At the end of 2020, I posted a blog where I stated that I spent most of last year purposefully “blowing up my life”. When I wrote that blog, I thought that all the heavy lifting had been done and I was walking into 2021 ready to reap the rewards for all of my efforts.
Laugh. Out. Loud.
Though, 2021 has gifted me with some pretty incredible wins, it has, for the most part, been one big, extremely uncomfortable lesson full of insane, sometimes self-inflicted growing pains.
At this point, almost 9 months into what has definitely been the craziest year of my life, I feel like a crab without a shell.
Stop me if you’ve heard this analogy, but basically, as a crab grows, it stops fitting comfortably into it’s shell and eventually, it has to shed the shell that no longer fits. It’s called molting. After it’s molted, there’s a period of time where the crab is shell-less. It’s outgrown the old shell, but doesn’t have a new shell, so it’s roaming around without it’s protective gear, completely exposed to the elements, feeling every ounce of sand, every cold breeze, every drop of water. Sounds pretty uncomfortable right?
It is. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but sometime in the last year and a half, I molted, and I’ve been wandering around without any of my old, small protective gear ever since. I’ve felt every ounce of sand, every cold breeze, and every drop of water hit my skin. It’s equal parts scary and exciting. It’s also incredibly lonely.
I’ve had a lot of alone time recently because I needed to. I’ve been trying to figure out who I am. For over 30 years, I lived my life on auto-pilot. I lived for everyone but myself. My worth was so wrapped up in what everyone else thought about me because for a really long time, that’s how I survived. When I finally broke out of that survival mindset, I realized that a lot of things in my life weren’t actually aligned with who I was discovering myself to be.
So I said goodbye, to all of it. My goodbyes weren’t always graceful. Sometimes they didn’t even happen. It’s a funny thing when you start living intentionally, it’s like the universe meets you there and a lot of the things you thought you could never give up, just seem to magically fall away.
And then all you have left is yourself. And it’s really lonely. Sometimes it’s terrifying. Other times, it’s so empowering it makes me want to cry. When I look at my life now and all of the space I’ve created, I’m happy, genuinely happy, because this life I have now, regardless of what comes and goes in it, is mine. I built it. Just for me. Before last year, I had no idea I could do that.
So yeah, the in-between, shell-less crab phase is a little weird, but it feels necessary, and it doesn’t last forever. Eventually, a bigger shell comes along and it fits just right.