I have not posted in a while. My favorite excuses relate to being busy or not having inspiration, but ultimately these are all cop-outs. I have been LIVING, or at least learning how to live, and let me tell you its an intimidating process.
When I began this blog, my idea was to share my thoughts with the world and to get feedback that would justify my mission – would reinforce the fact that I am not the only woman out there railing against the stereotypes of what is and is not ‘girly’ vs. ‘manly’. Besides the fact that blogs attract spam mail faster than I ever imagined, what I have discovered is this: if you want to share your passions with the world and hear the echo of your journey coming back to you, the best thing to do is to DO it. All of the good intentions in the world will not send you down the rapids. You need to get into the river and go.
That being said, I wrote a blog about hunting, and I took all of the necessary courses, and I read the book. I THOUGHT hunting. I am happy to report that due to a brave and strong friend of mine named Amy, I was in the woods on opening day at 4:30 in the morning setting up my climbing stand 14′ in the air. Since that day I have gone out about 10 times – sometimes with others and sometimes by myself. I have rarely felt as alive and simultaneously as intimidated as standing alone in the woods, watching my breath, with movement all around me and my weapon in hand, wondering what was going to appear through the brush. As poetic as that sounds, I also felt like an idiot at times, not knowing which way to go or where to set up or …the fact is I didn’t have to know what I was doing. The important part was that I was DOING it. I could have held a neon sign saying “deer welcome” and I still would have gone home pumped about having had the courage to stand there in the first place.
Well, Bambi still lives but I learned something unexpected about myself (something you can’t learn by thinking about doing something). Its not about the kill. I did see deer, but they were at a distance where shooting was pointless. I saw a grey fox who didn’t see me. I saw a turkey fly so close I could feel the rush of its wings as it labored overhead to find a tree that would hold it. I saw a coyote running right at me before swerving off to the right (That was a panty-changer lol). I even had a woodpecker so close above my head that bits of tree fell onto my cap as I sat in the stand.
The discomfort of breaking barriers does not come from within you; it has merely made a home there because culturally you have been conditioned to filter out desires that would cause you to veer from stereotype. Without realizing it, the generations before us taught us these habits (parents, television, teachers etc…)because to follow the leader makes (in their minds) our journey through life and within a judgmental society much easier… No one likes a bully. Boys don’t want a tomboy. Girls don’t succeed in business unless they sleep their way up. That outfit makes you look like a tramp. I didn’t raise you to behave this way. You could be/do so much better than this. Is that your husband’s gun/truck/season football tickets?? We were born a clean slate and that’s where we need to return.
My homework for you is to write down two lists: Firstly, think about all of the LEARNED lessons that were thrown at you up until this point. All of the things that stop you from stepping towards your dreams or make you tell yourself that they are scary, too big or something you don’t deserve. In fact, you may even want to list the people in your life who either taught you these things or reinforce them through their own behavior. (Even if its a spouse or best friend). Next, make a list of those desires and goals no matter how small or strange they seem to you. Truth is, list one is the only thing making you feel the way you do about list two. Take a deep breath, crumple list one into a tight ball and destroy it with a vengeance. Do it everyday if necessary until the number of things on that first list is ZERO.
Maybe hunting isn’t your thing, but the same lessons are out there for you… GO and BE what you’re thinking of being, and you will discover new ways of being proud of yourself. YOURSELF. Ways that have nothing to do with the noise of others. The only permission you need is your own.