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Listening to my Voice.

So, I’ve never had a plan. No 5-year plan, no ten year plan, no education plan, no career path. None of that that we’re supposed to have to plan our future.

I’ve never had a dream. No dream job, no dream wedding, no dream guy (Mr. McDreamy aside!), no ‘this is what I’m going to do when I grow up’ dream.

There were a few times as a kid when I’d have an idea: gonna jump off Becky’s swing and fly forever, gonna rescue all the animals at the zoo, be a fireman one day, a mechanic the next, but never a plan of the capital P kind.

During the first part of my life, seeing tomorrow was never a known thing so thinking past that never really occurred to me. As I grew older, I still didn’t. Not sure why really. I applied to colleges because I knew I should. Didn’t know what I wanted to be as I was ready to grow up. Didn’t know what kind of college student I wanted to be, what kind of graduate I wanted to be. Heck, I didn’t even know the person I was much less something else that I was supposed to grow into. I only knew I didn’t fit with the way everything else seemed to be around me. I sure as heck didn’t know how to deal with that.

I just fell into and out of life stuff. School: in/out/back in and did remaining three years in two thanks to a great prof named Joe Scarpaci. Drugs: in for a while then out. Jobs: in after in after in, sometimes three at once. Move, another job. Yet another school (I got that second piece of paper why, exactly?) all without a real aim, goal, direction, destination or definition. And, it never really bothered me except when I couldn’t come up w/ an explanation for folks who wanted one. I never knew to look for signs, feel for direction, ask for help (although, I am one to ask for directions, oddly enough). I just did. Did a lot.

Now I know a few things. Like there’s no road map for the path I’m on. It’s mine and mine alone. I’m a pioneer of sorts, if you will. I know that that I’m not doing it on my own. And I ask for help when I need it. And, I’ve learned to accept it w/ something resembling grace. I’ve also learned to know when I’m not on my path. Know it. Feel it. And, I regularly remind others to live large, live aloud, live as they were meant to and help them redirect their lives so that can happen.

For the past few months I’ve been the Executive Director of a start-up non-profit in Denver called Paramount Youth Organization. PYO began as a discussion between a former boss and I just over a decade ago. It finally came to fruition in October as the IRS gave its blesssing and we called our first Board of Directors meeting. I was proud to be offered such a role. Excited, even, that someone held me in such regard as to think I could pull off such a job. That held for a while.

However, the gung-ho has worn off the past month. I felt split, pulled in too many directions. I know my Truth, my Path, my Place, and my Role in this world and I’ve been trying to figure out how to make that work financially. While that’s been unfolding, I’ve been supported w/ a small sum for PYO-related work. That’s kept gas in the car and helped w/ other basics. And, in my feeling split, I hung on to that role because of the money. Knowing that it wasn’t enough to live on but it was there nonetheless. I also felt I had an obligation to Herman, my former boss, colleague, mentor and friend to whom I once said, “I’d go to the moon for you”.  I didn’t want to disappoint  him or lose his faith and trust in me.

I lost countless hours of sleep and, finally, thought I’d reached a decision a few weeks ago. I was prepared to resign at my last meeting in Denver but was reinspired by folks in my old neighborhoods and the Denver crew, by my the recognition of how the need for services has grown in my absence, and how well we work together when we’re in the groove together. It was game on again and I liked it! A lot.

However, I’ve known, just known, the past month or six weeks that being in that role is holding me back. Known it with every fiber of my being. Getting in the way of other things unfolding for me in the manner I’d prefer. And I’ve done battle with myself in finding some kind of balance and finally recognizing that I’ve been dishing out some great advice to others but not taking it myself.

So, today beginning the Lenten season and all, I chose to give up being in my own way. I took the proverbial leap, the step into faith and grace, and resigned my position as Exec Director and given up $800 a month.

Last week I wrote about Finding My Voice and speaking in my way. This week, after being handily (and figuratively) ass-kicked by Nita Clewis at and a couple of other folks–not the least of whom is my-own-damn-self, I decided to listen to that voice and to what I Know. That inner voice. The one I know and use to guide others. Here goes a helluva lotta sumpin’, kids.

A friend’s Facebook response to my, “Did it.” post was, “Any regrets?” To him I replied: I now have a singular focus, don’t feel spread so thin, won’t feel guilty when doing one thing instead of another, and am taking my own freakin’ advice. Figured if I shell it out, I ought to listen to my own damn self and get out of the way! At this point, I really feel that way. I can’t even say I’m nervous. Just ready! WOOT!!

So, I have something of a plan now.  It’s not like other’s. My plan is to ask, Listen to my Knowing and Self, observe, and receive all that is waiting for me. 


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