Today I had a call with one of my success coaches. As part of my health & life coach training, I'm required to log a certain amount of time being coached myself. It's pretty amazing. We were talking about fear, faith and a whole bunch of other really cool things. And I decided I needed to sit with some of what we talked about, and maybe even write a little about it. So apparently, I've decided to take that even further and write in a very public way about it, right here on this blog. Talk about facing your fears!
First, let me tell you something about myself. I am obsessed with Christmas. Like, OBSESSED. When I started my little baking business three and a half years ago, sometimes I wondered if I had secretly started it so I could bake more during the holiday season. Of course, then it kind of took OVER the holidays, and that's a story for another day.
In any case, I happen to share this almost pathological love of the holidays with my mother-in-law. We're like Target, we decorate our homes inappropriately early for the holidays. Several years ago, she called me and told me that the Hallmark Channel runs Christmas movies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the holiday season. Wasn't that great?! I kind of rolled my eyes and thought, "Okay, I'm not THAT bad." Well, it turns out, I AM that bad. At some point that season, I turned on Channel 240, and there was no turning back.
I've since kind of psychoanalyzed myself on this and realized that it's a little bit of a drug for me. It's mind-numbing. Perhaps a little better than drinking a bottle of wine to cope with stress, but potentially addictive nonetheless. It's a great way NOT to face something you need to face. Watch really, really formulaic holiday movies and imagine your life is as neat and predictable (and so well decorated for Christmas!) as the lives of the women in the movies. Especially the ones who leave their big corporate jobs (or get in car accidents on the way home from their big corporate jobs and bump their heads and get amnesia . . . ) and find themselves in a quaint small town with old-fashioned values and a hunky, outdoorsy guy from her past. I actually happen to be a former corporate type, now living in her home state with a hunky, outdoorsy guy. Lucky me!
For the first few years of my Hallmark addiction, I confessed it to no one. And this gets me to my point: the fear of the EYE ROLL.
For most of my life, I was very goal-oriented. I still am, but it's not the primary driver that it was for the first several decades of my life. I got good grades. I set high goals and worked at them. I got a lengthy and expensive education, and I moved to New York where I practiced law for almost a decade. That particular path did not really lend itself to looking weak, soft or silly. I was a born achiever, I was raised to be tough, and I worked in an industry that expected you to have a thick skin. I remember my very first internship, when I was in college, at a political consulting firm. I had been hired to "do research" but in reality, I did a lot of running files around Washington DC and making coffee. The first week I was there, one of the gruff execs told me to go make coffee, and I ran into a little trouble. I was 20 years old, I didn't drink coffee, and I had no idea what I was doing. Plus the machine was broken, it turns out. After about 20 minutes, he walked in and completely unloaded on me. "How fucking hard is it to make coffee?!" was all I heard amidst the yelling, and I burst into tears. I quickly excused myself and went outside to pull myself together. About an hour later, he came over to my desk and offered an awkward apology and mumbled something about how I shouldn't feel bad, we all have emotional moments sometimes. I remember thinking both "He's telling ME not to feel bad?" and "For as long as I live, I'll never cry at work again." And many, many times over the next ten or fifteen years, I rolled my eyes when someone at work (and sometimes in regular old life) was too emotional or, in my opinion, too soft.
It has taken me a long time to get to where I am today. Which is this: I am smart and goal-oriented and well educated, and all that stuff. But I am also silly and spiritual and introspective. Sometimes I'm weak, sometimes I'm strong. My emotions can run pretty big. I have learned SO much in the past few years about empathy, compassion, forgiveness, love, life's messiness, and, you guessed it, taking care of yourself and the people you love. I have made mistakes, and I have made progress. I want to keep learning, even though it's not always easy, and I'm ready to share what I've learned with anyone who thinks it might be helpful. But I'm a little bit scared of the eye roll. The "Oh great, another health coach." The "Oh right, another woman who went through some things, hit her late 40s, and now she's a life coach." But guess what? I'm okay with that, it turns out. Because I can't ask YOU to fearlessly follow YOUR dreams, if I'm not willing to do the same.
So listen up world. I'm here for you when you're ready to tackle your goals and dreams, because I've been there, and I'm working as hard as I can for you. And also, my name is Nicole Seevers, and I'm a Hallmark movie-aholic. (PS, TWO different people in my family gave me those tee-shirts up there for Christmas last year. I think that's called an intervention.)