Friday, April 20, 2012

Running in Place

My apologies for not posting. I've been in my personal Never Never Land and was visiting my own Peter Pan.

This last week is mine - unplanned, unpretentious, unpredictable and back to eating what I kill... more my style and I mean that in the most gracious and appreciative way.

The first couple of weeks were incredible and there isn't enough money in the world that could have bought that kind of trip, complete with my own personal security detail, teacher, chaperon, chauffeur, chef, tour guide, equipment provider, laborer, entertainer, companion, dear friend and partner in crime.

My Peter Pan is the stuff of every young woman's dreams... as long as she doesn't fall in love with him. He's intelligent, gorgeous, has eyes the color of cloudless New Zealand skies with an occasional twinkle of mischief, and an amazing body that you can't help but watch. He's a man's man - an athlete, a good friend, loves animals and kids (but doesn't want his own.) He plans, executes, cooks, cleans, carries heavy bags, is efficient, rescues spiders from inside tents, AND he's got a sexy (not snobby) British accent. There's an allure... Where you want to be rescued by him and save/change him all at the same time.

Yes. You know the type. He's a woman's dream, her mother's nightmare and he should absolutely come with a warning label. I say this as someone who has known many men like him and have myself fallen and been burned by the sort - and can now spot those dangerous combinations. To be fair, I say all of this because it's easier to describe the reflection in the mirror than it is to expose myself. I know that in some ways, and not the flattering ones, we're very similar. We're both on our own endurance runs. He's picked up and moved to Never Never New ZeaLand and I long - no - ache to move here, all the while knowing that my purpose has me tied to somewhere else.

Anyway, I've many stories to share and just as many I'll keep close-hold but oh, the books I could write!

Those memories aren't the only things I've created/discovered here... but first, I must rest up for my solo trek tomorrow. I'm very much looking forward to spending some time on my own to clear my head and heart. I think it's a good idea that I get my bearings before heading back to the real world.

My coach, Derek, gave me an amazing quote in his email today and I wanted to share it because I suspect I'm not the only one who could use this...

"Part of being where you want to be is dropping the story that you're not where you want to be.

We all start this journey as seekers - at some point we have to declare ourselves as finders or we'll just stay seekers forever. We've found the answer when we realize there is no answer." ~ Derek Hansen

And then a few moments later, I received this gem in my inbox from Martha Beck:

"If you want to find your passion, know your life's purpose, meet your soul mate, or feel intensely alive, don't look toward the fun things that fit logically into the flow of an easy life. Ask yourself, "What am I running away from?"

Whatever that thing is, turn around. Walk toward it. Face it and conquer it or die trying." ~ Martha Beck

Both messages were so perfectly timed. Add to this the crazy synchronicity of having been asked by several (4) different people recently if I'm tired of running. The first time I heard it, I thought, "Huh." The second time, "What a coincidence. I just heard that yesterday..." After the third person mentioned it in almost as many days, I grudgingly admitted to myself, "Well, okay so maybe I need to look at this." Grr. When the fourth person brought it up, I wanted to punch him but instead said, "I've been hearing that a lot lately and I will *seriously* consider it, just as soon as I get back from..."

That was before running to NNnzL and spending time with another pro-runner. Life's adventures and wonders never cease to amaze me! JUST when I thought I was going to be able to out run dealing with my running problem a little bit longer... I run right into the heart of it. WHAM!

What I want to know is if I stop emotionally and psychologically running, will I actually start to enjoy physically running because if so, that'd be great and I'd happily make the trade off. ; )~ I mean, after all, the latter has some better benefits... like, you know, good health and fitness... a lighter frame... flatter tummy... less stress and unhappiness...

So tomorrow while trekking or tramping or hiking in arguably the most beautiful place in the world, in my solitude, awe, and wonder, I will take some time to think about these things. Does and CAN Wendy truly leave NNnzL behind?

I thought I knew my purpose but now I know that I've just been dancing (thought maybe I'd not use "running" again) around it. I was close enough to feel it and to be so incredulous and captivated by its mission that I just stopped because I thought I was there. My unhappiness over the last year or so has made me realize that, in fact, I am not quite there. I'm closer than I have ever been... but I'm not *just there* yet.

So, off I go to find/discover my purpose and that which scares me the most... and to confront/meet it head on - as is the only way this girl knows how.

And I'm going to do this all while NOT trying to find answers. :) Essentially, I'm going out to explore and discover with no purpose other than to just be.

Wish me luck. And I, wish you the same with your adventures... till next time!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Just Keep Swimming"

It's been a while since I've posted... mostly because I've been crazy busy but also because I've not had the energy to blog.

There's been much too write about and unfortunately, it's all piled up. Since the last post, my mobilization dates were pushed back to later in the year, I've traveled out of town on multiple occasions and I'm currently prepping for a long awaited vacation that I was going to cancel but was strongly encouraged to go on by people I might otherwise drag with me into the abyss of insanity (caused by working too much, I'm told.) ALL of these incidents and more - I have much to blog about.

Thank goddess I paid for the airline ticket months ago and made arrangements with a friend when I actually had an income. The uncertainty of deployment and the resulting employment situation has completely wreaked havoc on my financial situation.

Yes, the Army Reserve, Congress and many other supporting programs are very accommodating when it comes to protecting your position or job when you're employed full time but there's little to be done for business owners, entrepreneurs and independent contractors.

With the idea that I would be gone most of this year, I cancelled my contracts, didn't re-enroll in school this semester (no GI Bill) and well, AWV has never paid me a salary so there's nothing new there...

This is beginning to sound like whining so I will stop there. I'm by no means, unaware of my choices. I wake up every morning with purpose and direction. I do what I love and although things are a bit hectic and uncertain just now, I know that it will all work out. An observant reader might also notice the ads as well as the new "Harley Fund" donation link in the upper right. I'm a ways away from being able to buy a Harley but it reads a lot better than "Starving & Near Homeless Veteran Non Profit Founder Fund." :)

It's amazing, even to me, that I can have such faith still. I won't lie and say that I don't vacillate between thinking I'm an absolute idiot and should go back to my full-time job and the other option of cashing out what's left of my savings to stick it out and stay the course. What are NOT options; 1) Letting the cause go, 2) Giving in to less than altruistic funders/donors who are more interested in making themselves/their companies look good than they are in actual substantive and impact-ful change, 3) Entertaining anymore assholes pretending to be interested in the cause when in fact they just want to dangle... carrots in the hopes that I'll actually fall for meeting them at their hotel in the middle of the night to "pick up a check." (Oooh, the stories I may share one day...)

As a veteran, I've grown ever weary and leery of the tens of thousands of non-profit organizations that are "serving veterans." As a non-profit founder, I'm equally tired of the entities with their personal agendas who make money off of the cause. As a woman, it's all I can do to maintain my professionalism. Staying the course is not my biggest fear or concern - ensuring that I don't become bitter has been more of a challenge than I would have ever thought.

"What keeps you going like this?" an old friend asked me the other day.

"The women veterans I get an opportunity to meet through my speaking engagements..." I replied.

Every single event I do, there are a few veterans that I get the honor to interact with directly. They are my soul's sustenance. They're the reason I can live without knowing where next month's rent is going to come from. They are the reason I can't go back to any full time work that would keep me from meeting and helping others just like them... and yes, just like me. We are why I will not quit, give up or sell out.

And of course... I's gots plans. BIG plans. I just need to bring some stability to my personal life so that I can get on with the business of growing AWV responsibly and sustainably... 

It's late. That's it for now... just a quick, unedited note. I'll most likely be offline for a while longer but I look forward to sharing some amazing stories and photos in the weeks ahead.