I returned from NYC on January 2, 2020 to find that, while my car was still in the Megabus parking lot, my license plates were not. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I only realized the plates were missing after I had driven the 30-some miles home and took my dogs for a walk. That’s when I saw the naked hind end of my little car.
It occurred to me how odd being pulled over would have been.
Two days later I would sit on my sister’s couch and celebrate my niece’s fourth birthday while watching my can’t-get-out-of-their-own-way Buffalo Bills do their best to not get in the playoffs. This surprised many people.
I was not one of them.
I woke up Monday morning to find that I had a sore throat. A trip to the doctor would confirm I had strep. My total days of hastily made sub plans was now 3, and none of them were spent on fun days at the beach, mountains or even a staycation downtown.
Read the textbook and answer questions, students. #SickTeacherLife
It’s easy to see that, for me, the beginning of this “Whole New Decade” (as trademarked on all social media) was going a lot like the last one: Not. To. Plan.
Good. I’m glad. Bring it.
Maybe it’s because I keep getting older. Maybe it’s because there’s no other choice but to move forward.
Maybe it’s denial.
Whatever it is, I am confident that this typical bad luck start to the new year is not the fortuneteller of doom. I truly believe that 2020 and beyond is going to be good for me and to me. Because this is the start of me following my gut.
I have one, you know. And while it’s most visible after eating enough sushi to feed a college crew of six, I’m talking about the invisible part – the speaking part. It’s the part that I’ve been ignoring for far too long.
You wouldn’t know it from this website or my Instagram account, but I am always spitting out ideas. There are glimmers of writing topics, titles for podcasts, half-written TV (streaming?) pilots, and themed epic parties floating around in my fast-forward thinking brain. My gut is ALWAYS talking to me. It keeps me up at night. My gut knows that I can accomplish so many things. And I just pretend that it’s chatting crazy.
I have talked myself out of a lot of ideas that I had because I didn’t trust myself. That’s a hard thing to write and throw out there for people to see. But there it is. I have spent the majority of my life not trusting myself.
Don’t read into this wrong: I have accomplished a LOT. I own my home and car. I have graduated both undergraduate and graduate school. I have taught the future of America for 14 years now. The countries I have set foot in are well into double digits. Paychecks have come to me from both writing and travel. Each of these accomplishments is a trophy of my hard work and determination.
As long as it’s safe.
Looking around, I can admit the majority of what I have done has been on the safer side of the word “try.” It may not look that way to many of the people that know me, but I know it to be true. That’s the difference in seeing a person’s life and living it.
The big attempts, the true chances, the dreams and goals my gut chews on have been consistently pushed to the “do NOT” pile because I don’t believe in myself, trust myself or push myself.
So I’ve tired myself. And I am exhausted with the effort to not try and the constant refrain of “no” that I speak to my gut. This is the first step. Well, second – I posted a story on my Instagram today. Today I started following my gut instead of shutting it down.
What could just B more true?
What about you? What are you doing in this new decade?