I was asked one day, “What are you doing with your dash?” For obvious reasons I had no idea what this man was asking me, and frankly was a little annoyed at the random, irrelevant question. He went on to explain the dash.
On a gravestone, there is a birth date and a death date. In between the two lies the dash. Ahhh, I now understood the question completely and actually it was indeed very relevant to my current pursuit of self-discovery.
In looking retrospect on my accomplishments and life, I can, with a fair amount of pride, say I’m happy with the life I have lived. I have successfully raised two wonderful (if I do say so myself) children of whom I’m tremendously proud. I have had the great fortune to live a year abroad in a completely different culture and offer the experience to my children as well. I have traveled, loved, felt tremendous loss and basic disappointment, been successful, had my failures and generally enjoyed a great life.
So if I’m happy enough with the path I’ve been on, why the whole big push to change what has been working? It’s the dash. Happy enough is just not what I want my dash to signify.
This year I have done something I’ve never done before; I hired a life coach. This journey of self-discovery has been fascinating. I have learned what I’m good at is partly who I am, but mostly what I have been good at over the years, is a product of what I had to become good at to make it to where I am today. I had a bit of a tumultuous childhood and became a product of managing the issues presented to me as a child. I now find out, I get the chance to live a life while not managing those same issues. Now I know you think this should be obvious – but once on autopilot, apparently I couldn’t discern what was survival and what was me. Fascinating!
I am stripping away surviving from living and heading toward thriving. This is where the person, whom I was born as, gets to run the show. I slip in and out of surviving and thriving, I have self-doubt that I have to talk myself out of time and again, but those instances are becoming less. I hope I have a long dash, but regardless I am more concerned that my dash is all that it can be. I am working on making that happen – already feeling happier on a daily basis, happy enough just isn’t where I want to be.
What are you doing with your dash?