Thank You Brooke

Being new to this whole blogging thing, I oft times find myself unsure of what direction to take with this blog. Sometimes, after my daily moments of meditation, I’ll have so many ideas swirling around in my head about what to write and post about for days to come. There are moments when I have a huge amount of clarity and inspiration, and all I want to do is sit at my computer for hours to unload it all. But there are also moments when I feel completely unmotivated and stuck, unable to move forward. At the end of either of these two very different moments, I still end up doing the same exact thing…nothing.

I know that this is nothing but fear. How that fear is manifesting itself at this moment, when all I want to do is pursue my writing endeavors, is still unfolding for me. I’d like to know exactly what it looks like so that I can face, eliminate and move on from it.

So far, I can acknowledge that I have a fear of not being good enough and a fear of being better than I could have ever imagined. I have a fear of the life changes that will occur when I take the leap into all that I envision for myself and a fear of staying exactly where I am now, living with regret over things left undone, places never visited, chances not taken. I have a fear of becoming all that I am meant to be and a fear of staying just as I am, just as I have always been. I have a fear of going forward and a fear of going back to where I’ve grown from.

And so I stand, between progression and regression. It’s a crappy place to be. Fear engulfs the air here, making it harder and harder for me to breathe. Doubt and anxiety reside here, causing paralysis in my legs, rendering them useless to me. This is a place where uncertainty taunts me and time plays its game of illusion, letting me know that I am running out of it with each day that I sit here in this space.

When I am feeling stuck, one of the things that I like to write about is inspiration. I interview those who inspire me in some way and that allows me to take the focus off of myself and where I’m NOT going in my life at the moment, and instead bask in the amazing lives of those around me.

I had the honor and privilege of interviewing a very good friend of mine recently and posted it to this blog. Almost three weeks after posting that wonderful interview, she passed away unexpectedly, yet peacefully in her sleep.

Brooke Copher was only 47 years young. I will turn 45 this Saturday, December 28th. Her physical death has affected me in many ways. Initially I was in shock, which lasted for a couple of days, not shedding a single tear. It wasn’t until two days later when I had to drop off some items at the school that my son attends, where Brooke worked as an amazing teacher, and where I ALWAYS received the most heart warming hugs from her when I saw her, that I became overcome with grief and the sadness that I will not see her again. The tears would not stop, from the moment I got in my car on my driveway, through my trip to the market and drive to the school, through my 5 minutes of sitting on that bench in the school vestibule in a failed attempt to compose myself before walking into the school office and eventually handing my items to Mrs. Fulk at the front desk. The tears would not stop.

Mrs. Fulk hugged me and walked me to a group of school counselors that I could talk to while there. I was hesitant at first, but honestly, my heart just surrendered to it and I trusted the process of it all. I sat and talked to these supportive souls for an hour or so. They listened to my feelings and stories of Brooke and how she inspired me so much by being all that she was for so many people. As the tears eventually slowed, I began to feel this incredible sense of purpose and motivation to do all that I am meant to do while I am here, just as Brooke did! It felt like the clouds parted and the sun shined brighter that day than ever before. And though I missed her being here physically, I felt her presence all around and inside of me. It was a beautiful feeling and I felt this profound connection to Brooke that lasted for a week or so.

And then, as the funeral services approached, which I was unable to attend, the reality of her death hit me again. This time, I was overwhelmed with fears of death visiting me at this young age as well. I found my mind swirling with thoughts of ‘Why bother? I could be gone tomorrow anyway. If it could happen to Brooke, it could happen to me, too.’ I allowed these thoughts and feelings to stop me completely in my tracks. I haven’t been willing or able to move on from them yet and it’s been a month since she’s been gone.

I had to have a talk with myself recently. I know what I should be doing and I know that I have no reason not to do any of it. And so I made a deal with myself. If I could sit down at the computer tonight and write all of this out, I promise myself that I will commit to living the rest of my life in a manner that will make Brooke proud. And me. I’ll make myself proud, too.

I will take all of the inspiration that Brooke gave to me and I will live my best life. I will love more than I have ever loved before. I will write until my fingers get cramps in them, and then I’ll rest them for a little while…and then I’ll write some more. I will not doubt myself or worry about not being enough. I will not procrastinate. I will not be afraid. I will trust that I can do whatever I set my mind to doing. I will be genuine and open and honest with all that I say and do. I will be authentic. I will do my best to uplift, encourage and inspire others. I will focus on all that connects us. I will give more to this world than I take. I will love and live as Brooke did.

The ironic thing is that as much of an inspiration that Brooke was to me, she told me during our interview how much I inspired HER! Wow. And she encouraged me to delve into my writing and was genuinely excited about all of my plans that I shared with her.

It’s time for me to actually do what I know I am capable of doing.