In the spirit of being authentic-
I don’t know about y’all, but my brain has only 2 speeds. Fast and hamsters on cocaine. I get an idea and it’s off to the races. I’ll change my plans a million times before I decide on something or I’ll make a snap decision and realize that’s not what I really wanted. This makes life especially difficult for those who are stuck hauling me around until March. It also forces me to slow down and consider what I’m trying and / or wanting to do. It’s one thing when you’re only accountable to yourself and can go anywhere on a whim or change your mind at the last minute. It’s entirely another when I’ve told someone I want to go to a certain place at a certain time, then change my mind. It never hurts to take things into consideration a little longer. That’s a huge challenge for me. I know it’s not fair to the people around me to put them out of their way at the last minute. It doesn’t have to be done rightthissecond. I have the ability to slow down, think about it, and mull over what I really want out of a situation / plan of action. I’m just not used to doing it that way. As the mantra for the last year has been, trust the process and have patience.
For example, it’s no secret I’m a spender. I’ll decide I want something and I buy it. If I don’t have the cash on hand, I’ll put it on my credit card. That got me into a lot of financial trouble very quickly. I finally worked up the guts to ask someone their opinion on my finances and suggestions to improve it. I rarely give something a serious amount of thought before buying it. Even then, it only took me a week to pick out, scope out, and purchase my car when I needed a new one. My new budget doesn’t allow for that sort of thing and nor should it. Of course it allows for “fun” money and non-essential spending, but not the kind of extravagant purchases I was making. I don’t even have custody of my credit card or access to my savings account any more to prevent falling back on old (unhealthy) habits. I know what my goals are now. I know my endgame. I have the proper motivation to actually stick to the plan. By sticking to the plan, I’ll have almost all my major debt paid off in 18 months. I know when to ask for advice or help if I’m hit with unexpected expenses. Fortunately, we’re about to renew our benefits for next year. I fully intend on picking the brains of the reps for the health plans. Knowing what kind of regular care I’ll need for (likely) the rest of my life, I can make a much more informed decision. It might cost me more on the front end, but I won’t be stuck paying over $3000 in medical bills later on. It’s remembering the give and take to stay on track. It’s reminding myself of my larger goals and resisting the instant gratification. Even if I do get whacked with an unexpected expense, I’ll have the savings to cover most or all of it (though at least I know I’ll never get another DUI again. Those suckers are pricey).
This also holds true for activities. When I sit down and really think, my heart is in dance. It’s been that way for 16 years. I define myself first and foremost as a dancer (more specifically a ballet dancer). Aerial work is a nice balance to dance because it works the other half of my body. If I take the time to really listen to what that little voice is telling me, it’s to go back to my roots. The odd pole class here and there may be fun, but I know from my past experiences trying pole and other exotic dance that it won’t feed my spirit the same way traditional dance does. It’ll cost me double what it did to sign up to get out of the pole contract. If I’d tried out a few classes first and thought about it, I wouldn’t have signed a contract. The dance studio, bless them, offered to waive the reactivation fee if I wanted to sign up for the membership there again. I’m not sure quite yet how I’ll get to and from class there, but again, that will take some consideration. And consistency. My friends, family, and boss are doing me a huge favor. I at least owe it to them to be considerate of their time, schedules, and limitations. I can’t ask someone to drive 2 hours every morning in traffic just so I can go to an hour long class the night before. It’s not going to be a snap decision. It’s going to take some thinking, consulting, and possibly bribes to work things out in a way which works for everyone. Then in 133 more days, I can do what I want and go where I please. And you can bet I’ll never take that kind of freedom for granted again.
To those of my friends and family who read this, let it be known how much it means to me for all you’ve done. From sending me a card or a text just to brighten my day to hauling my ass all over creation on a regular basis, I love you all for it. I owe you a debt of gratitude that will take a long time to be repaid. This has been one of the most challenging years of my life and you’ve all been there to hold my hand, let me cry into your shirts, and make me laugh. From halfway across the world to just down the stairs, I have a support network the envy of all. Y’all fucking rock and I love you each and every one of you more than I’ll ever be able to express in words. And now it’s on the Internet, so it will be out there forever.