Off My Game

March 9, 2024 – Learning from the Counter Example

Well… it’s been 5-days since my last post. There will not be a daily blog post. Accept and allow. I’m not sure why I continue to strive for unrealistic goals, but when I think about my #OneWord2024… being HAPPY is also knowing what makes you happy. Admittedly, this last week was an excellent counter example and my curling on Friday was evidence of that. My mind was elsewhere, my body was not 100%, and my spirit was lagging. When you’re not all there and PRESENT, it shows up in your day-to-day life. Reflecting on my game, I was very aware what other people were doing, saying, and possibly thinking. What a horrible place to be. Why did it matter? Why was it important to me? In the end, it was all not important and consequences are real.

I am also reminded by the beading classes I’m taking at the art gallery. I curl on Fridays and bead on Thursdays. As mentioned, this last week was not great for me, emotionally and physically. On Sunday, I just joined the gym and went a couple of times. Unfortunately, I think I’m overdoing it and it’s taking my body some time to recover. My plan is yoga on Sunday. Let’s see how this goes. Anyway, back to beading, when you are not focused, present, or attuned to what you are doing, you stab yourself with the needle. It never fails. You cannot daydream, worry about what other people are thinking, or be too judgemental of your own work. You have to bead from a good place and be present. I love beading on Thursdays. It’s one of my places.

“BELONGING: a feeling of being happy or comfortable as part of a particular group and having a good relationship with the other members of the group because they welcome you and accept you” – Cambridge Dictionary

A lot of what I would like to explore further in my research agenda is BELONGING or the sense of belonging. My overarching research question is about “not quite belonging” and this knowing or feeling connects many aspects of my professional experiences and what interests me the most. In order to explore this idea of belonging (or lack there of) further, my Chair has encouraged me to learn more about myself. This opportunity to delve into self-knowledge and understanding more about myself, possibly in a self-study, autoethnography, or program evaluation, I need to take a moment to unravel and unpack my lived experiences to understand my positionality, identity, and sense of belonging. I’ve started to explore and inquire.

Ideas such as self-doubt, misalignment, and inauthenticity are elements at the core of my investigation. I spent many years of my life trying to be someone that I am not. Some would call it “people pleasing” others might call it “assimilation” while in other cases it was more about “fitting in.” I believed that it was something I had to do to belong. What I know know is, I was wrong. According to Brené Brown, the opposite of belonging is fitting in. Regretfully, I spent many years trying to “fit in” and yet, I never belonged. That’s a harsh reality. The fear of not fitting in or fear of not doing what it takes to fit in misguided me for a long time. Now, I know and I am re-learning my values, my beliefs, and what it means to do what’s best for me. The journey begins

“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.” – Brené Brown

This is a difficult lesson: I am enough. I don’t have to prove myself, I don’t have to explain myself, and I don’t have to defend myself… anymore. Living in the shadow of others or seeking the approval from others are not ways of living that is being truthful or authentic to me. I saw that in last week’s curling game. The constant worry and self-doubt throughout the game equated to underperformance, lack of clarity, and a losing outcome. I’m not even sure about being so vulnerable in my blog post, but not doing so is not accepting myself for who I am. The last two weeks have been incredible to rest, restore, and find the clarity I need to be consistent, kind, and compassionate to me and my needs. I can do this. I accept myself. I am happy.

Everyday cannot be “the perfect curling shot.” Learn from your mistakes and try again. Focus on consistency. Don’t dwell. Stay in the game and trust each throw.