The other day I was watching a talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert on Supersoul.tv (Okay, I admit I have a secret desire not to be Oprah, but to learn to think like her. Must be incredible to have her brain!). Ms. Gilbert believes that there are two types of peolpe in the world; Jackhammers-those who have a clear passion and pursue that with incredible focus and sense of purpose and Hummingbirds-those that flit from thing to thing, exploring new things, taking lessons learned from past experiences and using them in their next venture, overall taking a more circuitous path through their life.
As I look back on my life, I realize that I definitely display the traits of a hummingbird. I also have a bit of Jackhammer in me. I like to test things out, take steps into the doors that open in front of me to see what's inside. Once I decide that something appeals to me, I pursue it with evertything I have...until I get bored. I'm one of those people that enjoys the process of getting to the goal more than reaching the goal. That's not to say that I don't reach my goals, I absolutely do. It's just that when I know acheivement is within reach, I start planning the next goal. I don't spend a lot of time in glory land "enjoying" my acheivement. I don't need to, I already enjoyed the journey, acheivement is just icing on the cake.
I've also learned over the years that you can't be a Hummingbird without a little Phoenix in you. Trying new things, testing new waters, means at some point (probably several points) along the way you are going to fail and sometimes you are going to fail BIG. You have to learn how to rise up again, to begin to flit about finding new ways to use the lessons you have just learned to move your life forward. You have to find the courage and curiosity to walk through the door that just opened in front of you, even though you can't imagine what it could possibly have to do with your life.
I've started this blog with a desire to share my hummingbird journey. I've struggled with my identity over the last couple of years. My child grew up (how the heck did THAT happen so fast?!) I closed a couple of businesses, got depressed, felt old and frumpy and absolutely lost my way. In talking with my friends, I realized that I wasn't alone on this journey. Many women at my stage of life (I really hate that phrase, cue the wheelchair please!) struggle with self-identification. We've been moms and wives, worked full time or part time, have balanced a million things at once for a very long time. Suddenly - it seems- everything changes and we are left with a person that we no longer know and no longer know how to advise. We don't know what we want, what we like, what we enjoy, where we want to go. We want to change jobs or careers but we have this number in front of us, aka our age, that somehow infers that we are no longer the brilliant, creative, contemporary women that we are. Our bodies have changed, making us feel like we are no longer capapble of physical exertion. We are stuck between the rock and the hard place of trying to become a butterfly when the world really just wants us to stay in our cocoons.
I'm hoping this blog will give us all a place to share our experiences, laugh about them, cry about them, get really pissed off if need be. A community of hummingbirds flitting about spreading our experiences with those around us and helping each other rise up when need be.
So, what are you? Hummingbird? Jackhammer? Combo? What have your Phoenix moments been?
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