SO. DAMN. CLOSE. yet not nearly close enough

I am reaching a point in my new profession where I am SO. DAMN. CLOSE. yet not nearly close enough.

Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong and what I should have, could have done to speed this process up.

I was gung-ho, fresh, excited, untainted – when I first started this new journey in my life.

Before I even began – I knew this new journey would be everything. That it would be the answer to all of my problems. Even the problems I didn’t know I had.

7 months later and on the outside it looks like I haven’t accomplished a single thing other than finally getting through the Everest-sized dirty laundry pile that began growing in 2020.

But that’s not true.

I am finally so damn close and yet not nearly close enough.

7 months later, on the inside – I am healing.

2 years ago – I would hit this spot where I am so close to finishing a project yet the finish line keeps moving further and further away – and I would have straight-up quit.

It was kind of my MO my entire life. Get so close to the end, only to walk away.

I have a pile of thoroughly researched hobbies that I invested in that I just walked away from.

Blame it on the trauma of being afraid of success, of feeling like I am not good enough for success, of believing that even if I completed the thing – I still wouldn’t be good enough.

684 days into a pandemic and everything has changed.

Me from 685 days ago would have packed it up and thrown in the towel because she believed the path to the end would be so hard, that the other side couldn’t possibly be worth it.

I am so damn close yet not nearly close enough, and yet for the first time in my life – I have never felt more at ease.

I have never felt more sure that the hard work I am doing right now in the space between so and close – is going to be worth it on the other side.

Everything has changed and so have I.

That may be cliché at this point and a sentiment that is being overused and is exhausting to hear because dammit – these are extraordinary times so the sentiment remains.

In just 7 of the shortest longest hardest most rewarding months of my life – I have written an 80K word novel that I am just about to start revising, with a goal to self-publish it by my 35th birthday.

I have learned where my energy needs to be placed for me to get the most bang for my limited spoons.

I even made a new friend. Her name is Polly and her nickname is Positive.

Whenever Negative Nancy comes to play – badass Positive Polly comes out of the shadows. At first – she got some good punches in on Negative Nancy. But now Nancy beats feet the moment Polly arrives by my side.

In the past 7 months, I have broken more generational trauma/toxic cycles than I ever knew I allowed control me.

I went all-in on finding the silver lining in the darkest of clouds.

I discovered Stoicism and how to become a Stoic, only to realize that I was already on my way to becoming a Stoic.

And it is in that realization – that my biggest, most profound change – has occurred.

2022 is my year. 2022 is going to be my year. 2022 will be my year.

That’s because I finally believe in myself. That I am not weird, or unworthy, or unable.

And because I learned how to believe in myself just enough – I am less than 10lbs away from being able to complete my first Living List item – flying through the trees like Tarzan.

But that’s not the best part.

While I am SO. DAMN. CLOSE. yet not nearly close enough to getting my first $1 and finally making some money to pay some bills – I am right where I am supposed to be.

Finally.

Our girls are going back to in-person learning next Tuesday – Feb 1st. They haven’t been back since the school was closed on March 13th, 2020.

We pulled the kids early at the end of that first school year. My best friend had died and there was no way in hell I was able to help them navigate online school PLUS working from home PLUS the state of the world at the time.

We enrolled them in a fully online platform the next school year but, while the staff was great, it was not suited for our neurodiverse kids.

The only option available to us where the kids might actually learn something – was to pull them and homeschool them.

The girls are going back to school next week because it turns out – I did not plan on being a teacher when we had kids.

A teacher of values and emotional wellbeing and life lessons – sure. But teaching them how to properly write a sentence – nope.

Sure, I am a writer. But I don’t write academically and I honestly couldn’t tell you what an adjective or an adverb is.

And don’t get me started on math.

Needless to say – they are going back and I am 100% proud of this decision.

2 years ago – I would have been mad at myself for sending the kids back when the pandemic is still raging.

But the only reason we kept them home – was because they were unvaccinated and immunocompromised.

1 year ago – I would have kept trying to change, kept trying to be the homeschool teacher I most definitely am not. And last year, I would have made the situation worse.

7 months later I am sending my girls back to school next week with the promise to take the future moment by moment, day by day, because whatever happens – will happen.

What happens in the future – I cannot control. But I can control this moment.

And I know my girls are prepared. We have gone over so many possibilities and made a game plan for each.

7 months ago, I took a leap of faith to follow my dreams.

And one of the main reasons I took that leap – was to show my girls that no matter what – they would be OK. That they could do whatever brought them happiness. To show them, that we only have the present moment and that moment should be full of calm.

But I am not going to lie. I need to release this.

Sometimes I find myself resenting how content I am with life. Ashamed that I am posting about positivity, healing, and loving myself.

Because the world is burning around me. People everywhere are hurting. Our democracy is failing. Our Planet, dying.

I used to be the mom that was posting the nitty-gritty, the ugly, the real, the raw moments. The storms, the destruction, the anger.

I wanted to show people that they are not alone in the shame, the guilt, the darkness.

It’s not that life is full of rainbows and sunshine nowadays or that we never have bad days or storms anymore

It’s just that now – we laugh at the dark, we smile at the ugly, we remain calm in the storms.

Our world didn’t stop having hard moments.

I just shifted how I responded.

I shifted because kids learn by watching. And if the one thing they take away from my parenting – is that persistence becomes second nature.

Because a situation is only good or bad if we deem it good or bad, according to the Stoics.

Which makes this next statement – confusing.

This year has been rough, and it’s just January.

So every time I say or mention or think that 2022 is my year because I am finally healing – my heart breaks a little because I wish everyone could feel this way.

I wish everyone could feel this sense of calm and peace.

I guess what I am trying to say, is I am sorry if I seem to be an entitled douche. I don’t mean to be. I really don’t.

7 months ago I took a leap of faith and while I am SO. DAMN. CLOSE. yet not nearly close enough to my first $1 – I am right where I am supposed to be.

While my girls have grown emotionally, mentally and are the healthiest they have been mental health-wise – I have too.

And my goal, my purpose in this life – is to help as many people as possible – find that sense of peace, that moment of calm – even when the skies rage around you.

Everything has changed and so have I because I am SO. DAMN. CLOSE. yet not nearly close enough as I am right where I am supposed to be.

When I finally earn that first $1 – it will be because I took a leap of faith and believed in myself.

Adventure on with Curiosity,
-Kelly Steele

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