The most recent selection for my book club was Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. One of the discussion questions (yes, we actually use discussion guides off the internet) was, “What would you do without fear?” Your answer had to be within the parameters of your current reality. I asked to pass but I was not allowed to pass. I was experiencing one of those “I’m not enough” moments because my current reality is foreign to me.
My answer was, “Haven’t I done enough this year?” I got sympathetic nods and responses like, “Yeah, I guess this was your year of yes…or actually your year of no.”
I went on to explain that I had been feeling pressure to start “my new life” now that my divorce is final. That I should have had some grand plan or goal in mind because why else would I turn my life upside down if not for some already identified reason?
But honestly, all I want to do is sit. And breathe. Because it has been a long time since I’ve stopped holding my breath.
Somehow this turned into some of the other club members exclaiming that I’m already living without fear and doing exactly what I want. While this is flattering, it is not quite how I described the situation. Yes, in a lot of ways I have conquered fear and am happy with where I am. But that does not mean I am without fear.
I’ve been thinking about seasons of life lately and how the one I am entering is going to be uncomfortable. Summer Hollie was fun, but I’m ready to let that season go and ease into Hibernation Hollie. This will be the first winter in eight years that I am not in a relationship and the absence of people is noticed most during the holidays.
I am establishing new routines because the old ones no longer fit. As Maggie put it, what do I like to do when no one is watching? My October horoscope said to take this month to form my vessel. How am I taking care of myself? What brings me joy? How do I want to receive love? How do I want to give love? Who is the most authentic version of myself?
For anyone else who is feeling a little lost, let this be a reminder that the time you have alone is precious and fleeting. You don’t always have to know the answer to, “What’s next?” Settle into your unknown and learn to love yourself exactly as you are.