Birthday month, and all I can think of is “what if..”
September always comes with excitement. It's the moment to reconnect with friends, classmates and colleagues as everyone gets ready to fire it up in school, at work and the gym after a slow and (if lucky) a lazy summer. Often people cannot wait to tell everyone their crazy summer tales. And I am always eager to listen. To me summers were slow, we rarely went on holiday, except from the period we lived abroad. And than holidays were family sleepovers. It was never as exciting as the tales of camping shenanigans or road trips exploring new regions my friends came back from. But most of all I enjoyed to watch them talk, see their growth and discover new areas of their personality. The shy girl who came back a femme fatale, the scared girl who came back a rodeo rider, or the girl next door who came back with a nose piercing, dreads and a new purpose in life.
This year September I was also filled with excitement. The excitement, of my son starting school, getting back in a normal day rhythm after a very lazy summer. And my own, or maybe in my case it was more nerves. The end of my project is nearing, which excites and scares me. And than the nearing clean sheet, what's next?
Will I succeed, will I gather enough money for dance4life to run the marathon? I cannot think of it not happening. I want to, no, need to finish this project. I want make a difference, help the cause I so strongly believe in. I wish to run, to break down, meet the man with the hammer, feel sorry I started (during the marathon), feel the pain, yell, rail, rant. I want to run my mind numb, run into oblivion, to run and forget where I am and what I am doing. I want to relive runners high (and probably a lot of low) on the New York streets. I want to set a base marathon time I can improve my next. I want to be surprised by the experience and surprise myself, I wish to explore see and feel this new experience. I want to meet the mee after. I want to know what it feels to "have done it" and I want to tattoo to prove it to me. *smile* But most of all I started a project, and running the marathon is part of it. It will not feel alright if I do not do all. I have done pretty well, but I want to finish well. And it is all connected: the more I succeed, the more it will boost me, the more I will achieve, the more... So I am giving it my all! The poem by Erin Hanson captures my feeling so perfectly well:
There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
Except I feel like a deer in the headlights. I ask for support, look for partners to cooperate with and hopefully create a win-win. Sponsorship in turn for whatever I can provide (without breaking the law and keeping most of my dignity). But I notice I've become a bit rusty. Am more hesitant to pursue certain lines. What if I lost it? I cannot lose myself in this thinking as it is the beginning of the end. Yet at times it is hard to ignore. The deadline is nearing and it can still go both ways. For now the deer in me steers to life and starts running to save herself: ask ask ask for money and trying to think even more inventive ways to raise money. But the clock is ticking...
The other thing that comes near is the "what's next". Though I have some side projects advising startups, I have an urge to do something for me. I feel stronger than ever. And - aside from the casual "deer in the headlight" moments - for the first time in years feel that I can actually contribute meaningfully to a company or project. I started to look around and am very excited about the first letter I send. Fingers crossed this will be my new task the coming year. But even if it is not, the excitement of this process is exhilarating. It feels good to see the results of the new lifestyle.
Though the month started in a funk, it ended very happy. We had an Indian Summer, with beautiful weather. Days spend on the Amsterdam canals, running in and towards the sea, tanning, running new routes, and running my first 18.5km. Beautiful dinners, running adventures, surprise visits. And a birthday! I had a marvellous birthday! At midnight the birthday wishes started to pour in via normal and social media from all over the world. Each made me feel special. Knowing that maybe half of the messages were a result of a LinkedIn/Facebook alert did not diminish the fun. Someone took their time to follow the alert, and press send (LinkedIn) or write a message, maybe even add a photo. September was a month I got to spend plenty time with the people I love. And to feel loved.
Thank you all for giving me the feeling that I matter! 💋