I’m not sure how to start this tactfully. I tried a few times and ultimately did the “highlight and delete” dance with flair. I even added my own soundtrack when hitting the delete button. Finally, I said “Fuck it”. I’m done being tactful because I don’t feel like I’m getting my message across. So, take heed: This is your life and it’s an open road. Grab the wheel with both hands and keep steering yourself around all the unnecessary fears and uncertainties as they arise!
I know someone who’s infamous for setting up dates and then cancelling due to some reason or another. The invites are born from friendly discussions of what’s been happening in our lives and what the latest excursions have been. It’s a one sided conversation, admittedly, as I fill her ears with things I’ve been interested in and some things I have finally fulfilled first hand. I offer an invite, though I know how the story will end, with great gusto and meaningful hope that this time will be different. Do I understand life gets in the way and plans can get pulverized like kidney stones being treated with shock wave therapy? Of course I do! Do I sound angry? I hope I do!!!
My apathy for her excuses lies in the fact that the only reason she cancels is because she’s scared. I see it frequently with her. My vim and vigor is exhilarating, scintillating, attractive, and intimidating. We finally had a heart to heart and she admitted to me that the reason she reneges is because she’s afraid for these following reasons: she’ll slow others down, frustration will abound, my opinion of her will lessen greatly, etc. etc. This is what I told her: Fear is a cloaked enemy that whispers negative thoughts into your mind, body and soul. Stop listening to the lies you feed yourself and embrace the courage I know is there.
She belongs to all these FB groups about adventure, travel, backpacking, and rockclimbing. She follows all these IG posts like Women Outdoors, Camping with Dogs, WomenMTB, and Wilderness Babes. She’s constantly talking about what gear to buy, the latest tech weather jacket, and how she should take more REI outdoor classes.
She renders me bewildered, yet I love her. Our friendship has improved over the years. Of course it has, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this as I would have given up on her. I look at her everyday in the mirror when I wake up. Yes, “she” is me.
I still struggle everyday to be the best I can be. Thankfully, choices have become easier as I surround myself with like-minded individuals that tell me what I believe either weakens me or makes me stronger. If I want to give myself the best gift I could ever receive, believe in myself. No matter what!
So, I now show up to MTB meets where I know no one. I accept, and keep, the invitations with people that I know are going to kick my ass. I started a FB group called Adventure Some Women to connect with others.
Simply put, I PARTICIPATE. Just doing that, whether the outcome is good or bad, I participate.
If this is you, stop it. Stop the negativity and DO THINGS! Don’t just be erudite because of things you read, be erudite because of things you experience. Have courage and believe in yourself. Trust me, you’re worth it.