Sometimes knowing what we don’t want is enough

In the summer of 2013, I was given an opportunity.  Much like many once in a lifetime moments, it can be very easy to get carried away with the excitement of the possibilities ahead.

I would like to say, in this particular moment, I let my instinct and intuition lead me.  I asked for some time to consider what was presented to me, mainly to ask myself (repeatedly) if this is what I truly wanted.

I had been working in the fitness industry just going on a year as an administrator and client care support for a boutique fitness studio. With much encouragement, I was officially certified, and despite many and most odds against me as a plus-size personal trainer, I felt like I had a pretty amazing future ahead of me.  I connected quickly with people because of my story, I loved seeing and pulling out potential in others, and every woman I had the pleasure to meet had a unique and inspiring story.

Despite the excitement I felt on a personal level, professionally I didn’t want to make the move.

I knew I loved doing things my way.  I knew I loved the possibility of what I could imagine someone doing with their body and how my role could support them in that process.  I knew I loved the option, after a very long and trying day, to sit at my laptop and write – my feelings, my words, my therapy.

When this opportunity was all packaged up, it looked pretty fucking amazing.  But as I sat watching my daughter do cartwheels on the front lawn of the presenter of said opportunity, I knew what I didn’t want.

I didn’t want to be told what to do.

I didn’t want to be stripped of my ability to act and represent myself through my training plans, my blog or my social media.

I didn’t want to lose the voice I had taken so long to find.

I didn’t want to trade everything in to essentially help someone else live out their professional dream.

It was asked of me as I bravely declined the offer of a ‘lifetime’, “What is it that you want, then?  I thought this was the perfect pairing.  You, me and what we both love to do.”

I didn’t know what to say without insulting this person who had invested so much into my own journey.  So, I said what naturally and organically came to my mind – “Right now, I really don’t know what I want.  But I can definitively tell you what I don’t want, and that’s trading in all I have worked for in order to see your business succeed.  And I have to be confident enough in the fact that following my heart up to this point has worked.  Thank you for offering me this, but it’s not what I want.”

Our relationship ended after that.  I knew I had made the right decision.

Where is all this leading?

Well, much like most of my writing, everything is enveloped in a story or moment or a happening that lends a lesson for me.  I knew about three years ago what I didn’t want in my professional life as a trainer.  And let me tell you, I went on to two solid years of boot camps, one on one training, virtual training and a social media presence and support that I was pretty proud of.  I knew I made the right decision despite the fact I had no fucking clue what I wanted when I turned down that opportunity.

Fast forward to this weekend:

I have felt outside of my body lately, a feeling I haven’t had in well-over five years.  And I don’t mean all the time.  I am still ‘in my body’ for most of the hours in the day, but I am experiencing higher than normal instances where I feel my soul and body are no longer connected.  My body is performing at a sub-par level and my soul is starting to fall behind with it.

What does that feel like?

Well, as I sat in a small coffee shop reading one of my all-time favourite books (Tiny Beautiful Things), I was sipping on my Americano daydreaming about a special someone who had brought so much joy and fulfillment in my life.  And, at a very serendipitous moment, an obese, 40-something woman walked by with a can, barely able to hold herself up.

Please hold the line here – I did not judge her life, her body or circumstance.  But, the truth is, we are all tainted by opinion and judgement, whether we are bold enough to admit it.  Her situation didn’t cause me to turn my opinion on her (at all), but what it did do was have a 100% affect on me.

Again, in that moment as I thought about my cuddle bug, gazing at the horse and buggy across the street, having the intoxicating smell of freshly ground coffee peppering my nose and soul, I was instantly hit with all the things I DO NOT want in life, all wrapped up in the almost 15 seconds it took for this woman to walk past the front bay-window.

These things I have, to a certain extent, experienced before in life.

I do not want to be tired when I wake up in the morning.

I do not want to be worried if I’m going to fit in the plane seat or the chair at the restaurant.

I do not want to slow down anyone who I am with, whether walking, laughing or experiencing new or enjoyed things in life.

I do not want to feel the aches and pains of a sore and exhausted body.

I do not want to feel unattached to my soul and who I am.

I do not want to feel ashamed or embarrassed about who I am.

I do not want my kids to feel ashamed or embarrassed about who I am.

I do not want to have to say no to ANYTHING that comes my way in fear that my body cannot take me through or over what lies ahead.

I do not want to continue to live in fear of failure.

These are all the things I know for certain I do not want.  The things I want in life are shortlisted, but the things I no longer want to experience or struggle with are so much greater than any reason to hold me back.

Fear is the biggest boner killer.  Have I told you that?  Life is so much better if you just do shit.

I know what I don’t want in life – I don’t want any of the above and I certainly don’t want my light dimmed because I have started to believe the bullshit thoughts in my head that I’m not deserving.

I have been gifted with time; have the resources needed; been given the love from family, friends and a kick-ass boyfriend; I have all the means to find my light again.

I just need to be brave and realize all that I do not want in life to fuel me to find all the things I do.