Have you ever had a moment where your life felt like it had come to a screeching halt? Things where moving along and then everything suddenly stopped. That was the end of 2019 for me. Those of you who followed my personal blog or Facebook page saw me blogging and speaking at schools. Then suddenly out of nowhere, radio silence.
It was me. All me, getting in my own way. I'm not sure if things weren't working out how I expected them to or if I was fighting them to work out, sabotaging myself along the way. But over the past few weeks the fog has lifted and I'm seeing things a little clearer now. Taking it one day at a time and focusing closely to stay on track.
This year I've been fortunate to find myself in the company of some very talented and very successful people. People that asked me what I was willing to sacrifice to get where I needed to go. This question shifted things.
I spent the majority of last year, fighting labels. What does that mean? Well it's kind of like this. Suppose I walked into an event with a "Hello my name is Nicole" sticker on my shirt all the while not realizing that I had six other "Hello my name is..." stickers stuck on my back. People are calling me by all these names and I'm confused as to what is going on.
Last year, I had people tell me that I was really good at public speaking. Well, that's funny because I don't see myself as a public speaker at all! It freaks me out- like a lot!
I also had people tell me that I'm very calming, whatever that means. Obviously, they haven't consulted with the people I live with.
I won't bore you with the list of things people labeled me with but it really had my head spinning. And when my head starts spinning I typically lie down. Only this wasn't a headache, it was life happening all around me so I couldn't lie down and take a nap. Instead I laid down within myself and shut off everything I was doing- writing, blogging, public speaking. I got into a funk as some might say. All the lights were going off and I had no idea I was the one flipping all the switches. I burrowed under my covers in escape from the confusion all around me and switched to auto-pilot.
Why am I sharing this? Because I bet you have labels that you are fighting as well. Labels that you don't understand so you're running from them, ignoring them, even trying to distance yourself from them- either on purpose or unknowingly.
Be the change...by making some changes.
Let's start with some simple labels- wife. I fought this label, not because I didn't want to be a wife but because I felt like I was failing the industry's standard of the label. (Sounds funny to put it that way but it is the truth.) There was this imaginary job description that I had attached to the label "wife" and since I wasn't living up to all those qualifications I felt I was failing the label, failing my husband.
Do you ever feel that way? Maybe you're not measuring up to the qualifications that you have in your mind for the labels in your life- husband, mother, manager, public speaker, artist, student, friend, athlete, business owner, etc. The list of labels can go on and on.
This year, I'm learning to accept that my labels might not look the same as everyone else's. I already learned a few years back that my "wife" and "mother" labels don't look the same as other "wife" and "mother" labels. I do things differently from others and that's okay. They do things differently from me and that's okay.
The label I have fought the most is author. I would love to be a bestseller. I would love to see one of my books converted into a movie or TV show but honestly I'm terrified of all that goes with that. The more I put myself out there the more I will have to sacrifice and right now, I have to admit, I’m not willing to make that sacrifice.
I wrote everything before this point on February 25, 2020. Here I am September 29, 2020, seven months later getting ready to hit POST. Life is full of expected things. Sometimes plans are delayed, sometimes we are the ones delaying them. It's time for some change.
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.