The Big Impossible
I love big goals. They guide me. They serve as my North Star.
When my son was a baby and I was finishing my undergrad, I would put on my puffy vest in my old house (which was often freezing in the winter!), make a cup of tea, sit down at the kitchen table after I had put him to bed and think to myself, "Here we go! Study sesh starts now!" and then get to work on my spreadsheets and papers and tests as though my life depended on it. If I was feeling like quitting then I would tell myself, "I'm doing it for Mo." And I wasn't going to quit if I was doing it for Mo. That wasn't an option.
You need those things. You need the big, impossible things that excite you to stand just a little out of reach in the distance so that you have something to lift your head up to when things feel... a lot. And, if I'm being honest, things feel "a lot" to me on a regular basis. When I received my diploma I felt like the proudest mama alive. It was hard-earned during tough years and it was worth every tear & doubt & fear. No one really asks me about it. I've actually become fond of telling people "I'm the ONLY person who cares that I have a bachelor's degree". I don't know that it's ever helped me earn a job or a promotion... but I don't care. It's for me. And for Mo. It's something I wanted and it felt huge to me at that time in my life. Impossible even. But the impossible is sometimes not. I can attest to that.
Here are some things I'm proud of accomplishing that, at one time, felt impossible to me:
- Living abroad! At the young age of 18 - less than a year after graduating from high school - I moved to Scotland for three months and then Egypt for two. I was often home-sick and encountered many difficult moments along the way, but it built courage in me. Courage and independence that I've called on many times since then. I had always dreamed of traveling and there I was, as a teenager, doing it! I raised the money, I packed the bag, and I signed up. I fucking did it.
- Becoming a power yoga teacher! I went to yoga teacher training about 9 months after I first starting practicing power yoga. I was so new to it and had no clue what I was actually doing but I fell head over heels in love with the practice and wanted to share it with others. The cost was high and the commitment was scary (could I do ALL THAT YOGA in front of ALL THOSE PEOPLE???) but I signed up, found the money, persevered even when I was drenched in sweat and totally out of my element and poof! Before I knew what hit me, I was a power yoga teacher.
- Having a home birth! I had my total dream water birth in my beautiful home 5 years ago after many years of hoping I could do it someday. Many people told me along the way, "You're going to want the drugs!" and of course I wanted the drugs... but 19 hours of labor (3 of them pushing) and an 8 pound, 4 ounce baby boy later - I did it! Well, my midwife, partner & I did. And we were very proud.
- Finishing my bachelor's degree in my thirties with a baby in tow (while working)! *see above
- Getting a job at my favorite yoga studio & local company, Cleveland Yoga! I did my teacher training at Cleveland Yoga, one of the largest yoga studios in the midwest, and was told throughout it (by everyone) that it was basically impossible to get a teaching gig there. Fast forward 4 years and I auditioned to teach, got the job, and eventually ended up working full-time for them as the general manager of both of their studios. I did all of the buying & visual displays for their retail boutiques, managed the desk teams, and facilities, supported their social media accounts, and more. It was a dream job and it was something that seemed totally improbable if not impossible to me at one point.
- Starting my business! Owning a business is something I've wanted my entire life but have always been terrified by. Last year I finally took the leap and bought a website, decided on a name, created product offerings, began a podcast to share my various interests and promote my brand, and more! I can't believe how much I've been able to accomplish towards that goal in such a short period of time, but it feels so good to get to contribute to something I love every week in my "spare" time. When I think about how impossible it used to feel, it makes me shake my head a little. Sometimes the toughest part is just taking the leap to say, "Let's do this thing!" and then doing something - anything - towards that thing that excites you.
Here's the thing about big, impossible-feeling goals: You have to create them first.
You have to dream them up. You have to have a moment where you go, "You know what would be amazing???" with fear in your belly and excitement in your voice - like a secret you're ready to tell your best friend. You're almost afraid to speak it out loud, but you can't help yourself and as soon as you say it you feel it come to life as an actual possibility. Is anything more exciting than that? I would say no.