Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sitting in the discomfort

Hair straightened, make-up applied, high heels donned, I was ready.  

I set out last week on a mission to find a dress: first, to reward myself for winning the SSHRC scholarship; second, to attend an important meeting.

Last night I attended that important meeting.

As I sat around a group of distinguished individuals I couldn't help but feel an array of emotions flood my body.  "I know how hard you've worked.  You are among the best of the best.  You should be very proud of yourselves.  The university is very proud of you"  The words echoed in the space between my ears.  She was talking to us, to me.  

I felt proud to be sitting in the university president's residence.  I was most surprised by how her personable demeanour yet command for attention put me at ease.  Now that's a lady I want to be like, I thought to myself.  She must lead an interesting life!

As I talked with others about my adventures abroad, about how my husband and I couldn't speak the same language when we first met, I couldn't help but feel I too have been blessed with such an amazing life.  And there is so much more I feel I NEED to do.

I want to write.  I want to get fit.  I want to learn a language.  I want to publish in scholarly journals.  I want to travel. 

There are so many things I want to do.  And there is absolutely NOTHING that says I cannot accomplish these goals.  But when I return home from a day at work I look only at the big picture.  And it's overwhelming.  I get scared.  I do nothing because negative self talk fills the spaces between my ears "you're not smart enough, brave enough, strong enough, pretty enough..."  So I sit and think when I should be doing something else even though I know this is counterproductive.

If this scholarship is any indication of how powerful I can be when personal perseverance and self belief align, then it should be a testament to all things great in my life.

But I'm just a girl.  Riddled with self-doubt and blinded with shaky confidence.  Smart enough to know better yet not motivated enough to do anything about it. 

So in the light of one of my biggest successes in my life, I sat around the room beaming with pride yet uncomfortable with my disposition. 

It is my personal philosophy that learning and personal growth occur best in these moments of uncomfortableness.  It's why I'm so free to put myself out there to be judged by others.  I'm ready to sit in the discomfort. 


Anonymous said...

WOW - What a great revelation. You have worked very hard to get to where you are today. You have awesome writing skills and you should enjoy the accolades that come your way from your accomplishments. Don't be afraid to feel the pride that you so much deserve. We are very proud of you. Just remember - BABY STEPS. Love you and like you.

Momma Bear

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I think it is very normal to feel uncomfortable in situations like that, and to feel overwhelmed with doubt, etc., when surrounded by such influential and powerful people. Just remember that you have no reason to ever doubt yourself or your abilities. You belong where you are, and you deserve everything you have earned. Enjoy!

Why am I here??? said...

Hey mom, thanks for comment. A great way to start the day.

Jolene, I've never met you in person but I really have to say what a wonderful person you are!!

Why am I here??? said...

Hey mom, thanks for comment. A great way to start the day.

Jolene, I've never met you in person but I really have to say what a wonderful person you are!!

gabrielle said...

Jen! Another post that makes me want to hug you! The things we work for the hardest make us the most uncomfortable. I love your blog (which i've said before) and I admire your ability to discuss candidly where you feel you are fall short.

Personally, I get overwhelmed with the many goals I aspire to accomplish. Similar to you, personal goals (getting fit, eating right, loving myself) often get sidelined for my professional goals (degrees, currently air traffic controller school). Im working on keeping perspective that if I don't have my health I couldn't achieve as much professionally. So if not A than not B. Im still working on that one.

In my opinion, I think if we do something each day over time we eventually will achieve a larger goal. My mom told me one time that if I had a flat tire on my car I would change the one tire not flatten all four. I'm still working on the whole 'not flattening all four tires at once' - metaphorically could be related to my spare tire I keep kicking around - I digress... I am super hard on myself and sometimes I miss the bigger picture.

From another perspective if I don't have a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) I find I feel disoriented and unfocused. Goals that seem impossible only seem that much more incredible when I make them possible!

I just wanted to write to let you know you are not alone!... Be gentle with yourself. Celebrate your success and learn from your shortcomings!

Why am I here??? said...

Hey Gabrielle,

I love what your mom said about the flat tire. That's so fitting ;) I'm going to think about that and how it applies to my life. Hey.....get blogging girl!