taken a minute to honestly ask how it looks on you.

You already believe that you don’t have what it takes.

There’s something right in this moment that is tugging at the deepest part of you, it’s whatever is pulling you out of bed. You’re lacing up your Nikes for something, something is keeping those feet of yours moving.

I’m here to tell you that you have what it takes. If you want it, I’m a firm believer that you’ve got what it takes.

But here’s the thing:

You’ve got to work for it. You’ve got to sweat for it. You’re going to need to pull from places you forgot you had. Stretch until it hurts. You’ve got to make yourself sore, (and get over the fact that you’re going to limp for days afterwards). If you want this, you’ve got to give blood, marrow, organs…things that take time to grow back, things that never will.

You’re not who they said you are,

whoever that was: your parents, your ex, that old teacher, your baseball coach, the person who made promises they decided to stop keeping.

I think it’s time you figure out who it is you really are, who you actually want to be. Throw the lies in the trash already.  You’re cool in your own way and in your own right. You can set whatever trend you want to, you can start something that no one else claps for and that doesn’t mean you have to quit.

It’s time to find your fight song. It’s time to pound pavement, to get your head back in this thing. Finally move toward doing the thing that has kept you awake at night for years. Start making steps to bring it closer to your reach.

Every day that you postpone it, make excuses or hesitate is only adding to its impossibility.

You don’t need the leather jacket, you just need to know that if you really wanted to, you could totally rock one.