Stepping Into Growth

Stepping Into Growth

Lately, I’ve come to accept that my brain is wired in some fascinating ways and that for better or worse – from the positive experiences to the trauma – it’s all shaped me. And I hate to break it to you, but it’s shaped you too. It’s shaped every interaction you’ve had with me or with anyone. We’re all just walking around largely unconscious and mostly unaware of the primal ways we’re experiencing the world.

For about a year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with an incredible coach and therapist. She’s listened to me rant, rave, cry, scream and laugh my way through unemployment, underemployment, death, grief, loss, tragedy, and all manner of human experience. She’s reminded me that I’m whole, creative and resourceful. And hey, newsflash: YOU ARE, TOO.

Yes, You. Even the You’s I don’t like. Especially the You’s that have caused and actively continue to cause trauma. The You’s who lie, cheat and steal, well, you’re whole, creative and resourceful, too. You’re assholes, let’s not not name it, but even You are whole, creative and resourceful.

The more I do to uncover the unconscious patterns of behavior and try to rewire my brain, the more I come to understand how attached we are to those reactions and outcomes. By every measure, I shouldn’t be here now. I shouldn’t be alive. I shouldn’t have the career I do. I shouldn’t have the love I do. But I do. It’s not just luck or resilience or fortitude or purpose. It’s stubbornness, mostly.

And now I realize that stubbornness – the thing that’s not only kept me alive and helped get me here – doesn’t always serve me. But growing pains suck. Today, I said to my coach, “It’s like when you’re standing at that point in the ocean. You know, the one where the waves are crashing onto the shore. You’re out a little bit, maybe the water is crashing around your calves. And one foot, well it just sinks. Every time a wave goes out, you sink a little deeper. And the other one, well you’re just trying to get it up and over the next wave that comes in so you can get past the breaking point. So that when the waves come in, they’re not knocking you off course or off balance. They’re breaking maybe at your hips or your waist. You can roll with it a bit better. That’s where I am. I’ve still got one foot sinking deeper into the sand and the other one is ready to make its move.”

Me, at Coney Island, 2018.

Now I just have to remember that it’s just a little saltwater.

I’m a good, strong swimmer.

I know how to escape riptides.

And I’m whole, creative and resourceful, to boot.