This blog post is a day late because I spent like 18 hours in the car yesterday driving to my daughter’s college graduation. And I just couldn’t get it posted. Since we are pretty much hiding out in our Airbnb because of Covid-19 I was able to accomplish that today.
There has been a lot of launching going on in my life and thought it would be fun to explore it a bit.
I am in the middle of launching a new coaching practice which is pretty damn thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. In January, I am launching a test of a new coaching program for my people who have kids who are LGBTQ+ which I am super-excited about (of course) but my brain is giving me some negative feedback which doesn’t feel so great (of course).
And my middle daughter is about to graduate college in the middle of a pandemic. She is really excited and proud and doesn’t acknowledge having any negative feelings about it- but I can tell by how she is interacting with me that she is feeling all the things that come with ending an amazing chapter in your life. It’s bittersweet right? Not everyone’s college experience is worth cheering about. But if your kid is lucky enough to have enjoyed almost every moment, the end of that is going to be a little hard. And even if it sucked, there can still be some trepidation about what comes next. It’s like they kind of knew what they were doing and where they were going to be for four years and then… boom. Here comes the first day of the rest of their life.
Some people don’t want to face those uncomfortable feelings so they get engaged (I would have but nobody asked). Or they date the person that asks them out instead of that person’s friend who they are crushing on (me). Or they take a job that they are incredible unsuited for, with a narcissistic, abusive boss, because they are in a rush to have the next step figured out (also me). Or they jump into grad school because it seems like a good idea, even if they really haven’t dialed in on what career or study area they want to pursue (yup, me again).
In the rush to avoid the discomfort of uncertainty, I have made unwise decisions. Instead of pursuing the goals I actually wanted, I was afraid. So I pursued lovers and careers that were goal- adjacent, because it seemed easier and a whole lot less scary that going for what I really wanted and failing to achieve it. Want the boy, date the friend. Want to be an actress, go to law school. Want to be a magazine editor, work in ad sales. All these choices made sense to me at the time. In retrospect, I experienced a whole of uncomfortable moments anyway. Before you know it, you can be 30 years down the road wondering how the hell you got there.
Instead of running from discomfort, I am asking you to learn to embrace it. When you are experiencing endings and new beginnings, it’s a time to embrace the up and down emotions. Experience all of them. Experience the joy of accomplishment and the fear of starting something new. If you acknowledge that you don’t know what to do next that’s ok. Its ok not to know what's next. That feeling will be unpleasant, but it won't kill you.
If you are one of the parents coming to join me as I test my program, welcome to the journey. You may be experiencing discomfort today, and there will definitely be discomfort along the way but it will be the good discomfort. The discomfort that allows you to learn. To move your life and your relationships in the direction you choose. Not the discomfort that holds you back, prevents connection, keeps you stagnant.
Discomfort is the currency of growth. Let’s spend some of that currency, my friends.