Who Do You Want To Be?
I find myself very contemplative this morning. Re-reading yesterday’s blog sparked an uncomfortable memory that warrants some time to consider.
In late January I do what I do every January – start setting up the annual doctors’ appointments to ensure that my clan is healthy for the year. I never really give it much thought – just go through the motions, doing what I’m suppose to be doing. I scheduled my kiddo’s appointment with the pediatrician, set up the appointment with my primary doctor, scheduled my mammogram (Is it weird to talk about a mammogram in a blog that focuses on work? How funny that we compartmentalize our lives so much…another blog for another day). We followed-through with our appointments, checking them off the list. Another year down. Check!
And a couple of days later I got a letter in the mail.
It seems that my mammogram showed something inconclusive. They wanted me to come back in. Even now as I think about it I can feel my heart rate increasing. We’ve had dear friends face who had been shattered this year by circumstances like these. Who had been caught completely unaware. I knew what was possible. For the first time in my adult-life I felt frightened about that possibility – it had never, so visibly, come knocking on my door.
I remember feeling very disconnected with the world as I drove to my replicated appointment. Observing myself from the outside. Seeing and tasting the sights and sounds around me so deeply – everything heightened, too vibrant, too loud, almost invasive – but not feeling like I was there. Like my image had been green-screened on to a crazy music video.
I walked into the same room I had walked in before, escorted by the same nurse, who said the exact same things. But it didn’t feel the same.
I sat there. Waiting. Thinking. What if this wasn’t “nothing”? What would I do? I sat there in the sterile waiting room, alone in my thoughts, not knowing.
I’m grateful. For me, on that day, it turned out to be nothing. But the big realization was that this will not always be the case. The “circle of life” was no longer just a Disney song.
And I think it’s the greatest balancing act there is – to sit with our own fragility – to see it and own it and appreciate it – and to simultaneously jump full force into life – to taste it, to savor it, to devour every morsel.
When they gave me the news that everything was okay, the world stood still. * As it does this very moment. * I was completely overcome with relief and gratitude and grace, and flooded with an urgency to do all the things I’ve yet to do. I so desperately wanted to hug my child again. To right my wrongs. To be a better me.
And while the intensity of that moment has faded, I cling to that awakening as a my level-set. Holding fast to the realization that “who I want to be” is happening now. That I may not get a re-do.
Who do I want to be with my friends, my colleagues, my employees, my clients, my community?
Who do I want to be with myself?
For we can obsess about deadlines, and metrics, and what others think, and landing the client, and getting the raise, and sending our kids to the right schools, and the economy, and technology, and the government, and trains that are running late, and our weight, and what to wear, and who-said-what-to-whom, and all the rest of it – but in the end, none of us are immune.
Who do you want to be? For real.
©OnStage Leadership, 2014
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Kimberly Davis is the Founder/Director of OnStage Leadership, a full-day experiential leadership workshop. Click here to read what people are saying!