It’s been a very interesting first month of my college of life aka college of real/brilliant. I’ve made amazing progress in some areas and fallen down completely in others. I’ve kept all my classes, and added one more.
I find that my creativity wakes up in the middle of my first “class” and I get very inspired. So, I’ve taken it a bit easier (I was burying myself in quite a load of “classes”) and let myself dictate what felt important. What has felt important was my agenting class (it is my current gig), marketing class, and my fiction and nonfiction classes. The art class and English classes have fallen off a bit (I have made some progress, just not as much as I should) and I hope to be back into them by next week.
This week will be mostly agent class work, because I fly to another state to speak at a children’s writing conference this weekend and preparing for that will take up most of my emotional energy and available time.
The new class? Well, read on. I had no idea it was going to show up, truly.
I have to be vulnerable?
I’ve learned a lot in the past four weeks. I have learned that I can be stretched farther than even I thought possible, that I can be more vulnerable than ever before (two very good things to learn) and that I get anxious with so much change (which I’m learning to accept).
Don’t we all? I despise feeling so anxious, feeling so exposed, and all I’m doing is just trying on new skill sets, trying out new behaviors with this college of life.
So, this is the confession that the class that I’ve “really” been doing coincided with a blogging class I took recently from Susannah Conway, after I took a blogging workshop from her at 2012 World Domination Summit in Portland. It’s the class I gave myself for my birthday, a gift of unwrapping the real me, the person that seems to hide away from the world a lot of the time.
The real me is a wholehearted version of what people usually see. Rather than cowering timidly in the corner, hoping the world won’t hurt me again, the vulnerable me is standing toward the front of the crowd (I’m a solitary person most of the time), arms outstretched toward the horizon, eyes closed tight, head tilted to the heavens, waiting for a miracle.
Sometimes I might get a sandstorm, but I’m not backing down.
My “real” class in the college of life has been a class on vulnerability, wholeheartedness, a whole lot of repeated viewings of Brene Brown reminding me AGAIN to choose the vulnerability path, even though it hurts and I will feel pain just as much as I will feel joy. My homework has been applying it to my life, and wow, do I ever need this class to survive all the other classes. I had no idea how vulnerable I feel in so many areas of my life: money, time, friendships, my own stories going out, working with clients, me being visible to loved ones as well as strangers.
It really has felt like a sandstorm. Me in the arena, getting blasted, but in the middle of that sand cloud there is an intense joy, an intense “YES! YES! YES! YES!” There’s this feeling of “this is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life; bring it ON!”
I’m reading piles of books that are hitting me personally on all these levels, reminding me that I am really not alone out in front. That I’m standing with other people who are learning the same things, but sometimes you have to learn to stand alone, before you can stand out in a crowd.
So, I hope that the next month will be less anxiety and more ego-busting, wholehearted attempts to go for what I desire for myself. And also for the world.
That’s the college of life, really.
You set out to learn one thing and end up learning something else entirely.