It’s Mother’s Day and I’m in my bed, under the covers while Sam and Mike play cars and trucks downstairs. There is a pretty bouquet of flowers sitting in the center of our kitchen table that Mike had delivered (from Sam). Mother’s Day isn’t on my radar and I’ve promised both Mike’s mom and my own mom that we will celebrate together on Tuesday. I needed to buy more time. I couldn’t get my shit together fast enough for Hallmark and America to be proud of me. I think I’m ok with it. It’s just two more days. It will be fine.
My mind and heart have been racing with the anticipation of my Authenticity Talk. It’s next Sunday. The 21st. The countdown is on. I’ve felt guilt over not blogging because I had recently made a promise to put writing near the top of my to-do list. But life has been busy and confusing and a bit chaotic. I can feel transition everywhere; it’s in my bones, in my shoulders, and stuck in my neck. It’s out of my control. I have to remind myself daily that I actually hate Goals, and that I embrace Visions. They are born from the same mother, but Visions is the kinder, gentler and more flexible of the two. I always, MINDFULLY, choose her, because even though Goals is magnetic and has more followers, she is bossy, militant and only wears black and white. Visions offers grace. And grace is what makes me feel at home. Safe. And ok with not being completely whole.
Last week, I was texting with a high school friend about my excited anxiety surrounding my upcoming workshop. She said that based off of social media, the event looked interesting but that she was confused on whether or not there would be any yoga involved. I wrote back, “No, it’s just AT a yoga studio and it’s a wear-your-jeans kind of thing.” She said maybe she would come. I couldn’t believe it. She lives two hours away. Maybe she would come?! AND my friend Kelly is flying up from New Jersey for the night just to hear me speak. From New Jersey. AND I ran into my ex-sister-in-law on Thursday. I told her about the talk by saying, “It’s about finding that little light of yours and letting it shine. But first you have to be honest and tell the truth.” She looked at me with wide, dramatic eyes and took a REALLY big, slow gulp of beer. She put her glass down on the table, opened the calendar app on her phone and asked, “when is it again?” AND this morning I woke up to a Facebook message from someone I don’t know well at all, thanking me for writing my blog because it has helped her get through some of her own struggles.
I have support. I have a tribe of people I don’t even know. I have a clear message to present next Sunday. It is full of straight talk and love. It is honest. It is real. It is my story and it’s also the story of so many others. The characters, facts and decisions are mine; but the storyline is the connection between all of us. We are connected.
I feel strong and empowered and good.
Yesterday, in line at the bank, I ran into an old acquaintance. I told him about my talk and (briefly) about my apprehension surrounding my credibility to say my story and my ideas in a public place. He said, “Why WOULDN’T you share it?” He was encouraging. I put his rhetorical question into my overflowing, big, happy, perfect, sunshine yellow bag marked “cheerleader,” so that I could pull it out and be reminded to “say my truth.” Insert happy face emoji here! Then, after my transaction, I started to walk out the door. He followed up with, “You know Jaime, not to diminish your talk, but if you were to wear a bikini, I bet you would get a bigger turnout.” And then he smiled and winked.
Aside from saying a pig remark (which could easily be its own blog, but I don’t want to get off track), he grabbed ahold of a sentence that was in MY “fear” bag and punched me in the face with it. Hard. It hit me in the jugular. In the place where my vulnerability lies; my throat, my voice, my validity, my worth. Those words, and the way in which I perceived them, tried to extinguish my light, my work, and my joy and creatively replace all of it with an image of me standing silently in my underpants.
Three days ago when I was working on my talk, I took a break to tape a quote that I had written on a blue piece of paper, onto my laptop. I knew I needed to lay eyes on my fear with each word that came into my brain, and to continue typing regardless of how the fear felt about it. I knew I needed to stare it down and keep it familiar and close so that it wasn’t hiding anywhere planning a surprise party for me. The quote reads, “You will be judged. Keep going.” This morning, after a 5 minute debriefing text exchange with my friend, Marbella about my encounter at the bank, I felt better. I didn’t think the feeling of judgement would come with two-piece swim wear attached to it, but that’s what happened. So that’s what it is.
And that’s why I’m in my bed, writing my voice, with the door shut, while my son and husband play cars and trucks downstairs on Mother’s Day (which we will celebrate on Tuesday). Because I will never, ever give up and I will always seek out my peace amidst the chaos. I needed that guy to put me back on track. To keep me authentic and to practice what I preach. My peace is IN my words. My intention is for connections. My light is bright. My Vision is clear.