For the month of June, I resolved to try to control less. I loved this resolution. I truly, honestly felt calmer and happier all month as I reminded myself that I can’t control what people think of me…how long it will take for my ankle to be at 100%…the weather…decisions I made yesterday, last week, five years ago…etc.
I liked it so much that I considered making it my July resolution as well, but instead I decided to go with what I suppose is a related goal. I’m not exactly sure how to phrase what it is…Remember Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” career advice? Well, this month I want to start leaning into my life a little bit more.
I’m just so careful. All the time. I think through decisions with painstaking detail. I find a million reasons NOT to do something. Case in point…last Saturday night, at the lake, when we stayed up late dancing and then went for a night swim, I almost talked myself out of getting into the water. It’s always, “It’s too cold” or “I’ll do it later this summer” or “I’d rather swim out deep rather than in the weeds by the shore.” But then I end up missing out on all these great experiences because the timing or circumstances aren’t perfect. And then summer goes by too fast and the swim never happens - know what I mean?
Or here’s another example. Kevin and I went to see this cool play the other night, and afterward we ran into the lead actor on the street. We stopped him, said hello, and told him how much we liked his performance. Once he biked away, I start peppering Kevin with questions. “Was I too weird?” “Was I awkward?” “Was it inappropriate to shake his hand like that?” I’m constantly shrinking back, second guessing myself, making my life smaller, thinking that if I stutter or say something dorky or I’m not dressed cute enough, if I can’t do something absolutely perfectly, that I shouldn’t do it at all. I also waste a ton of energy hyper-analyzing everything I do or say after the fact. I’m just so goddamned tentative all the time.
(And yes, I sat for a full minute trying to decide if I should write “goddamned” or not.)
So for July, I resolve to lean into my life. I’ll always be a cautious person - I know that - but I want to push myself on this for the next couple of weeks. Be less tentative. Be less careful. Embrace opportunities (fun or work) as they come. Be confident that my thoughts, my ideas, my voice, my body are worthy of space and consideration, that I don’t have to shrink back from the world.