I have been conspicuously (or, perhaps, inconspicuously) absent from this space for the last two weeks.
They’ve been interesting ones, requiring me to use courage in ways that I didn’t anticipate at the beginning of the year. I was going to write about my reflections on last year this morning, and what I learned about myself in doing so. I was going to write about how I anticipate courage coming into my life this year.
Instead, oof, I feel like I really need to focus on the last two weeks. They’ve been… how can I put this? Let’s go with “challenging”. It seemed like work, the weather, and myriad other things were conspiring against me and most of my coworkers in the last two weeks. So many meetings, so many things to decide, so much time spent in Zoom calls with various groups of people. It happens every year around this time, so it’s not completely out of the ordinary. But man, it hit harder this year, and I am not sure why.
Regardless, these past two weeks required me to show up and be courageous in ways that I hadn’t anticipated. The courage to speak up in meetings. The courage to lead a potentially contentious discussion on behalf of a friend who’d already been in the line of fire from the group doing the discussing. The courage to commit to an invited presentation (one that was advertised and everything – yikes!) then engage in live discussion with a co-presenter. The courage to admit that I majorly screwed up the analysis for a particular study (sigh…).
So much time out of my comfort zone and yet, I realize that it’s necessary for my growth, for me to change.
And now I need to find the courage to do the same in my personal life. I started thinking this weekend how I wanted courage to integrate into my life this year. I know that I want to work (more) on courage at work, as well as courage in my personal life / at home. I know that I need to find the courage to change, if in fact I want things to change.
I’m not quite there yet – I don’t know what this will look like, exactly. But I hope the end result gives me some insights into who I am now, and who I want to be, and how I can bridge the gap between them.
There’s not much substance here, and I’m sorry for it. But these thoughts are still pretty nebulous… and it’s hard to be much more definitive than I’ve been.
So instead, I’ll leave you with a quote…
Nothing keeps us from changing more than our tendency — our willingness — to remain locked into versions of ourselves, into personae and identities barred in by heavy leaden rods of self-righteousness. Too often, we’d rather be right than understand — ourselves or others or the world — but it is only understanding, which only grows by leaps and bounds of wrong guesses and failed theories, that firms our grasp of reality.