Today, two spectacular things happened. I had lunch with an old friend and it was like finding an oasis in the desert after months of wandering. And Juniper learned how to pedal her bike without me pushing her along - sort of.
The friend I had lunch with is in her 60s. She is spry - she reminds me that lifetime learning is invaluable. NEVER STOP LEARNING. (I'm serious, son.) She is up to date on politics and the state of the world but she can also tell you if J Lo is still dating Casper Smart and what exactly is wrong with Amanda Bynes. She is the "Real Thing." I admire her terribly. I'll say things to her like, "I'll let you revel in that knowledge" and she'll wink at me and say, "Don't use big words like that around me, I don't get it." *LOVE*
Today, she was talking about how amazing her life is right now. She was talking about meeting someone, and losing weight, and volunteering at a local television station and how she just realized that life is so good for her right now. Then she said something else.
"I just don't have any road blocks right now. And if I did, do you know what? It was me that put them there. I just don't let anyone put road blocks in my life. If they're there, I put them there, for some terrible reason."
OH MY GOSH. That's around the time my brain exploded. As if it wasn't bad enough, she then said,
"You know what? Life is actually really simple. We just mess with it and make it difficult."
By now, I was a mental puddle on the floor.
I AM MY OWN ROAD BLOCK. Mind blown. I could have kissed her for putting into words what has been plaguing me the last 4 years. (I actually did kiss her, and that's when mall security kicked us out.) How often do you get in your own way? How often do you mentally finagle yourself out of a situation that could grow and change you and propel you to the next phase??I do this ALL THE TIME. She spoke to my soul. I just lost it. In the best way.
Fast forward to this afternoon.
June was on her bike. She goes through these spurts where she pedals great, but then just stops and is done. Today was different. She was determined. So she started pedaling around the neighborhood, and I was following her, cheering her on. She lost momentum, looked back at me, and said, "Push me, Momma!" So I did. She pedaled, stalled, looked back, and I pushed. This went on 5 or 6 times, and finally I realized that she wasn't even trying anymore. I told her to keep trying, keep pedaling, you're doing great, but she completely stopped pedaling. She would let the force of my push take her a little ways then look back at me and wait for me to push her again. So I stopped pushing her.
I desperately want someone to follow me around and give me a push when I lose momentum. It would be great to have a constant cheerleader, pulling me up after I fall down, yelling at me to keep going, giving me that oomph that I need to propel myself forward. As an adult, I realize that's not possible. We make our own success. We need to be able to self-talk ourselves into forward motion.
Juniper was really sad that I stopped pushing her, to the point of tears. I had to walk away, because I don't want to teach her that I will do everything for her. I don't want her to let me propel her through the stages of life, pausing at each transition and waiting for me to push her through it. I want her to learn that she can face a challenge, try it one way, maybe fail, then try again - at her OWN pace. In fact, I WANT HER TO FAIL. I want her to fail because it will force her to try again. She has to know that she is fully capable of falling down, without shame, without guilt, without fear, going back to the beginning, and starting fresh.
Maybe these two things intersect somehow, maybe they don't. They totally did for me today. Good night.
Brooke + JuneBug