It’s been 100 days since I left the corporate world. Just over three months since I was gently pushed from the plane of life as I knew it and began my free fall into something new. 100 days of growing roots at home and easing gently back into a routine, a regular writing practice, only to fall out of it again. 100 days of trying to bleed out all of the stress only to realize that it will always be there, it will just be a different kind. A stress that comes from complete self-reliance, from trusting blindly what’s next, from trying to put flesh on the bones of this new life. I have days where the light stretches me, when I can hear my own heartbeat strong and steady. I have days where the fear and anxiety still crawl into my belly, leaving me frozen with pain. I have learned to sit with the pain again, to lean in so that its intensity shrinks when I look at it plainly.
I’m still terrible at things that I thought would get better. I’m terrible at sitting and crave the speed of “busy.” Because “busy” is an excellent procrastination tool. I still crave structure and routine and sometimes feel adrift as I step into the new week without a calendar full of meetings and conference call. I still look to others to tell me that I’m good enough. A good enough leader. A good enough friend. A good enough writer – a lesson learned painfully when I had the virtual wind knocked out of me by someone I admired. A younger version of myself would’ve been shaken for weeks. But I surprised myself with how quickly I stood up, carefully brushed their words off and left them behind. I’ve learned to listen to my body and trust my gut.
100 days of delicately peeling off the labels I’ve felt society had mistakenly applied to me only to realize that I was the one that was applying them in the first place. 100 days of trying to shake the “shoulds”, succeeding some days and sliding back into old habits on others. 100 days of simplifying and shedding the layers of complexity that I lacquered on to shield myself from disappointment or fear.
100 days of creating. Of building community. Of letting go instead of holding on. Of slipping in to new skin. 100 days of slowing down enough to recognize myself in the mirror – and for the very first time- being strangely satisfied with what I see. Looking forward to what the next 100 days will bring.