2012 brought with it a number of revelations and revolutions, moments of WTF?!? and moments of fully-owned joy. In summation (and nothing close to the actual order of events) this year…
First, the biggies: I was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, had my first launch that wasn’t just awesome, but mind-blowingly awesome, and rounded out the year by getting married after a whirlwind 10-week engagement.
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I started to lead marketing seminars, upped my running mileage, was nominated to lead a breakout session at the World Domination Summit, and ran a half-marathon–followed by getting a stress fracture when I upped my mileage too fast, and then having to wear a none-too-sexy walking boot to said World Domination Summit.
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But I did finish the 13.1, I try to remind myself–the longest I’d ever run. It was one of those transcendent running experiences, the kind where there I was completely in the zone.
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I spent exactly one semester in graduate school pursuing my MFT license, before deciding it wasn’t a match, for me. This isn’t to say that therapists don’t do great work, so much as it was to say that I didn’t want to sit through weekly four-hour seminars of power point presentations copied and pasted directly from the assigned textbook reading, 3-4 classes a week, for two years, followed by licensing exams and clinical hours, all to basically work with the same clients that I’m already working with.
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I helped to co-create a mastermind group, created and lead my first group coaching experiences and tele-seminars, and then updated The Coaching Blueprint. I didn’t update The Courageous Living Program with new material, but I did change the font in a fit of desire for a better aesthetic. This is far bigger a job than you’d think.
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I finally owned my obsessiveness with endurance events, and let myself have what I had wanted: subscriptions to BOTH Runner’s World and Running Times, plus a subscription to Triathlete Magazine, plus stealing Andy’s copy of Outdoor magazine, most months.
I re-read Born to Run for the fifth time, for good measure, and Running Ultra by Rich Roll (twice). I got into swimming and cycling after the stress fracture incident, and then started reading You Are An Ironman by Jacques Steinberg–which got me to thinking about how bad-ass it would be to complete a 70.3.
The morning registration went live, I was at the computer early to get my spot–and I’m in! I later learned that the 2,300-person event sold out in 10 minutes, and had a wait-list of 800 within an hour.
When I told Julie Daley what I’m doing, she started to giggle (yes, giggle) and said: “I can’t believe 2,300 people want to do that.”
Many months prior to getting engaged, I have a revelation with my partner: that some of the patterns at work in our relationship are not, in fact, always 50/50. Sometimes they are more like 90/10, with me causing most of the ruckus.
This awareness leads to a gut-wrenching apology (to him) from my soul, which I imagine is strongly correlated with what happened a few months later: his proposal to get married (delivered on one knee, out in wine country, at sunset), and an enthusiasm for the idea of just jumping the gun and getting married rather than waiting it out with a long engagement.
This is followed by an even better sex life.
In the words of Charlie Sheen: “WIN-ning!”
I ditch gluten and dairy, and feel better, and then I get onto some great thyroid medication and really-really-really start to feel better.
I discover Maca powder, which makes me think of Fozzie the Bear from The Muppets–how he says “Wakka wakka wakka!”–so I begin saying this to myself (“Maca maca maca!”) in the same voice when making my morning cacao smoothie, adding one tablespoon of maca.
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Tara Gentile tells me: “You don’t want customers that you have to convince to trust you.”
This sparks a massive re-write of most of my website, as I realize that I’ve been selling my wares on the basis of wanting everyone to know that this isn’t just more schmaltz on the internet–but if someone doesn’t already trust that I’m a schmaltz-free zone, it’s probably for the best that they go elsewhere.
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While reviewing my test results for the auto-immune condition, I run across three little letters that are unfamiliar, that the doctor hadn’t explained to me because we were so busy looking at all the rest: FSH. What’s that test for? I do some googling (note: almost never a good idea).
My breath catches as I learn more. My number is not good. So, I get re-tested, plus a whole panel of other tests. My FSH is now twice as bad, just a few months later.
A certain demographic of my readers already know what those three little letters stand for, and their hearts are breaking for me, right here and right now. We are part of a “club” that you never want to be a part of.
The gynecologist delivers the news in her office, and as I start to cry uncontrollably, my voice is unfamiliar with the way it pleads, every question asked with the begging intonation of a hoped-for answer.
She sets up the referral for the fertility clinic via her in-office computer, while I cry and wipe at my eyes and look at all the photographs on her wall of the babies she has delivered. Her tone is apologetic yet professional, and even in my shock and grief I can see how much she truly wishes that she could help me, could give me a prescription that would fix everything. But my numbers indicate that I am past that point.
I leave her office thinking, dramatically, that the sun is shining a little too brightly for how devastated I feel.
I spend some time feeling completely betrayed by my body and wondering if there were really THIS MANY pregnant women all around me, walking the streets this whole time, or if I just notice more, now (of course, it’s the latter). In my darkest moments I wonder if this is some universe/god thing, like I would be this really terrible mother and that’s why this is happening, why my ovaries are… “failing.” Prematurely.
Then I figure out that I can do this: love my way right through personal tragedy , and I know this truth like I know nothing else:
Only someone who would be a really amazing mother would be willing to love that big.
So, I’m okay. And–parenthood will come when it comes, in the form that it comes. **Special Note at the bottom
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I luck out and am paired up with six awesome interns for my Blueprint launch. Couldn’t have done it without them.
I end up realizing that after all these years of being skeptical about Virtual Assistants, it’s time to hire one. Also, it’s time to start taking Mondays and Fridays off of work–my quality of life immediately improves.
Taking Mondays and Fridays off of work, it hits me hard that really, I just want to write. It’s always about writing, all the time, and I’m stunned a bit as I realize that–DUH–it’s been this way for years, and most of the tension in my life is due to prioritizing anything else. I declare sovereignty over my time, again, by rearranging my calendar.
And from there, everything else blows wide open.
I feel in touch with a confidence, a bad-assery that I had never been able to quite harness, before. I realize that I am more committed to living life my way than I can ever remember being, and that’s truly saying something because I’ve ALWAYS been pretty committed to living life, my way.
I realize that I want (even more) fun; I want (even more) joy.
(Is this allowed? YES, I decide.)
I want to write more, to finally get fluent in Italian, to do a few Tough Mudder races once this half-Ironman is under my belt. I want to learn how to cook and throw a dinner party for friends where all the recipes come from an Alice Waters cookbook.
I want to finish my book proposal and get it in the hands of an agent, and then I want it to go far and wide because the world needs a revolution around fear. Times call for courage now, like no other.
I want to travel around the United States and get out from behind the computer screen, and meet people, and have tea with them and hear one another’s stories. I want to love my new husband even more, if that’s possible (I am already quite sure it is, and feel blown open by the simple curiosity that courses through me–there is a freshness and newness that comes from being curious. Who are we, now? It’s exciting to rediscover him as “husband” and to ask what that means).
I desire so much more than I have wanted in years past, but this year there is a kind of confidence as backbone to the desire.
It’s a confidence that the exact right things will happen, even if they aren’t anything I’ve articulated here.
Also–a reminder, of course, since I already know this–the things that have happened were the exact right things to have happened, too.
And with this, I can declare completion for 2012–with love, and with total surrender.
** In service to practicing healthy boundaries: While I appreciate that people might want to offer support, connection, or helpful insights/info, please do not contact me in any way regarding the content of fertility, adoption, motherhood or related topics, at this time. It’s too tender, and not something I feel open to discussing–but please do know that I am okay, and have a lot of support and love and care in my life as I navigate this.
**Update:** In 2014, I gave birth to our daughter. What I learned in 2014.