Sunday, November 15, 2009
Walk Out, Walk On.
I was struck recently by something a woman said at an event we hosted for work. We invited an author, public speaker, and community change organizer to try to inspire people in the non-profit world, government, and those who just plain care to come together and work for change.
And one of her main points was this: You have to be doing what you are called to do. If it's not working, walk out and walk on.
Walk Out, Walk On.
And so I've been thinking a lot about what that means to me, personally and professionally. I've been thinking about the things in life I feel called to and the things in life that have become more of a drain than a joy. I've been working to be nicer to my husband and more patient with my kids because they are the center of my crazy world. I've been making an effort to be more understanding of people I don't agree with and to ask questions and LISTEN to the answers rather than answering for people in my own head. And I've been thinking a lot about that which calls to me, professionally and personally.
And I think personally THE single biggest thing I've Walked Out on and Walked On from in life was the fear. I used to be much more afraid to just BE and let people deal. I still want everyone to like me, and I still don't want to offend. But motherhood has done something extraordinary for me: it helped me find my voice. I Walked Out on that girl (wife...friend...daughter in law...stranger with the baby) who never wanted to offend and never stood up for herself. I Walked On to become a mother who's still learning and feeling things out, but who is sure in who she is. I may stumble around like I'm blind, bumping into walls and feeling lost and frustrated sometimes. But I am sure in my footing because I am listening to the voice inside me which tells me mothering is best led with the heart. And so I've silenced the voices of advice...of criticism...of doubt...of questioning. I've learned more about who I am, about the true weight of my convictions and what matters most to me from being a Mom than from anything else thus far in my life.
To those ends, I'm also contemplating some changes in my professional world. Some small (maybe teaching a class here and there), some very personal (taking more time for the creative outlets I enjoy, one of which in my dream of dream worlds might someday be a profession of sorts), and some I'm not ready to open up to the world about just yet, but which could lead me to Walk Out and Walk On in a whole new very scary and very exciting way.
I'm not Walking Out on anything just yet, but the door is open and I'm letting the new possibilities Walk In. That may not be something our esteemed scholar suggested, but it's what works for me right now.