pitching a tent

i am in my early 30s and still trying to “find myself.” i believe in God, but i feel like i can’t find what my spiritual path is. i have a job that allows me to provide for my son, but i can’t seem to find a career path that fulfills me. i am biracial and have a very universal perspective on life, but i sometimes struggle with a feeling of not fitting in.

my friend evelyn told me about the spring red tent symposium and as soon as i looked it up, i knew i wanted to attend. i told other women about it, but ended up going to the symposium by myself.  once things got underway, and the sacred space was established, i knew i’d found a place that met an internal need. my decision to attend the symposium alone was immediately confirmed as a very right decision…it was something i was doing for me.

i have a tendency to be very hard on myself and subject myself to unnecessary pressure…which i am sure is the curse of many a superwoman. as i sat through the morning panels, i confess that i looked around and automatically put every other woman in the place on a pedestal, ultimately making myself feel like i am not doing enough with my life. as the day progressed, i was genuinely surprised when some of the women i compared myself to shared stories of struggling with insecurities similar to what i struggle with. and it’s not that i felt better because these women had insecurities, but rather, i felt a sense of connection and healing.  this opened the way to me feeling that i’d found a group of people…of women…with whom i genuinely fit. we all know women can have a tendency to be very critical of each other and not once throughout the day did i experience this. before the day ended, i knew that i wanted to support the efforts of the next symposium.

i decided to join the fall symposium planning committee because all of me wants to see this event be as successful, or even more successful, than the spring symposium. admittedly though, i also wanted to challenge myself to take on my “not feeling like i fit in” struggle and i thought, what better way to do so than to work with strong, like-minded and purpose-driven women? as a newcomer to the group, i appreciate being able to observe the respectful exchange of honest opinions as everyone works to achieve a common goal. i am proud of myself for taking action and being a part of something.  i feel like it’s taking a step towards better understanding who i am.

when i subject myself to unnecessary pressure, i can be hard on myself for feeling like i still have to figure out who i am and what my purpose is…and it’s not easy for me to publicly share this. but they say the first step is admitting it. so as part of challenging myself, i decided to take on writing this as my very first blog. one thing that i learned at the spring symposium is that we all carry some sort of burden, but that burden doesn’t have to define who we are. to hear the stories from other women created a sense of healing for me, so perhaps i can play a part in paying that healing forward.

i am glad i decided to come on board for the planning of the fall symposium and i look forward to the end result. i am also not the only one benefitting from working with this beautiful group of women. my son, who has attended each meeting i’ve attended, has also made a new friend with the son of another planning committee member.

there was a point in time where “finding myself” caused me much angst. i still have my days, just like everyone does, but i am beginning to fully understand that life really is a journey…and to constantly evolve is to keep up with the journey. at this time last year, i wanted to be involved in something so that there would be more to my life than just working a full-time job and raising my son      full-time. i found that something when i entered the tent in the spring. i am doing what i can to continue evolving and to keep up with my life’s journey. i know i’ll find my ultimate place of peace soon. in the meantime, i’ll enjoy the beauty of new experiences and new friendships as i help to pitch a tent this fall.

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