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QUINTESSENCE

Exits

Girls with Goals: Hartford Half Marathon Finish

Really, Claire thought, some exits you needed to practice ahead of time.
- Erica Bauermeister, THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS

It is an uncanny paradox, that we know we are ready for change before we actually make the shift and alter our lives. Our inner selves quietly rehearse an exit that our brains are not yet fully aware we plan to follow through on. Form follows function? Perhaps. Maybe we are just a wave or two behind ourselves, one part of ourselves leading the other. Gently, or not: sometimes it's a kick in the butt. Change this now, or else.

I have been following the inner struggles of a good friend, a woman who has circled around the same dilemma for years. Her pattern has always been to take on a new resolve, remake herself, celebrate the new exciting person she has become, yet doubt creeps in, confidence is lost, she falls back into that old previous rut, and the cycle begins anew. Only as most of us have discovered, the falls get steadily harder, the rut deeper, the cynicism and self-doubt grow with every single time we fail to believe in ourselves. I told her recently as she touched on the frustrations of her misery, her struggle evident in her voice, that I will "always come and find her." Dig deep, listen, reflect the truth. Regardless of the number of rise and falls life drags us through, I believe in the practice of exits. That someday, somehow, we WILL step free of what limits us. That we shall genuinely, simply, and purely release and forever redefine. The personal paradox between reality and desire changes when we suddenly see what the truth of our self truly is.

I think my friend is about done with "practice." I sense in her a momentum, grounded in a growing awareness, that for her this is all as simple as letting go of the doubt. That ending the cycle of attempt and stumble lies on the other side of a clean decision. The decision, as our old pal Yoda put it, to "Do. There is no try." I am excited to see where her next run at her future, her own heroic Olympic attempt at a personal best record, takes her.

I think this time she will fly.

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