Transition: The Magic of the Middle

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Image from,
quote from "Rising Strong" by Brene Brown
William Bridges, who I read numerous times as a Sister, calls it the "neutral zone". Brene Brown calls it "the middle", "the rumble", "act two".
Either way, it's messy.
And it's been a messy two (almost three) years.

I traveled to St Louis and was able to re-connect and heal in a way I wouldn't have otherwise (see previous entry). I entered and subsequently exited my first romantic relationship last summer. I am one year closer towards completing my Master's of Social Work (many more semesters to go) and made new friends because of it.

It's been messy because I've doubted myself in so many different ways, because I've been afraid to tell my story...and because, as I found out most recently, I'm still discovering who I am.

This past semester was a hard one. I was crazy stressed because I was promoted into a much more demanding job. One of my classes had piles of readings, podcasts, or videos every week. And well, just in general, there's a reason that my program is ranked nationally and is #5 in Texas. I've never worked so hard academically in my life.

So, because the semester was so stressful, I needed to give myself a reward to look forward to. So, I booked a surprise vacation through Pack Up + Go. I'd go the weekend after the semester ended and two weeks before the summer semester started.

I booked it and then forgot about it. I was too wrapped up in work and all the papers I had to do. When everything was said and done and my vacation approached, I began to share with my friends. Their reaction was surprising:

"By yourself? I never imagined you'd be the type of person to do that, but good for you!"

"I never thought you'd do that but I guess I should have figured it out based on you living in Bolivia and all"

It surprised me because adventures (by myself) is a huge part of who I am.
Or at least, I thought it was.
But then I realized so much of my solo adventuring was in the past - choosing to attend schools where I knew no one, traveling to foreign countries by myself, making daring choices. All before I joined the Sisters.

That's the thing with the messy middle. You're still figuring it out. What's changed, what's stayed the same. What your vocation may be. Taking steps towards vulnerability, that those little steps of courage lead to even bigger leaps.

I struggled with shame for not working hard enough or good enough in my new promotion and pushed myself to work through the stress.
I struggled with shame over feeling pressured to be in a romantic relationship.
I even struggled with shame over my own story and felt compelled to hide it at all costs.

But something happened.

I started to let go.

I stepped down from my promotion. I now work in a lower position, both in terms of the totem pole and in stress. But I'm more peaceful.
I stopped listening to other people and realized I am much more than a potential girlfriend or wife.
I started sharing my story. In fact, most of my classmates know that I was a Sister and it's led to beautiful conversations and connections.

And I started solo-adventuring again. My first solo adventure since I joined the Sisters back in 2011 and/or left in 2016. (Pack Up + Go sent me to Denver, by the way.) Solo-adventuring was just as amazing as I remembered it being.
And I re-discovered that part of me that loves new adventures; I returned energized and refreshed as if I had woken up from a long sleep.

The middle is messy, but it pays to let go.
It pays to be courageous.

As Margaret (Molly) Brown, a great woman I learned about on my trip to Denver, said "I am a daughter of adventure. This means I never experience a dull moment and must be prepared for any eventuality . . . That's my arc. It's a good one, too, for a person who had rather make a snap-out than a fade-out of life."

Be brave. Don't be afraid of the middle.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan