April 4th, 2022
A few years ago I did an escape room on my birthday. It was designed to look like the interior of a spaceship. I looked up photos of the room online and spent weeks getting excited for it.
When we arrived and my group finally got inside, the room was tiny. I was crushed, in several ways. It wasn’t a spaceship at all. It was a closet with a few buttons and a video screen.
It wasn’t until we solved a handful of clues that a secret door opened; through that doorway we walked, onto the huge deck of a beautiful, blinking starship.
And that’s what growing is like.
As soon as I think I have my shit together, and the tiny room in which I’m standing can’t take me growing any more, a door I didn’t see or just forgot about opens, and it reveals an adjacent, gigantic room in which I have so much more work to do.
I spent an evening this weekend with people like me and I felt a lot of feelings; the feeling I felt the most wasn’t how far I’ve come, but how far I have to go.
Not just forward, but back, too.
I can’t explain some of the stupid, hurtful things I’ve said and done. That’s work I’m always trying to do. I try to do that work in the present, and I’m learning that some of it has to be done in my past.
There’s a saying about people in active addiction; it’s like being kicked to death by rabbits.
That phrase describes so many parts of my life. The things that weigh on me, that jump on me, that give me overwhelming anxiety, they’re all rabbits, taking their time in taking me down.
And my work is finding way to tame and take care of them.
If you’re finding yourself in a big room with so much work to do, even though you’ve done a ton of work already, I’m looking around that room in awe with you.
But I’m picking up the tools I have, borrowing the ones I don’t, and lending any I can spare to get that work done.