Where am I at—in my life? Agitated. What’s been most upsetting is losing myself. Hiding myself. Making myself so, so small. I’m not a narcissist—I think folks in leadership positions worry about this, folks who challenge what’s always worked will always question. That’s how we learn—we wonder, we cultivate curiosity. Heck yes, I like the attention I get just being me, but I give away that attention—that is to say I draw attention to my work to give that attention to the issues (the people) that really matter. I’m working all the time –9-5 is a fallacy. I’m always living my dreams because it’s all so connected. My free time is my work is my free time. My career feeds me in ways that plants know so well—I’ve got ideas like worms, visions like only the best soil amendments, relationships like the perfect deer fence. A gatherer, I’m a hunter, too. I’ve got huge fish to catch and fry. I crave systemic change like I crave an abusive ex.
I have been hiding my resume, my accomplishments, who I really am for awhile now. Why? Why do I have to squash my resume into two pages when I know my life is a million pages long. I am big. I stand six feet two inches tall. I recall a gym class in eighth grade after finally deciding that I didn’t have to always turn the other cheek, I don’t always have to be the “Jenabler.” My religious upbringings had taught me that I ought just be humble. Ball chucked at my head, and I narrowly dodged the stinging pain of being bullied for my intelligence, my body, my person. The girl at the net yelled at me for being human, unable to catch a horrible pitch. Her only intention to humiliate me. I feel that same feeling at 34 years old fully aware of the balls being lodged at my head by the same type of folks. Turns out, my own insecurities create a level of unhealthy empathy. Like, wow, I’m sorry we’ve both been bullied. Whatcha doing with that now?
What I’m doing with that now is shoving myself into realms that I don’t feel fit for, places that I’ve dodged. I’m in a full-on professional position, practicing some pretty heavy boundaries and healthy behaviors during the day and listening to raunchy rap at night. I find that to be an excellent balance. I’ll listen to songs of really icky stuff but I know that it’s icky stuff. I seek validation from some pretty easy places, but I understand that often the life of a person with deep integrity and dignity is a lonely path. It took me a whole lotta personal work to finally feel capable of being a counselor. I’ve chosen the easy path for too long. And I’m ready to reap the rewards of discretion. I’m so tuned into play therapy right now. The children who I work with are so much bigger than that middle school gym. I’m in the field of life and I’ve trained for this game a long time. I’m playing for the first string of life. Coach done did put me in. I’m playing. I’m reflecting, I’m planning, I’m doing, I’m being.
“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”