I can do hard things.

Sat down to write a few days ago. But much like so many things in my life currently, I’m getting to it days after the fact…

It is Saturday morning. The sun is shining brightly and I immediately feel drawn from my bed to be outdoors. I waste no time putting on yesterday’s yoga pants, throwing on my Grandpa’s old trucker jacket, and heading out for a walk to bask in the warmth. Sunshine is something us Michiganders deeply appreciate (considering how disappointing our weather can be more than half the year). I leash up my dogs and ready myself for my “morning meditation” – which normally would equate to 3 miles of walking while listening to self-reflective songs on my headphones. Basic, I know. However…

That was not my morning.

My husband irritated me before morning coffee. Him and I, like many couples who are spending an absurd amount of one-on-one time together these days, are trying to adjust to this “new normal” (whatever that even means). So in my attempt to avoid ruining the morning right off the bat, I decide to “collect myself” with a dog walk. Only, this walk felt much more like a scattering of feelings than a collecting of them … considering it involved a 12 week old puppy who is still learning how to walk on a leash. Needless to say, I never hit my stride as we were constantly stopping – for him to eat a leaf, tangle his leash around my other dog, chew on my other dog’s fur, walk in-between my feet so that I tripped every 10th sidewalk square – ensuring that at least one cuss word was said on every block.

Super meditative. Ha.

When I got home, my husband immediately apologized. Which any other morning, would have been nice, but I still wasn’t ready to talk. Because while I was tripping over one dog as the other dog constantly rolled her eyes at me – he was relieving his stress with a basement work-out and the endorphins had him feeling very resolved.

I, on the other hand, could feel the eruption looming just under my skin.

So I grabbed my laptop, my journal, and “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle and came out to the backyard. Because if I’m ever going to actually exhale this morning, it sure as shit is going to be the sun.

Let me just say … This is not the blog post I was planning to write. Last night, I had every intention of sitting down and writing about the things I am absorbing from the first half of “Untamed”, which is a lot. So much in fact, that I went back yesterday and re-read sections, highlighting them. And I mean, I haven’t highlighted a book in a decade, easily.

Full transparency, I avoided starting this book for weeks because I already felt too “in my feelings” – which is not a place I’m comfortable functioning from. But between coronavirus fears, music plans coming to a screeching halt, a husband who is never more than 6 feet away from me, shitty Michigan weather, and the loss of my dog … I wasn’t ready to look any deeper than where I was already. Which, quite honestly, felt pretty damn deep already. But the black cloud was almost comforting because I knew I wasn’t alone, a lot of people are struggling. It’s confusing. And consuming. So much so that I felt depleted before lunch time most days … therefore adding “overwhelming guilt for not being more productive” to my shit-list as well.

But then the sun started to come out.

I kicked off Quarantine CARE-e-oke, which made me feel like I was at least doing SOMETHING musically.

We added adorable & smart little Opie to our family.

My husband went back to work and I had time alone.

And I started this book. Finally.

I can do hard things.

I’ve proven that before and I’m proving it now. Life threw a lot at me well before Quarantine … with my reinvention truly beginning the day I moved back to Michigan four years ago. As Glennon says in her book, it is a constant revolution. And yes, there must be a crucifixion before the resurrection. Most of us would prefer to avoid the hard part. I certainly wasn’t jumping up and down to volunteer myself for the “letting go and losing it all” process. But I found out long ago that good intentions never bloom without action. And I know in my heart of hearts that because I keep showing up and putting in the work, life has rewarded me with a more fulfilling year than the last.

When I look back on where I was exactly one year ago today, I can barely wrap my head around it. TIDAL Unplugged, finding and making music alongside a new Detroit crew, so many opportunities that blew my mind and made me drop to my knees in gratitude, a cancer diagnosis, a radical hysterectomy, radiation treatments, the release of new music in a new genre, filming two huge music videos, the death of Delaney and the addition of Opie, and of course … COVID-19.

I can do hard things.

And one of the hardest things being: I can give myself love and grace for not handling Quarantine as “gracefully” as I thought I would.

Even this book, for example. I was so excited to begin it. I thought I’d devour it in a few days time and write multiple posts about how enlightened I felt, especially during this time of quarantine. I thought it might help uncover the writers block I’d been feeling for months. I disappointed myself daily for not hunkering down and feeling peaceful and creative, damnit. And then over the weekend, it occurred to me…

Isn’t that the point of this book?

To acknowledge the auto-pilot we put our lives and emotions in – and begin the deconstruction of it to build something truer.

To learn how to live in a space that relies on our Knowing and not the “sounding board” we are constantly turning to for the green light. It’s a pandemic. There’s not going to be a fucking green light from anyone anytime soon.

So I guess the ‘green light’ is going to have to come from within. And it’s scary to trust myself in such a big way, but I know I can’t avoid it any longer. I feel things. I know things. And even if it’s messy and chaotic and “off-putting” to some, I need to allow myself to move through it, one day at a time. My reactions cannot continue to be neutral … not for my career and not for my sanity. It’s too exhausting. And like everything in our world right now, it’s another “new normal” to adjust to. Only, this is one that I have to navigate on my own – Becoming my own best friend, my own trusted advisor, my own biggest fan. And it won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

Because I can do hard things.

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