The clock is ticking. In less than 2 months, it will be time to leave Texas and move on to our next adventure. The problem is, we don't have the faintest idea what this adventure will be.
Or at least, we didn't - until last week.
A month ago, Bryan had a call with an old friend who runs a guest house during the summer in a beautiful beach town back north. His friend told him he wants to do more there this summer: offer workshops, classes, and other events for the local community. Bryan told me about his ideas, and we were talking about how cool it all sounded.
Last week, Bryan's friend asked us if we'd like to run the guesthouse and the events there this summer. How cool! This came out of nowhere, and in many ways, it couldn't be more perfect: the schedules line up, we love it out there, and one of my dreams is actually to own/run a place like that myself, so this would be a great experience.
But something has been holding me back from jumping on it and saying yes. Last week I mentioned my social anxieties, and the thought of becoming the face of one of the main social spaces of this small town is terrifying to me. At some point (specifically, in my first year in junior high), I started telling myself that I'm not cool enough to be part of the "cool kids" group (whatever that means...). I've been gathering evidence to support this narrative since (and I've been doing really well at it, mind you). This has become my "golden shadow".
When we think about our "shadow aspects", we tend to think about traits and qualities that we consider negative: being controlling, sloppy, immature, insecure, etc. We reject these qualities, but they keep showing up in our lives and sucking our energies. Surprisingly though, we also reject qualities that we think greatly of: creativity, success, strength, confidence, playfulness, etc. We surround ourselves with images and people that embody these qualities, and we stride the line between admiring and resenting them. If we dig deep inside, we know we'll be able to find these qualities in us.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure"1. The truth is, we're afraid of letting go of the stories that make up who we are today, the stories we've been telling ourselves for so long. We're afraid to take risks, to try and live out a different narrative. So instead, we keep making choices that feel "safe", but all they do is solidify our old stories, the stories that keep holding us back from living a full life.
I'm tired of my junior high story. Looking back even at the past couple of years, I can see how much energy I've spent finding evidence for this story, missing the opportunity to focus on people, places, and experiences that had a big "COOL" sign blinking over them. Like this chance to spend a summer on the beach, doing the things I’ve always been dreaming about. So I’m going to say YES.
This summer is going to be the coolest summer ever 😎✌️