:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A few words on Being Intentional… (Stephany)

I just re-read my first post. Wow. I talked some smack right there! Some REAL teenage-boy-showin'-off-for-the-prettiest-girl-in-school smack... Holy heck! I'm pretty good at the smack talk. Who knew?
I have talked a lot of smack in my life; don't get me wrong. I'm just typically the sarcastic smack talker who talks the talk, but I talk it in jest so that I am not actually expected to back it up! I gotta admit that much. Often times, though, I actually mean what I'm saying, and I want to back it up. I really do! But it's hard, I don't know how to, or I'm too lazy or even apathetic. By sarcastically talking the smack, I give myself the out by being oh-so-clever and funny about it. That way, no one really thinks I mean what I'm saying, even ME! Uh huh. You read that right.
So as I re-read my post, it hit me that I didn't just talk some serious smack. I talked it OUT LOUD, on the web, in PUBLIC. Crap. I'm not a skilled enough writer for any of that to have sounded sarcastic enough or funny enough that you (or I) will actually think I didn't mean it. Truth is, I did mean it, just like I usually do. Harsher truth is that I can't joke it off or pretend I was just kidding around this time. IT'S ALREADY OUT THERE! Double crap. And what the heck does that mean for me now? Well, it means that I just set myself up to actually have to back up the smack talk. TRIPLE CRAP.

How in the world am I supposed to back that all up? How, I ask you? Fear and Challenge took the brunt of the smack talk; I actually said they were going down, AND they would go down by my own hand. Um, yeah. If you know me at all, that's funny stuff right there, and I don't care who you are! I'm actually giggling at my own expense right now. For real. Out loud. Laughing. I'm funny, I tell ya!

The thing about that post is that I truly meant what I wrote. I have "stuff" that is ugly, hard, self-inflicted, and that holds me back because I let it. I'm starting a new phase in life that I'm affectionately referring to as Unmarried 2.0 (U 2.0), and that means it's the perfect time to clean my mental and emotional house (my physical house could sure benefit from this, as well - yikes!) and stop letting my "stuff" hold me back. That's why I talked the smack. I think I'm really ready to beat down some of that old, icky "stuff" and create some new ways of thinking and tackling and doing and being. Check that, I KNOW I am ready for those things.
What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means that as U 2.0 rolls out, I get to make some decisions, try some new things, practice some new ( and old but forgotten) habits and ways of thinking. It means I get to choose what the future will look like, what it will be like, and who I will become. See, back to the smack talk again, aren't I?
New things scare the crap out of me, and I suspect they will be the bugs in U 2.0 that I get to work out. I like what I know. I can't remember who in my life used to say this often (Sorry, whoever you are; when I do remember, I will give you credit where it's due!), but it stuck with me. "It's usually easier to dance with the devil you know..." Yep. That's been me. I am a fan of the status quo (not just people but also habits, tendencies, and routines) a SUPER FAN, in fact, even when the status quo SUCKS. Sick, isn't it? (I can't be alone in that... Even if I am, I choose to think I'm not!) My smack talk points to all kinds of new things, new ideas, new habits, new, new, new... Quadruple crap! Left to my own devices, I could easily curl up with that doggone devil, grab a good book (one I've read 10 times, of course), and a glass of the good stuff and just sit tight. Since I know that's not good for me and since I talked the smack, though, that's not really a viable option anymore, now is it? Nope. It's really not. Thank God!
The only thing I know to do is to become intentional about my life. All smack talk aside, at least for now, I have to figure out HOW to be intentional. I have to know when I'm feeling the need to cuddle with that old devil. Knowing what triggers that urge, which would be Fear and Challenge among others, is half the battle. The other half has to be fought in a moment-by-moment full-on battle waged in the trenches of my own mind. I must engage in a SIEGE on that devil and my need to dance with him.
I'm afraid of this being intentional business. I truly am. It's easier not to have to think about things too much. However, the very wise philosopher, They, always says, "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got." I don't know about you, but that sends shivers of horror down my spine. It makes me question what I'm more afraid of - new things or still being right where I am today in another five years. I know that answer! I know it! Yes! I know it! Even though new things scare the ever-loving poo out of me, I am ABSOLUTELY PETRIFIED of looking at myself in the mirror in another five years and still being right where and who I am today. FOR REAL! THAT, in and of itself, is the catalyst for the smack talk and the reason that I must be intentional about my life. I MUST BE INTENTIONAL.
I must think. I must feel. I must act according to those. I must consider others first. I must actually consider myself for once, too. I must think about the impact of my choices on those I love and for whom I am responsible. I must listen more and speak less. I must appreciate my life and the good things in it, even when I don't feel like doing so. I must recognize my tendencies to slip back into the comfy places. I must feel fear and move forward anyway. I must face challenge with fierceness and boldness, even though I might not come out on top. I must be deliberate. I must choose. I must LIVE like today's all I have. I must forgive myself and others. I must examine what it is that I preach to make sure it's aligned with what I believe, then I must practice that which I preach. AND, I must be careful to talk only smack I will back up!
It's not going to be easy or comfortable or simple, all things I crave... It's not going to be any of those things. What it will be, though, is WORTH IT. So, if I am only talking smack I will back up, let me end with this: I CHOOSE TO BE INTENTIONAL! Devils of old, song's over, fat lady just sang, our dance is done!


Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Steph, I had to log on out of town just to read your post... YES! Living life intentionally. SCARY. I have no idea how to actually do this, but I love that you're putting it out there. I also heard this once, and it's stuck with me so I'll share. Listening is an opportunity to change your mind. I think maybe that's why it's so dang hard by the way. And again, you rock on sister. Intentionally. :)

patresa said...

i love the idea of "living with intention," too, stephany! i feel like it's those moments when i've made a decision based on some kind of conscious understanding of who i am and what i want and not just "decision" that are made for me based on some empty template. i also think it's the real spirit of this project, so i'm glad you said the words!

i imagine U 2.0 (love it!) must be a bit scary and unnerving, but i'm really excited to see who you are without being squished into the template! these are very cool times!

T-Free said...

Ahhhh, Unmarried 2.0. I have experienced that before! And I agree that it is the perfect time to "create some new ways of thinking and tackling and doing and being." Good for you for accepting the challenge, brave COFFEE warrior!

Bring on the smack talk! Scare that fear right back. It's GOING DOWN. *giggles with Stephany*

I love the idea of living with intention. Love, love, love it. What a great way to say that.

amy said...

Stephany! I dug your talking smack first post! I am a big fan of smack talkers. Even if they're just talkin' smack and junk. :-)

I have a friend who says all women in their 30's get to a point where they have to examine the insides of their car trunks, decide what to keep, what to throw away. I will add that I think it's totally possible to find things you don't necessarily want to keep, but also don't want to totally throw away, and that I think it's just fine and dandy to find a way to re-purpose and recycle those things to fit your new sense of self.

Hooray for living out loud!