Something is changing.
Somewhere between unbridled motivation and apathetic lethargy, we live our day-to-day lives. On the surface it seems so obvious that peaks and valleys are not our most frequent experience, despite us mostly remembering only the highs and lows.
That seemingly automatic time between the most emotional and influential moments of our days is where the real work gets done. And what I’m learning is that my current routine is not positively changing my life in the direction I am seeking: improvement.
At one point, I was on the edge of learning this lesson. What I hadn’t quite figured out was that being process-oriented isn’t being process-included. The goals I set were available, but not accessible. There is a bridge that connects my efforts to my results, and yet there was no bridge between my identity and my efforts.
If you want to know what an identity crisis looks like, this is it.
It wasn’t turning thirty or getting engaged. It isn’t a job that feels more and more like it as the days pass or watching friends accomplish incredible things.
My crisis is not knowing who I aspire to be and reflecting on the actions that make me that person.
Every person who has ever met me has an image of who I am. My mom’s image is very different from my coworker’s. My boss doesn’t see the same person as my coach or the checker at my grocery store. And my playing partners only get a portion of the personality my friends know.
Despite all the different pictures of me in the world, there is only one that matters: who do I believe I am?
Since this blog started, I’ve struggled to see myself as a writer and a golfer. I don’t share the confidence of someone who lacks knowledge but holds conviction. Although I don’t mind being wrong, what I don’t want to be is mislabeled as something I’m not.
This weekend as I was trying to figure out my goals for the year, I couldn’t find any. “You have your golf goal.”
“No, I already know I won’t reach that.”
I heard myself say the words that my dream was dead and couldn’t do anything to stop them. Nonchalantly I might add. Like I was waiting to admit I failed, I couldn’t have reached my goals if I wanted to.
What I learned just a few days later was that I killed off that disbelieving version of myself. See he thought when I spoke, “my dreams are unattainable”, that his job was done. There will be no more of that foolish talk. Dreams, scoff, what are they worth? Nothing.
Nothing is right. Dreams are not here in the present. They exist in a future that has yet to come, so in fact they do not exist. My dreams are dead.
I killed my dream to kill off part of my self image. That voice that spoke to me with such negativity. The voice that cried when I saw my game crumbling. The voice that throws clubs and swears. I don’t feel it there anymore.
From the smoke of my dream, a new voice came through. It was a voice searching for answers. My identity had been left on its own for too long. I had tried to change my results and my efforts without addressing the person that was responsible for all of it.
So this is who I am now.
I am a golfer. Not just a recreational golfer, but a competitive golfer.
I am a writer. This is my story, and I want to share it with you.
I am an educator. Learning is the only way to grow ourselves and others.
I am a creative. Creating in this world is the most power you can ever hold.
I am an explorer. Leave your patch of grass.
2019 is not a year about setting and accomplishing goals. It is the year that I grow my identity and become the person I couldn’t before.