Personal Growth - October 2006 on October 20, 2006 9:59 pm
Okay, so I'm an official adult. A grown-up woman in her 50s. Perhaps I led a sheltered life and lacked the confidence to do things on my own. Perhaps I had parents who told me I'd never amount to anything. Perhaps I believed them. Perhaps I made some bad choices like marrying an abusive man who continually destroyed any confidence I may have had and reinforced all of my insecurities. I got a second chance at marriage and did it right this time. Joe is a good man and we love each other more every day. Perhaps I'm timid on the inside... Well, I'll tell you. I "grew" this week. I experienced my personal growth as the result of taking a leap of faith and a giant step out of my comfort zone. It may not sound like a big deal to most of you - who are already grown up...but the trip I took to Oregon to visit Nancy was the first time I've gone anywhere on my own. Yeah, I took the dog, but that was a first for me too. I tried to back out of the gracious invitation that Nancy extended to me; but I didn't. I went! I rented a car, packed up my suitcase and my dog and drove off up the California and Oregon coast in the pouring rain and did it! I felt so proud of myself that I even took the first step! I just told this to my husband, that the trip I took Monday through Wednesday was the first time I'd ever traveled on my own anywhere. He pooh-poohed the notion and told me, "you've done plenty of traveling on your own - all over India and the US" - uh huh, FOR WORK. Someone TOLD me to. It was my job. Perhaps this is the difference. I've been adventurous by force, adventurous because it was my job, adventurous because someone was going with me...but this - this was a whole other world for me. My first instinct was to say YES, absolutely - I'll be right up there, and I did mean it. I was so excited. Then I looked at the mileage between where I am and where Nancy's beautiful hamlet is and thought immediately to myself that I couldn't possibly undertake such a trip alone. I got scared. Seven hours of driving? I'm a very reluctant driver at best; ask Peggy or Sheri - they'll tell you. My next instinct was to figure out how to get out of it. I actually had an excuse! My sutures needed to come out on Tuesday, and so I told Nancy I couldn't make it. Then the doctor called and said she wanted the stitches to stay in longer. So? Now no excuses - thankfully. Excuses out of the way - nothing prevented me from going but my own fears. Well, I faced them and I rented the car before I changed my mind again, put my $hit in the car and I even took the dog. I've never traveled with a dog. I never even owned a dog before 2005. This is a very mellow 9-year-old Cocker Spaniel who happily panted in the back seat the whole way. It poured rain for the first few hours on the way up. I had protein-y snacks for me, water and food for Patch and 300 miles of the most beautiful coastline I've ever seen unfolding before me. Here's what I learned. I faced my fears and learned that I am capable of taking a chance. I faced my insecurities and came out the other side of this trip with a renewed sense of who I am. I learned that I CAN do things. I stepped out of my comfort zone and gained much. I made a friend. Actually, I made 3 friends...Nancy, her guy David and her dog Gypsy. Even Patch made friends. Nancy opened her heart and her home to me with grace and charm. She made me comfy. She fed me great food. She let me learn the lessons I needed to learn. She gave me the opportunity to see what a woman can do when she sets her mind to it. She empowered me. When she reads this, she'll blush - but it's true. She helped get me back on track with my food and reminded me of the tools that I learned when I first had surgery (small servings, small silverware, protein-packed goodies throughout the day). She reminded me that I have to change my mindset from losing to maintaining and gave me good ideas of how that should happen. So, I'm not too old to learn. I came back from this adventure with a renewed and upbeat spirit when I had been feeling lost and beaten down by all that's gone on with this move and my work difficulties. I've got clarity and focus back where they belong. So, we might be in our 50s and 60s. The learning is not over. It never will be over. We all took giant steps with considering, consulting, scheduling and undergoing weight loss surgery. What I found out is that the surgery was only the first step. It's what I do with the REST of my life that matters. WLS gave me the second chance at life - I don't plan on wasting it being afraid any more.
| Leave a comment.