There is one difference between the Kristin today and the Kristin from the past: I can rise from unknown circumstances, discomfort, and pain in order to have faith that everything will fall into place.
I used to be scared to share my true feelings. In order to get the job, keep the relationship or gain recognition, I put on a front of who I thought everyone wanted me to be. I continued to fall, pick myself back up, put on a different face and then fall back down again.
Why did I keep falling?
Then, I realized: I hadn’t developed my own sturdy ground to stand on.
Until this past year, I was afraid to share my struggles. The issues I had- whether it was within my own insecurities, my own fears, or my failures, could easily be covered up- but only temporarily. Wherever you go, there you are. My mask stopped working and my true self began coming through quicker and stronger every time.
A few months ago I met with a friend who knew much of my truth. I had finally gotten the promotion I wanted, at a job I no longer am at. It felt like a small victory. She knew how I had been struggling a bit with my move to Boston and with my work, so she happily cheered me on. “You’re the Phoenix, rising from the ashes!”
Although she meant it, I didn’t feel it at the time. I still felt like I was hiding something underneath. I didn’t feel like I had achieved anything of greatness- it was just a job. There was more to life than a job. I needed to fix something on the inside.
So what was missing?
Over the weekend I went to the library to send out emails and work on some writing. As I left the library, I saw a book on the shelf near the exit doors. Love Warrior. It sounded familiar, and then I remembered the talk I watched by Glennon Doyle about “hot loneliness.” I had connected with her words and related greatly- the Universe always delivers exactly when you need it to, doesn’t it?
I picked up the book, checked it out, and continued on my path home. I passed the Boston Marathon finish line and snapped a photo, thinking “love is a marathon, not a race.” So is life. It is okay to feel unsettled- it’s about sitting with that “hot loneliness” instead of covering it up. It’s about embracing the present to grow for the future.
Through the years I continued to look for an outcome, so I ran in circles hoping to find it. Until recently, I didn’t realize the joy was in the journey.
As I turned the pages over the weekend, I felt a great sense of comfort. Glennon shared the same college experience as I did (I later found out she was also a Sigma Kappa), she had felt the same approval issues with men, she masked her feelings with alcohol, and had the same childhood angst, hiding in books and watching her peers from afar.
I read her story of pain and strength, both empathizing and feeling empowered at the same time. It was a story I couldn’t put down; though I am not a mother have never been a wife, I completely related to her fear of love.
I feel a whole new sense of life after reading Love Warrior. Glennon’s words have inspired me to continue to write and to share my truth, uncomfortable or not. I am not the only one with uncertainty- I just have chosen to share it.
I know today that if I don’t continue to stay true to myself, be vulnerable and develop a sturdy foundation, I will never be able to rise- just like a Phoenix, just like a warrior.