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Getting things in order

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you have to get away to think clearly about something?  It’s odd.  I’ve been struggling with something.  Thinking about it and turning it over and over in my head. Then, I was on a plane -and the answer appeared.  It was SO obvious, but I had been missing it. 


So, I’m not sure what exactly it is about taking a break – but, I think it might partially be just having a bit of space from the issue.  I remember when I flew down to Roatan, about to embark on my instructor training, I spent the first twenty minutes on the plane mulling over my work situation.  All of a sudden, I realized what I needed to do (quit), and then next day I did.  So – this time is similar, just in a different arena.


But, before I got on a plane – I had started a blog post.  And – these were my thoughts...

Do you ever think to yourself, “I just need to chill the f*ck out?”  That is my feeling this week. 


Recently, I’ve been having this restlessness to me.  I want to vacillate between being in constant movement, and not wanting to not move at all.   This is usually my tell-tale sign to myself that I’m feeling stressed.  I also realize that it often pairs with isolating.  My other issue is that it can pair with being short-tempered (and short-on-patience).  It’s not the best situation.


And – why?  Well – because I feel stretched all over the place and unsure of everything.  Is that a good reason?  I don’t know.  I have a dream of opening a retreat center and blending social work and diving.  Seems doable.  Yet, it also seems impossible.  Seems like there is everything standing in the way.  Not the least of which are indecisiveness and lack of confidence. 

But, I finally realized this week that I need to chill out.  Part of my problem is that I feel like I’m all over the place, and that I’m not making forward movement.  But, it isn’t true.  I have been doing a lot, actually, but it’s a winding pathway there, rather than being a straight line.  That isn’t always satisfying, but I am making forward progress.


So – what have I been doing?  Well – a lot of things.  So – I’ve built up my therapy practice.  Could it be larger.? Yes.  Do I care at the moment?  Not really.  I have about 20 active clients that I see weekly.  That isn’t too bad.  I also have one couple that and I have just gotten a second one.  That’s a little stressful because I feel like a new therapist with them, but I’ve been enjoying it far more than I anticipated.


One issue (and I haven’t heard much about this on the news, but it is a pretty big issue) is that the billing software that I use (and well, an awful lot of insurance companies use) was hacked.  So, it was about eight weeks with little news about it and no payments.  Thankfully, it appears fixed now, but it was pretty stressful.  It was definitely a significant distraction.

 I’ve gone back and forth about having a second retreat.  I want to, although I’m back in my feelings about it.  But, I need to find a new site because the first one only rents to non-profits.  Gah!  And, I really would prefer to sit in my bubble and not have to put myself out there.  But, c’est la vie. 


I’ve looked at properties, mainly in and around driving-distance from DC, but also sporadically at other countries and locales.  This is where much of my personal indecision is.  Do I want to be in DC?  Would it make more sense to be elsewhere?  I have a license here that is not the easiest to transfer, but does it make sense?  Does my heart long to be elsewhere – in a place where I can easily walk into the ocean with my dive gear?  Yes, yes it does.  Is that feasible?  I don’t know.  There are pros and cons everywhere.


I’ve been making steady progress, albeit much slower than I would like or was expecting, at increasing my diving resume.  In December, I taught/helped with an open water class in a lake in Virginia.  It was about 60 degrees in the water (for reference for those of you who don’t dive – the water temperature in Roatan, is usually around 82-84 degrees).  I wore a 7 mm wetsuit, and froze my bahunkus off.  Holy smokes!  So, last month, I got certified to dive in a drysuit.  Now – upward and onward.  I have a few pool sessions coming up.  I also taught (co-taught) my first emergency response class.  Next up – is getting certified to teach specialties.  I’m hoping to get to North Carolina to do some wreck diving.  I did some diving in Florida and St. Thomas this year.  I also taught a class in the pool in January.  So, I’m making forward progress.  It’s just slow.  SO SLOW. 

I’ve done a bit of traveling this year.  I was in North Carolina at the turn of the year.  I did my first retreat January 6th.  Then, I went to Greece for a bit, and a very short stop in London.  Back home, and then down to Florida.  Back home, and then down to St. Thomas.  I’m currently back down in South America.  It was an impromptu trip.  It feels good to be back here. I’ve only been here a few days and yet I’m happy  to simply feel the energy.  I don’t know that I’ll dive on this trip, and yet I’m still happy to be here.  I did a salsa class today.  First one in about two years.  It’s SO much fun.  I wish this weren’t so expensive in DC.  Such a great outlet. 


But, part of what I realized on my way down here (and I’ve written about this before, in a slightly different context) is that I’ve been looking for the “experts” out there to tell me how to do this thing that I want to do.  But, know what?  I just need to be my own expert.  There are some parts of what I want to do that I’ve not done before.  There is part of what I want to do that I’m certainly no expert in.  But, I’m not an idiot.  And, I’ve realized recently, that some of the “models” are people I have no interest in emulating.  So, why would I try to follow them?  It just doesn’t make much sense – but, that is what I’ve been doing.


So – I feel like I’m ready to start making moves on my own.  I feel like I just need to do the thing I’m scared of.   I just need to act.  I can’t keep being scared. 

I will tell you (although this is a secret... don’t tell anyone) that sometimes I feel like a fraud.  I have conversations with clients about doing the scary thing.  I work with clients on how to have awkward conversations; how to be vulnerable even though it seems scary; how to move forward when you feel like crawling into a hole.  And – the truth is, that in my life, I have gotten significantly better about doing these things in my professional life.  I’ve had a lot of very difficult, risky conversations at work.  I’ve had conversations that I’ve could have gotten fired for.  I’ve stood up for myself in ways that surprised even me.  And, yet – in my personal life – I don’t always stay tuned in on my own feelings.  I sometimes avoid the vulnerable conversation.  I sometimes shut down rather than confront my partner in a conversation that feels shaky.  I do not always take the risks that I encourage others to take.  This is not always true.  I very much strive to do the things I tell others to.  But, sometimes I take the easy route.  Well – because it’s easier.  Sometimes I’m wimpy. 


And – so, with all these decisions which seem super risky, I’ve been hemming and hawing.  I’ve been taking the easier route.  Not completely, mind you.  But, a bit.  But, something on that plane woke me up.  I just need to do the thing.  I just need to take the risk.  I still don’t know what that means completely – but, I need to stop looking for experts.  This doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything for me to learn from others.  There still is.  There is still a lot.  But, I need to be picky about who my teachers and mentors are.  I’m too damn old to be following people who clearly don’t know what the hell they are doing.  And, in this phase of my life, there are fewer teachers.  There aren’t always a lot of guides on this trail I want to take.  There are some.  But, there are also false profits.  There are people who think they know the way, but who are more lost than I am. 

So, the point of today’s post.  The point is to have faith in your own abilities.  Trust yourself.  Know that there are plenty of people who will try to show the way when they don’t really know themselves.  Some people find that admirable.  I don’t.  If you don’t know, I’d rather you just say that rather than bullshitting me.  But, that’s life.  Some people arrogantly think they know.  But, if I follow someone I can see is not a leader, than it’s my stupidity in following.  Sometimes you just have to take the harder path, even when it’s harder.  One thing I say frequently to my clients is that being uncomfortable is a good thing.  It’s only when we are uncomfortable, that we are motivated to start making changes. 


So, I am uncomfortable.  I’m ready to start taking some new steps.  I still don’t know what all the steps are.  But, the universe is showing me.  Ever so slowly.    I just need to listen. 


“If you want to sing out, sing out.  If you want to be free, be free.  There are a million things to be, you know that there are.”  ~Cat Stevens~

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Apr 30
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great post.

Dance alone.

Take that risk.

Sometimes a step back is still a step forward!

Apr 30
Replying to

Thanks Kathy! That is very true. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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