I take a break every summer just before my birthday. My break typically starts in the middle of June and lasts through July 18, one day after I turn another year older.
So, as I’ve done every year for the last five years, I retreated to my childhood home in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin in June. It’s a place I’m able to hide out.
While walking through the local grocery store one day I realized I was hoping nobody would notice me. I didn’t want to be seen. In public. I wanted to get in, get out and get home without having to talk about life.
While I was on my break, I realized that hiding out was a life-long theme of mine. I hide out a lot. I hide behind my career. I hide behind my schedule. And as it turns out, I hide out on vacation.
So, while standing in the produce section, I made the decision to dig in deeper than I ever have before to really reflect on why I hide out.
Here’s what I discovered…
I was hiding out to either avoid being hurt or recover from being hurt.
Here’s something else I discovered…
Who could ever really see me if I was hiding out most of the time?
Don’t get me wrong…I’ve done a ton with my life. And, I think I’ve done a badass job with my life.
In my 20s, I wanted to be someone who walked and talked authentically. I spent an entire decade looking for things that made me happy. I learned a ton about myself in the process.
When I hit 30, I wanted to be someone who changed the world. Even if it was just a little slice of the world, I wanted to do something to make it better. So, I launched a non-profit and I set sail on the biggest and most challenging business adventure ever. In fact, I was so overwhelmed with changing the world that I lost myself in my quest to make this place better.
When I hit 35, I had to find my way back to my happy place. I had to recover from burnout. Which I did. I’ve been happy these last two years. And apparently, I was hiding out. AND I was totally comfortable hiding out from living a full life rich in love and deep relationships.
I'm over hiding out.
I'm over hiding behind my schedule.
I'm over hiding behind my career.
I'm over hiding out from new opportunities, new friends, new partnerships and HIM...whoever he happens to be.
So here I am. Not hiding.
I turn 37 this week. And I'm just ending my summer break. It's been an intense break for me. I've played and I've rested. But I've done the reflective work necessary to change. I've addressed old pains I never let go of. I stopped comparing my life to my friends. I accepted my journey a bit more.
Doing the work to be a stronger woman hasn't been easy. And I think standing on my path, without a wall to hide behind, has made me stronger. And even more feminine.
My 37th birthday wish is to face each day with my whole heart. My 37th birthday wish is to live without barriers between me and the life of my dreams. My 37th birthday wish is to be beautiful and badass.
So I'm going to. All of it.
This story originally posted on http://www.carrieseverson.com/
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Carrie Severson is an entrepreneur and storyteller trainer who teaches leaders how to step into their stories and share their lessons. She writes about love, health, burnout, harmony and purpose for national media outlets. She can often times be found on a stage sharing stories. You can always find [...]