The other night I got home from picking my daughter up from school and the headache that had been in the background swelled to a debilitating fever pitch at the same time my stomach was seized by what felt like a vice grip. I dragged myself to the kitchen to make dinner for my family and then sat down at the table and watched them eat.
|Photo by Kathleen Keagy|
After an insanely busy summer, I needed to get away from my responsibilities for a moment and play. So I made arrangements for my daughter, booked plane tickets to New York City and announced to my husband that I was going. It was a bold gesture. The look on his face was a mix of surprise and questioning, but I stood my ground. I knew that discussing it would have led me down the slippery road of compromise as I tried to ease his comfort with my decision. Over the next few weeks he peppered me with comments about the trip, making it clear that he did not appreciate me making the decision to go without consulting him. It was not easy for me to sit in the discomfort of that space and not defer to his opinions, but it changed me to do it. Even though he didn’t like it, it was not a make or break situation. He was still there when I got home, and I came back from New York with more energy than I had had in months.
Sometimes I am nostalgic for the person I was just a few months ago. For much of my life I have stood behind and supported others while they found success in the world—grounding romantic partners, business partners, family and friends to the detriment of my stepping out into the world. That status quo persona was comfortable, but it was not representative of the person deep inside. I want to be out front, leading the charge. Now it’s been long enough in this new path that I can’t go back.