My husband and I went to the gym this evening – or, rather, my husband went to the gym and dragged me along when I’d have much rather been at home, curled up with a good book or a chick flick. But I went, and I worked out, and then I came home and ate ice cream and now my muscles will ache tomorrow and I’ll know that it’s all pain and no gain.
And, no, I’m not bragging about going to the gym because I am not one of those “gym people” in the least. I’m out of shape. Or, I’m in whatever shape ice cream, cookies and macaroni and cheese leave you in.
So, anyway, I went to the gym tonight with my husband, and on the ride home I was thinking about my day and the general level of dissatisfaction I’ve been feeling since dragging myself out of bed this morning. It all led me to a simple (and yet so complex) question:
What could I be doing with my life that would actually make me want to get out of bed in the morning?
Yeah, let that sink in for a moment.
For some of you, it’s not a tough question. I have friends who have found and are now living out their passion in life, and secretly, I envy them. But I also know the hard work they’ve put into pursuing their passions. They, however, are the exception to the rule. I imagine that most people reading this are like the person writing it… still trying to figure out where they fit and what they really want to do with the rest of their lives.
For some of us, me included, I think there is a dream deep down inside, something we would love to do, if…
…if we didn’t have a mortgage and a car payment and monthly bills piling up…
…if we didn’t have a family counting on us to clean the house, do the dishes, have dinner ready each night…
…if we hadn’t been told by a parent or a teacher or a group of peers that we weren’t good enough…
…if we weren’t afraid of falling flat on our faces…
I have come up with a million reasons why I can’t pursue my dreams, why I can’t be the person I most want to be. To be completely honest, sometimes it’s because I just don’t want to put in the effort. Nobody’s pushing me out of my comfort zone or holding me accountable, so it’s easier to sit back and allow myself to do nothing more than wonder about the possibilities as time slips away.
But in the end, for most of us, I think it comes down to fear. I’m afraid of risk. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid that I won’t do it perfectly, so what’s the point in doing it at all?
Granted, I’m not a single mom, raising two kids on a fixed income, trying to manage school lunches, extracurricular activities, piles of laundry and a 40 hour work week.* I do have my own time challenges, however – anybody want to try their hand at managing your own business, school, a new marriage and a 150+ pound (and still growing) dog? But, for me, I think those things are little more than excuses. I still find time to browse Facebook, binge watch Fuller House and find a million recipes I’ll never use on Pinterest.
So why am I standing in my own way? Why do I let fear paralyze me? Why am I more comfortable with an increasing feeling of dissatisfaction than I am with the risk of failure?
I decided, tonight, that dissatisfaction and the anxiety that results from denying my dreams was more uncomfortable than failure. I would take one small step on the journey of passion. So I’m starting Daughter of Ruth.
The name is, in part, derived from the vows I made on my wedding day. I promised my husband, “Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
Those vows ripped me out of my comfort zone in ways I never expected. And now, like Ruth, I feel like a stranger in a strange land, trying to find my way.
So for all of you out there who are trying to discover who you are, what your passions are and how to pursue them, and for all of you who feel as if life has brought you to a strange land and left you wondering what’s next…
Welcome Sons and Daughters of Ruth. You are not alone on this journey. I look forward to sharing it with you and learning your stories along the way.
*I don’t know how you amazing women do it, but you have my utmost respect and admiration. Women like you are incredible, and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re anything less than superheroes.