I bet you think you aren’t. I know I’m not. Let’s be honest here, if we are going to be anything. How many of us have wanted something and then when it actually happened, you wanted to back pedal? You just got those stomach knots that cause your muscles to clench so tightly it as if you had just done a ten-minute plank. You actually stop breathing and every sound becomes silent and everything around you seems to move in slow motion. Your hands are sweaty, your mind tries to talk to your heart, convincing it that what you are about to do is wrong and full of failure.
Back in March when I told my husband I wanted to quit my full-time job, I was not talking with my head…instead, my heart was pulling me in a direction I didn’t think I was ready for. My inhibitions were lessened and I did not allow rational thinking to enter this conversation. Rather, I said the first thing I felt. And the moment those words left my lips, I instantly wished I could take them back, hoping my husband would not have time to respond or didn’t hear them at all. But neither was the case as the simple reply hit me with the weight of the what I had just asked for when I heard, “Okay” escape from him. I didn’t know how to respond and was hoping that there at least would be a discussion of the family budget or I would need to layout my plan to him as to what I expected of myself, how much money I would need to earn, and how our family dynamics would or would not be altered. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, I was given permission merely because I asked it. To be honest, it was not what I expected. No promises and no guarantees were all I had to offer along with a purpose that seemed much bigger than I had ever imagined before in my life. There was no turning back now and I knew not giving myself this chance would be something that would haunt me for the rest of my life. I knew I had to try. With no business plan, no daily rules to follow, I set out on a journey I wasn’t quite ready for and yet I reflected on how the last four years had transpired and completely changed my direction. I wasn’t ready then, either. The phrase, “Be careful what you wish for” just hit me like a ton of bricks.
Are YOU ready? You may be asking, “For what?” and try to head it off before it comes to you or try to get a head start and hope to outrun it. What is “it?” We don’t know. “It” is different for everyone. Being ready doesn’t mean you have it all figured out. For example, every soon-to-be parent reads all the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” books to have a good idea of what’s going to happen during a pregnancy. But that is not a guarantee of EVERYTHING that will happen — it is a good list of most things you can expect. And the rest you will just have to make up and deal with as you go along.
Why do we second guess as to our aptitude and our capabilities of doing what we want to do? Why do we diminish our dreams, believing that making them smaller makes them more attainable? Why do we listen to the opinions of others instead of the beating of our own hearts? The same hearts whose voices we heard? Our anticipation and excitement build up and we use that instead of fear as the day or event approaches. But at some point, we are going to be “in” it. No going back. No second guessing. No one else but you to rely on. Hoping we are as equipped as we think we are, silently praying we don’t screw it up. Trusting in our abilities, we put faith to the test. We know there will be only one outcome, always looking forward to the best one.
What holds you back? What prevents you from asking for what you want and then doing what you need to to get it? Most people never get this far. They turn away, pretending that they don’t want to try, so they keep their secret hidden and live with that turmoil instead. Would you even honestly answer these questions or would you hide from them? You secretly want the answers but are afraid.
Are you ready to give life everything you have, ready or not? Well, you should be!
How many of us remember playing “hide-n-seek” when we were little? You know, when the person who was “it” had to cover their eyes, usually as they held their head against the trunk of a tree, loudly counting to 20? And when we had finished our counting, we would yell, “READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!” There was always that one kid who gave himself away when he/she yelled, “Not ready!” But we don’t get that luxury in life. We don’t get to tell life, “Hold on…I just don’t think I am ready.” Some people I know found out they were going to be expecting a baby. It wasn’t only when they went in for the ultrasound were they informed that there wasn’t just one baby…and not just two babies…but three babies!!! I wonder if there is a “What to Expect When You are Expecting a Third of a Baseball Team” book out there. If there is, let me know so I can pick it up for them. I am sure they would love to read it.
Life doesn’t care of you are ready or not. And you can tell yourself you are, but you aren’t really. Neither am I. It is ok to be honest about it.
Are you busy planning life, trying to prepare for every scenario that could possibly happen? Do you spend time and energy worrying about all the different things that could happen, just so that you are ready for when it does happen? Have you gathered the information to be analyzed, to aid you later when decisions must be made later on? I now what that looks like because that was me for a long time. I wanted to be ready. As ready as I could be, anyway. But what did I lose instead? I channeled my spirit into so many things that never happened that I feel like I even wasted time in doing so.
There are always going to be things that we never feel like we are ready for, but that is just our minds talking. That is the logical side, questioning if we really are ready, just because our hearts say we are. Our hearts and minds conflict with each other all the time. So the dilemma begins to draw a line in the sand and we must either listen to our mind and never trust the voice in our hearts or we act on what our heart feels, pushing away the little bouts of angst. One of them will always win.
I believe that I will never fully be ready for the things the I work to make or the ones that are granted to me. No one can fully prepare for everything. It is okay to be afraid and not know how things will turn out tomorrow. But if the voice comes from your soul, it is the most honest answer you will ever find with any question. It is the one you believe in…the one you were meant to answer. And when we have the guts to follow our hearts, it makes everything “real” and we will want to take back what we really want. But that never silences it forever. It just hides it for a while. You know it and I know it. We can’t go back. We can only move forward.
Are you ready? I’m not either. The question becomes whether we are capable of silencing the fears and are willing to live with questions that never get answered. We won’t know unless we answer.
Michelle A. Homme©