• Nicole Brown

Where have we been?

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

The last year has been a real time of transition for me. I feel like I'm entering the fourth phase of my life, and it's the first phase I have felt complete control over the outcome or result. Not control as in 'I can do anything', more like control as in 'I alone am responsible for everything.' Whew.

My first phase of life was as a youth, naturally. Phase 2 was as a traditional student through high school, college, graduate school. Phase 3 was, cliché, but a student of life, navigating adulthood and learning to stand on my own and hold myself accountable. Phase 4 is the first phase I sense that I can truly armor myself with what I've learned and apply it. I have no one to blame for my shortcomings other than myself, no where to turn but inwards. There has been SO much self-reflection, I'm downright sick of looking at me. But I have to get past the discomfort and grapple with myself for a minute. Or a year.

This is not going to turn into a novel. I want to spew words as a never-ending stream of consciousness, blame 'processing', but I'm going to act with restraint. I'm going to communicate one idea, which is not a natural strong suit of mine.

My question, my idea, is, Where have I (or you) been? The number of books, thought leaders, quotes out there speaking to the future, the vision, the goals, the objectives, is an infinite one. We love romanticizing the possibilities of tomorrow. Ah, yes, me too. It's a comfortable, inspiring, warm and fuzzy feeling. I could sit for countless hours in my sweats and slippers, cup of tea, zoning out to how great I might be next year. Where might I be at x point in time? Could I be this, or doing that, or involved in that? And I get so caught up in dreaming that I forget to start. Ah ha! Caught. I am an overwhelmingly ambitious person, but my spark is easily smothered leaving me gassed, lazy, and nowhere. I let my vision grow so grand and exciting that I scare myself with the potential success (and potential failure).

I'm reeling it in. Where have I been? What do I know? What is my safe space of retreat that I can map out and recognize for when I need a breather? Am I really going to treat myself so kindly as to allow myself to return to it, to utilize it as a jumping off point? Am I finally going to give myself that platform? Isn't that weak or cowardly? If I'm asking myself, I don't think so. How can we measure what actions work if we have don't have two points of comparison, where we've been and where we are? I can start, I can allow momentum to develop, and I can gain confidence. I can build, acquire tools, develop skills. Drowning, while my husband's preferred method of learning, works for some, but it doesn't have to work for ME. And that doesn't make me less-than.

So we're at the end of the year and I'm booting this thing up with the corniest question: Where have you or your team been? Where have you BEEN, what have you been DOING, what has WORKED or FAILED and WHY? If you're not feeling the urge to evaluate and self-reflect, just put this one in your pocket for when you are ready. I'm ready. God, I am SO ready.

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