I could start this blog entry with a metaphor about how my mission to get fit is like a roller-coaster, but I am not. That is a given, right?
Right. (And it has been used 6 million times, Courtney...)
This past Friday I chaperoned the Senior class trip to Kings Island. Because I did not want to sit around all day staring at people having fun (most of the other chaperones had already stated that they did not plan to ride a single ride), I invited Tim along with me. He agreed, but his only stipulation is that I actually got on some roller-coasters with him. Well, ok, then...
Ok...before I continue...some back story.
I have been afraid my whole life. Afraid of change. Afraid of making mistakes. Afraid of disappointing others. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of failure. AFRAID. This past year has been particularly difficult for me. I have had to face challenges in my professional life that I have NEVER encountered before. These challenges put me face to face with the fears mentioned above.
When all of these fears came to a head, I had to make the decision to be a little more selfish -- to stop putting my professional life before my mental health and to stop always putting the needs of others before my own. Of course, I will always put the needs of my children first...that is a given. HOWEVER, I will not put the needs of people that don't give a crap about me and my welfare before myself. This has been something I have been working on. It has not been easy, and lately my stress levels have started to build up again. What can I say? This time of year is a busy and stressful one for school counselors. It is kind of like our "tax season."
So, fast forward to this past Friday. I am about to board my first roller-coaster in years with Tim. I am nervous. I am wondering why I am doing this. I get on. We climb the first big hill. We go down. I scream. I LOVE IT. It was so much fun!!! I screamed the whole way, but it was so freeing. I felt alive! It was the best stress relief I have EVER experienced. For the rest of the morning, I couldn't figure out why. I mentioned it to Tim and he said, "You were allowed to scream." Wow. Never thought of that. So true. I was allowed to scream when I was afraid. I mentioned it to my friend later that day and she agreed with the screaming part, but she also said, "Courtney, you were allowed to have fun! You had no responsibilities at that moment other than to enjoy yourself." Wow, again. So true.
So, I guess it took a roller-coaster to help me understand that I need to give myself permission to have fun and to scream every now and then. Now, I don't plan to walk up and down the streets screaming like a lunatic when I have a bad day, but I will try to get better to voice my concerns so that the stress doesn't build up so much. THIS will be hard for me. I despise any form of confrontation.
I guess the point I am trying to make with this extremely long rant is -- give yourself permission. Give yourself permission to feel. Give yourself permission to let it out. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. You don't have to be so wrapped up in your responsibilities that you forget what it is like to really live.
Have a great week!