Jumping is terrifying. Or, behind the scenes of the last few months: Life. Mind Work. Change. Here. Now. Hello. Breathe…

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I wake up in a panic, nerves sending a fear signal up and down my trembling arms. Adrenaline pours into my veins, shooting up my skin like a shock to my system. My brain races, full of questions and doubts and fears. I can't sleep again, even though it's dark. The light from the streetlamp outside my window glares at me, accusingly. I get up, I start pacing.

I wonder if what I've done is the right thing. If what I'm doing is the right thing. I feel like I'm jumping out of an airplane, a rug pulled out beneath my feet to reveal that I'm far too high up in the sky and gravity's tugging on me. I don't know if I have a parachute. I'm not sure what a parachute would even look like. I'll need to figure it out later, but probably fairly soon.

Sometimes I'm soaring with the incredible high of experimentation, and other times my mind wonders if it knows just exactly what I've gotten myself into. I cling to my practices of yoga, journaling and other meditative daily walks, but they don't fully temper the fact that I don't know what I'm doing. My mind is a scramble. I can't understand the illogical things I've put it through. It's probably for the best that I don't understand.

Trust.

There's no easy way to jump other than to put both feet out and trust the world around you. Trust that you'll land, that you might fly, that it's okay to fall, or that some other iteration you can't predict will come to fruition. Unlike the time I went zip-lining with my sister, where my jump off the platform was so timid that I smacked my butt against the wooden platform below as I launched, I need to lean, and lean so hard that it feels like falling.

I'm falling. This is falling.

While it’s been quiet around these parts lately, that's just an illusion--a set of unwritten essays and the silence that is days passing a surface skin for a mind and a life that's been in flux for much of this summer and this year. I look back at my writings for August, noticing that I’ve only scrawled two posts this month; those posts are just a scant glimpse into life behind the scenes and what I’ve been up to. For those familiar with astrology, the world's been ablaze with the recent Grand Trine, the idea of a shift so large and a planetary arrangement so powerful that people will feel huge changes, up-endings, and fluxes in their life; that dreams become reality; that things get messy; that things resolve -- and I don't just read this, I feel this, I know this, I am living this.

Hello, world. Shall we dance?

Sometimes I struggle with what to write about on this blog—is it a diary? Is it a travel trope of my own adventures? Is it strictly related to writing and communications? It's not always clear; I share my personal stories and lessons as a window into how I've practiced (and continue to practice) the philosophies and principals that underline most of my work, scratching out and re-writing as I go, editing as I learn. I don't profess to write about myself because that's the topic at hand; I do love telling the stories I live as a means for sharing bigger ideas and stories. But when I leave myself out of all of the writing and start to write just about rules or teachings or hollow lists, it starts to feel a bit empty.

Like I’ve forgotten to tell you something. Like I’ve left part of myself out.

The past six months have been a whirlwind, to the point that it feels as though I’ve been hiding something. The past year has been a challenge, and I’m not always comfortable talking about all of it. Some of the hands-down-best-things in my life have happened in recent months, but so have some of the scariest and hardest. It wasn’t shiny and glorious; much of it came in a package that felt like I was being thrown repeatedly against a wall like a rag doll and left in a crumpled heap to stand up and fight a bit more. The great moments came with adrenal fatigue, medical problems, extensive biopsies and visits to the doctor. Moments at conferences after months at home, working all day and late nights, and having to look at someone else and not quite share. Not quite tell. These months and moments have been filled with Doubt. Insecurity. Changes. Lives beginning. Lives ending. Leaving my job, starting a new one. Selling my car (finally). Meeting incredible people. Shifting careers, changing tack.

You, too, are probably noticing something in your own life and in the lives of others around you. As I talk with friends and clients and colleagues, I notice that these big shifts aren't happening in isolation. We're all experiencing it, the universe seemingly sending the earth into the spin cycle a few extra times, the players and movers jolted into new realities of their own doing--or as a surprise. The economy has been moving and un-sticking; opportunities are opening while entire industry verticals are left career wastelands; some generations are in huge loss while other people are starting to move around much more in jobs and vocations and practices.

I hear stories of daring and adventure, of incredible romance, of deep pain and loss, of glimmers of beauty within the deepest tragedies. Sometimes the suddenness with which you realize a dream can be incredibly unnerving, pressing you forward into a new sense of self, a new definition, a new story before you felt like you committed to the wanting of your dream. And yet the universe sends you out the door and through three new ones, pressing you to discover your readiness through action, not thinking. And other times it seems unfairly agonizing to wait, years of debt and doubt and pain layered into the pursuit of freedom, a tantalizing notion that seems just out of grasp. Change is rattling. Waiting is painful. I've watched people get all that they've said they wanted, and fall apart. I've watched people try for everything they've dreamed of and crumble, stall, wander into places they'd never wish to be. They're surviving. The universe is doing something.

Change is not easy.

... I'm not sure there are many people who say that it is.

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Welcome to solo-preneurship*, to adventure, to freedom, to creation.

In my world, a big shift happened a few weeks ago. At the end of July, I parted ways with my wonderful and dear company, SWA Group, the place that has been my home for the last five years. Along the way, we created a number of digital and print communications initiatives -- sharing the perspective of landscape architecture and describing how the built world works through books, magazines, blogs, and stories. My colleagues are some of the most talented physical and spatial designers I've ever met, and they challenged me constantly to learn how to create physical, built spaces within the tricky world of patterns, codes, rules and regulations--learning how to engineer and design places for human enjoyment. Understanding urban patterns and landscape systems is immensely appealing to me, and something I've focused on for a long time.

And yet, I leapt.

It's exciting--and terrifying.

Transitioning from a wonderful job and a space with colleagues who have been extremely supportive of my adventures and experiments was not an easy choice, and it took several weeks and months to iron out the details and to wrap up my final projects and head out. Out into the world of clients and projects and writing and self-employment. Also the asterisk in the title is a note of caution--I'm not headed straight into "solo-preneurship," because it's never truly "solo"-preneurship, like Tara Gentile so aptly reminds us. "Business doesn't happen in a bubble," she writes; rather, it happens with teams and clients and support and evolution. And markets. And needs. Further, solo-preneurship is not about late nights hustling indefinitely; while hustling is a part of the journey, it doesn't need to become the entire journey.

And then, I was here.

Shoved out the door and onto the sidewalk, suitcase in hand. I'm taking all the knowledge and chops I've got and doing the best I can.

Starting yesterday.

When did this happen? 

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest."-- Pema Chödrön

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But Sarah, what are you working on? How will you spend your time?

I've been avoiding conversations that pull up that dreaded question, that accusatory, "so, what are you doing?” statement, the question that permeates what seems to be nearly every conversation. The rush to fill time—or worse, to apply a story or a definition to how we will spend time—is a national disease we all have, one that requires us to chase productivity and results over holistic being and space for mental clarity. It's no wonder Time Magazine features a different cover for Americans than the rest of the world when we're a market more obsessed with our own job performance (and resultant anxiety) than the civil unrest happening in the Middle East. Prayers to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Israel, and all of the countries in need of deep healing. Including our own.

"The rush to fill time—or worse, to apply a story or a definition to how we will spend time—is a national disease we all have, one that requires us to chase productivity and results over holistic being and space for mental clarity."

We ask each other what we do before we ask how we’re doing, a quick question that rolls off the tongue faster than you can truly hug someone and look into their eyes, wondering how they actually are. When you’re in transition (and transition is not a temporary state but perhaps an always-state, as Pema Chödrön has gently reminded me in her book, When Things Fall Apart), it’s much harder to answer that question definitively. I have an answer that sounds good, I have an answer that’s short and sweet, I have the answer that helps my parents worry less about my finances (So… how are you supporting yourself?), and I have a few ways to broach the conversation with friends.

The short answer is that I’m writing. And teaching. And learning. And living. The shift, if you put a definition on it, is that I'm no longer working full time with a single employer; I'm working in freelance mode with several clients and project across the country and around the world. Part journalist, part documentarian, part strategist and mostly writer, I'm building a new set of tools and skills and building a new business plan for myself. It's liberating. It's thrilling. It brings up every uncertainty I've ever had and puts them flat on the kitchen table and stares me square in the face.

It's full-on accountability.

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

One of my first projects was a press campaign for a Y-Combinator company in San Francisco dedicated to helping aging seniors live gracefully. I joined Y-Combinator team True Link Financial, a tech start-up tackling the challenge of fraud target aging seniors. Seniors are increasingly vulnerable to misleading marketing and scams; the company's cofounders Kai Stinchcombe and Claire McDonnell developed a new credit card with a customizable fraud-blocker that helps prevent your parents' and grandparents' money from being irreversibly stolen in the time in their life when they need it most.

Aging is an issue that's fascinated me throughout my studies of cities and people, and with my grandparents aging and later leaving us, I wonder who will take care of them if we all don't step in and take care of them. A society with no age diversity should alarm you: we need older people to be thriving within our ecosystems, visibly, or we should be concerned for our own future health. It won't be long until we're all old (hopefully--that's the goal, right?). I wonder who will take care of me when I'm 70, 80, or 90.

"The way you do anything is the way you do everything."

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My second assignment as an independent journalist this summer was joining 1for3.org as a documentarian and writer on a recent trip to Aida Camp, a Palestinian Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. I joined an exceptionally talented team of designers and human rights activists dedicated to making change in a part of the world that needs a lot of love. We traveled to Israel over the summer and spent time in several of the world's oldest cities, and then focused on the problem of inadequate water access within a camp that serves 6,000 residents. A design and landscape-based challenge, the team built a variety of options to capture stormwater and rainwater, cleanse it, and re-distribute it as potable or recycled water for irrigation and play. While the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is long and complex (see this history of the conflict in maps), the challenge of capturing rainwater on a single site is something that can be implemented in real time. As a documentarian, I wrote 2,500 to 3,000 words per day, and we're working on pieces for publication this Fall. Nothing in this paragraph suffices to capture what the trip was--I'm struggling for words. It was. I will write more.

And lastly, this Fall I'll also be teaching again in the Writer's Workshop, a private group for people who want to build a practice and a community around writing. Writing unlocks our minds and helps us clarify who we are, how we think, and how we connect with others. Last Spring, I opened up the first writing workshop to a group of twenty-five people from around the world and was blown away by the talent, enthusiasm, and dedication of each of the people in the class. I've updated and modified the program to make it into a four-week program that focuses on storytelling, imagination, creativity and persuasion--helping writers and aspiring writers of all fields learn how to add more detail, color, and story to their blog posts, essays, and other daily communications.

Writing well is critical to great living. It's one of my core beliefs, as I dig into understanding the whys behind what I do: writing helps us clarify who we are, what we believe, and serves as an introspective tool for a journey into your own mind. Good writing also helps us get better at explaining ourselves, our ideas, our projects, our thought processes, and our deepest wants and desires. If you want to get better at any job, relationship, or project--get better at writing. Improving your writing makes nearly everything better. If you've been to one of my courses or live events before, come join us. 'll be sharing more information on the writing class over the next few weeks, and posting details here: http://itstartswith.com/writers-workshop/.

SF-reflections Bay Bridge at night

And in addition to leaving my Day job, I’ve left San Francisco for a while. 

The distance a country puts between your old life and a new, unprepared, different life--a life now navigated within the corridors of unfamiliar yet strangely reassuring streets--makes me see my old self with more contrast, more clarity. Distance gives perspective. Change shows your edges. Challenges reveal where we have more work to do.

I left San Francisco, heading to Brooklyn, New York for the Fall to build my own writing, teaching, and consulting practice. My client roster was overwhelming my ability to stay sane and get sleep while working full time, and so--I jumped. I leaned, and I leaned hard, arms spinning, free-falling in the the glorious disruption that is change. After long conversations with close friends, my own coaches, and my mentors both at my company and in my life, I wrapped up my time with my employer and I'm in a bit of a free space right now. It's wonderful, it's open, it's strange, it's new--and it's now. It's here. I'm in it.

It's less of a jolt and disruption, in some ways, because I believe that the old employer--employee relationship is antiquated, and the job that's perfect for you three years ago is not the same job (and nor are you the same person) today. Everything shifts and is in flux, and the jobs (employers, clients, projects) that stick around longest are ones that match you and your evolving human talents and needs the best. This shift, then, at least for me, is one towards more project-based work; a move that I believe is more in alignment with how corporate and employment relationships should work.

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But the truth is, I'm avoiding the heart matter, the real reason I'm changing tracks, the deeper stories woven into this framework of self-employment and time management. It's easier to talk about jobs and locations and moving, because those are things I can point to. These are the things that feel safer to talk about, for some reason. Yet one of the beautiful, albeit less publicly prominent, stories in my life has has been simply and glossily covered over with the use of words like "life opportunities," and "strategic choices" and "changes," and "new directions." These words mask the beauty of a burgeoning and deepening and marvelous love story I can't even fully grasp that I'm a part of (me? this is me? how is this happening!?) -- and my heart is cracking open with this new adventure. My partner. In life. I can't wait to write about it, too, whenever the time is right.

In short, I'm stunned by how much my life has changed over the last few years. I bow in deep prayer to the universe and to spirits and to energy flows with thanks and gratitude for the gifts in my life.

We can't wait until later to work on developing beautiful relationships, to starting new adventures, to leaning, to jumping. It's always time to practice and to push. It's an adventure, and you've only got a few opportunities to live it.

Breathe. 

But let's dig a little deeper. Even beneath the shift in my relationships and the work that I'm doing is even deeper heart work. Life work. Body work. The thing is, I’m doing some mind work. I’ve been running at full steam for nearly a decade, and in a grasp towards more consciousness and deliberate creation, I've slowed down the project roll and I’m consciously practicing choices that make space in my life for essential philosophies and practices I want to devote more time to. I'm continuing to practice saying no to opportunities that don't quite fit right; no to clients that aren't a fabulous fit; and no to things that make me tired, cranky, and uncomfortable--like sitting still all day.

And as this moves forward, I'm creating space--ample space--for projects I've long put on the back burner.

My critics--largely internal--tell me this is silly, self indulgent, a waste of time. They sit on my shoulders and grumble, moaning about the work I'd better be doing, about the nonsensical things my brain tries to write, cackling in the backdrop. Occasionally I meet a real critic--someone who voices what I've been spinning up in my head--and the conversation usually ends with a decent explanation of why I'm doing what I'm doing, surprising even myself.

It can be easy.

It can be now.

My new apartment has a blank wall on it, in a room we've devoted to art and creation and the expansive, contemplative work my partner and I are devoted too, and even though we're not moving in for another week or so, I've already scribbled across multiple sheets of paper with ideas, brainstorms, and plans. I'm pinning them up in the invisible wall in my mind. The marked shift is not one of dreaming that I put movement and writing first in my life, but a life in which I actually do it, and continue to align my life according to my values and principles.

Mind work, body work, spirit work.

We are more than the work we create and the products we produce. We are more than the money we earn and the statuses we post. We are humans, to the core, with moving, living, breathing bodies. We are connected, in communities and networks and relationships, and all of the pieces and parts need to be nurtured and allowed; cultivated and fed.

The next few months--nay, longer, please--are about mind work; about spirit work; about body work. We create a career and chase financial gains for consumer-based tendencies; in an effort to challenge these assumptions, the next few months of my life are deliberately about experimentation. I want to push myself (or yield, or soften) into experiments with mind and body. With doing more movement, and less computer work. With changing routines to learn what suits me best. With spirituality first and mental work first. With practices that develop the mind, body and soul. I've opened up space in this new life, this new day, for more writing and more movement. More teaching and more learning. More being.

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This means its messy, it’s different. There are a lot of late nights (or early nights) with tears. I’m not good at this; I’m not good at being composed and balanced at all times. I don't expect myself to be, either. I get really stressed out and I want to throw things against walls and I make hyperactive sets of lists and then I feel like a complete failure when I’ve only done one or two things on my list. I put the list down. I listen to waves of anxiety roll across my body, and I practice trying to observe it—not critique it. I spend months in places that don't feel right and only when it really really doesn't feel good to I finally leave; and I learn that next time, I'll listen to my intuition a little more closely. I shift, I dance, I fall.

Finding calm in the midst of chaos is not easy. Today is a day just like any other, and there is no arrival. Pema Chödrön's “When Things Fall Apart,” has been a close reminder that the idea of chasing a completeness or an arrival--that feeling of having arrived is a false premise. We are not arriving, we are always arriving. We are always moving. Life is more often a state of chaos than calm; the fleeting satisfaction of completion erodes, too, as time passes and we seek more challenges, learning, opportunities.

The entire process—this ongoing, transitory adventure, this journey—provides fodder for stories and writing and ongoing exploration and journey. The more I grow and learn, the less I feel as though I have any answers at all. I document to track my brain’s inner workings, to train my mind, to place markers in the ground, to discover myself. I write because it's such a gift to my soul and a beautiful way to connect with others. I teach writing because I hope to share the journey and discovery with like-minded individuals; I learn as much from the talented people I work with as I hope to share.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and for listening. I've created beautiful friendships from this blog and I am grateful to be able to share with each of you.

To living life, to mind work, to creating space.

XOXO

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Tell me what you've been working on: I'd love to hear about it in the comments. How has your life shifted and changed over the past year? What's become clear to you, and what are you working to prioritize? How do you deal with change and transition? 


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35 Responses to Jumping is terrifying. Or, behind the scenes of the last few months: Life. Mind Work. Change. Here. Now. Hello. Breathe…

  1. Brandon W. says:

    Such an honest and open post deserves an honest and open response. The last year of my life has been a tornado, coming out of a hurricane. In 2009 I lost my job when I chose not to follow my employer’s exodus from Michigan. A year later I still had no job, despite a graduate degree and solid references and numerous “experts” telling me I had a great resume and interviewed well. So I started a company.

    I had started small businesses before, all failed within 6 months. All taught me something. This one lasted 2 years, sputtering along in phases of success and nothing.

    Along the way I had two children, adding to the financial demands. My car required replacement – even more financial demands. Prices went up. Rents got higher.

    When it was apparent I could no longer make enough income with my business I took the first job I could find. Finding one in Michigan is no easy task, even now. The company paid me horribly, expected me to build an entire program from scratch with almost no support. And I succeeded. So they took my program and the databases I built from scratch and replicated them throughout the company. Then laid me off.

    I found another job. Better paying, with great opportunities in front of me. Nine interviews and discovering that I would be the third person in that job in the past year (the position had only been created a year ago) should have been red flags. But I needed the income, I thought I could succeed where everyone else had failed.

    I failed. I learned more.

    In this economy, I now believe you have two paths: Be a technician with a very narrow scope and work for someone, or create your own path (and plan to hire technicians when you can). It’s increasingly clear to me that I’m someone who needs to create my own path.

    Now the question is, what path? With adult bills and a family to support, how do I find (or create) an opportunity in time?

    The world is in turmoil. The economy has undergone a massive change that few people recognize or are ready for. I hope your new path works out for you, but I’ve followed you long enough to know that even if it didn’t, you’d quickly create another path. Good luck!

    • Sarah says:

      Brandon–It’s taken me far too long to respond to comments! It was an insane week writing, hustling, moving, and shifting.

      Thank you so much for giving a peek inside of your layered history and all of the stories you shared. I find experience (even repeated rough ones) softens our edges and gives us the real meat of life–the things we talk about in the future, the lessons we glean. I hope you’re able to glean wisdom and build character (as Bill Watterson would say) through all of the ups and downs.

      Keeping up with the shifting economy and understanding what the next moves are as everything continues to change is so hard. Best of luck to you! Thank you for your comments and conversation, SKP

  2. Clare says:

    Whoa Sarah. Just whoa. Awesome post. Kudos.

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you so much, Clare! Your wisdom and writing inspires me as well. It’s always fun to see you and what you’re working on.

  3. Sabrina says:

    Sarah –

    This is such a great post. In more ways than the writing, it’s the storytelling – I can feel what you’re going through and I’ve never walked in your shoes.

    What an exciting time and I’m looking forward to hearing more about this next chapter in your life.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Sabrina!

      It’s been so great chatting with you here and on twitter and a few other places–thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve got a LOT more stories to share and it makes me so happy that sharing them helps others–through the stories, ideas, words, and lessons.

      Thanks for being here. It means a lot to me.

      Big hugs,
      Sarah

  4. Jared Taylor says:

    This is a beautiful post, Sarah. Thank you for opening up to us – I know it’s not easy.

    I, too, am getting close to jumping, though I don’t know where or how yet. I admire you for taking the leap. I’m right behind you :)

    • Sarah says:

      Jared–thank you so much for sharing and being here. In my journey, it took a while–I knew I was going to jump, but I had to put together the pieces, save money, and finish a few projects–so it took me longer than I thought. It was well worth the wait, and I’m so excited to be experimenting, even if it’s terrifying!

  5. Ann says:

    Sarah,

    First time that I’m commenting on your blog; although I’m an avid reader.

    Something in this one, really got to me. The last year has been for me one of struggle, restructuring and rethinking life and myself in it. Dealing with health issues, making choices about work and relationships, going against what people around you suggest as the best thing to do…

    It all came back with reading this…

    I especially had to smile when you are saying ” I get really stressed out and I want to throw things against walls and I make hyperactive sets of lists and then I feel like a complete failure when I’ve only done one or two things on my list.” I’ve done that too :) funny how similar people are (even when living on the other side of the world).

    Enjoy the fear of change! When you look back at it, it will be absolutely worth it!

    Looking forward to future blog posts!

    • Sarah says:

      Ann –

      Thanks so much for commenting and stepping out from the quiet that is the room of readers I don’t know about! I’m so grateful to have you here and I love hearing from people.

      I’m so excited about all the changes ahead. I write because I hope, somehow, to be able to capture all those strange, wacky, and terrifying bits and share them with other people to encourage them to start, to try, to DO things. (Also, I love writing).

      Hope to see you around here more soon!

  6. Prescott says:

    As Ann stated earlier this is my first comment though I have been an avid reader of your work for over a year. Through your words, I feel as I have been your life long friend and you are sharing your inmost fears and successes with only me. You have a gift for connecting with people and never stop sharing with us!

    My own life over the last several years has been similar to the ebb and flow of the ocean, two years ago I completed my licensing exams, the company I was working for at that time was bought out by a large international conglomerate. My role and responsibilities changed as we lost control of the company to the new regime. During this time I realized being in a office working on projects was not my passion. It clarified my passion was working with youth, engaging and teaching them about architecture and urban planning. I started taking class in urban planning and the following year I enrolled into graduate school for Urban Planning at the age of 39 and fifteen years from when I last left higher education.

    It has been a reinvigorating experience of being back in school and learning and connecting with my amazing classmates and professors. I spent the last year attending graduate school part-time and working full-time. At the end of 2012 I left my employer of 13 years to move over to what seemed to be a good opportunity, which lasted three months. As is turned out my mother would end up passing a month and half later and not having employment allowed me to take care of many of her affairs. Additionally, I was asked to led a Youth Architecture program with a very well known local college and I was accepted to speak at a International Social Justice and Planning conference in Brooklyn in June. The conference reaffirmed my movement of becoming a teacher, activist and advocate for youth and the environment was an important and needed in our society and particularly in my adopted home of Oakland,CA.

    This past summer I developed a proposal for a large youth ran urban garden in Oakland, taught three youth architecture and urban planning camps focused on community and sustainability, took and passed with an A an intensive GIS class, spoke and attended at an Institute which focuses on teaching schools and cities how to engage youth in planning & policy making.

    If I had not had the guts to leave my comfortable but boring role of thirteen years, to end up not having a job three months later, to mourning and still dealing with the passing of my mother…. to the most learning and growth in my life over the last five months, was because I was able to confront my fear of change. I achieved this strength through friends, family, mentors, myself and your writings.

    Thank you for sharing and encourage all us to make change,change is slow, but if you combine hard work, passion and many sleepless nights you can be on your way to success. You are not on your way to success you are in it, the next question is what is the next step and success?

    • Sarah says:

      Prescott–

      Thank you so much for being here, and for taking the leap and leaving a note! Your message made me smile. It’s so wonderful to hear the stories about your journey of strength–I love what you’re doing in the urban scene and think your ability to adapt, change, and carry on to create beautiful work in the world is admirable.

      All the best–
      Sarah

  7. […] called my bluff.  In my pre-blog-post-writing-procrastination ritual, I stumbled across her post Jumping is terrifying.  It is meandering and vulnerable and deliriously beautiful.  I know her.  I am her. […]

  8. Catherine says:

    Sarah, I was so inspired by this post that I had to write a post of my own in response: http://131313sketchbookproject.com/2013/08/29/revealing-the-super-intimate-details-vomits/

    “This is not the post I was planning to write today. In fact, I was thinking of writing a pretty esoteric post about artists-who-focus-on-systems-rather-than-on-individuals. But Sarah K. Peck called my bluff. In my pre-blog-post-writing-procrastination ritual, I stumbled across her post Jumping is terrifying… And after reading Sarah’s post, I don’t want to write a post about artists or systems or any other thing that will make me feel “productive” or like I created something of “value” for you. I am going to honor this place, this sparse amalgamation of concrete floors and uncomfortable furniture and moths, with one more post about vulnerability. Because that is what this place has been for me — a constant experiment in how to be more honest and more open. And good God, this might be the hardest post yet.”

    :) THANK YOU for inspiring this terrifying slew of revelations!

  9. […] Or, in a more positive spin, via my friend and doer of things, Sarah Peck: […]

  10. Ian says:

    Wow Sarah, continuing to hit the nail on the head when it comes to doing things, working, living and otherwise being.

    I feel as though I’ve been standing on the cliff’s edge for awhile now. Perhaps standing on the side of a bridge is a better analogy; do I continue to attempt to cross the bridge through heavy traffic and congestion- the traditional path for my field- or do I leap over the side and attempt something new, swimming to a new shore once I land in the water? Or can I get a bicycle and nimbly and adroitly work my way through the traffic by unconventional means? I still don’t have the answer, but I am moving forward and making more decisions, asking people more things. I don’t know that it’ll lead anywhere, but moving feels good. Will I leap? Not sure, but your post here helps me to know that 1. people do leap and survive and 2. It can be done!

    Did I just tell a mini story there with (somewhat) vivid imagery? One thing I did was leap and took your first writer’s workshop (I think it paid off and was completely worth it! So glad I could participate and see all the talented writers who were a part of it). I’m even attempting to write a fictional story this summer that I’ll probably put up on my blog.

    i’ve been pushing myself to try new things as well though still in the narrow path of my work. I’m slowly showing more vulnerability, trying to build better habits and be more generous with people. I’m vacationing in a place I’m not very familiar next week, but will be doing one activity that is familiar: running (the place I’m visiting this weekend is San Francisco actually- I traditionally vacation in the Pacific NW, and wanted someplace somewhat similar ,but also foreign to me to explore. I am staying with complete strangers to me too; something completely new and different for me. I will then fly to Portland, OR to see friends, visit my alma Mater in Salem, OR & visit professors, etc. and run another 5k). Adventure complete!

    I need to get back to work now, but couldn’t help but comment on this post; I am grateful to you for your writing, stories and lists of things you read. Cheers and look forward to hearing about more of your adventures!

    • Sarah says:

      Ian — I am so proud of you and all the leaps you are taking. Each year you’re going to look back and say to yourself, “wow, I did that?” and then “yes! I did all of that!” You are on an incredible journey and I’m so impressed by your ability to keep pushing, experimenting, and trying new things. It’s full of bravery and honesty. Well done.

  11. Sarah, that was a fantastic article, beautifully written, with a lot of heart and soul. Thank you for that.

    I breathe,
    Josh Lipovetsky

  12. I wondered if something like this was afoot! I think I recognized the fingerprints having leapt into the clear unknown last December. Eight months in now, I have experienced many things, slowed down, tried new angles and had time to write and think. It is a hard thing to explain isn’t it?

    I read this and nodded. The best roads are discovered one step at a time. With all the glory and momentary terror’s that come with them. So, I guess it is simply “congratulations” on this new chapter.

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you, Shelby! It has been a winding road and it’s still unfolding. Can’t wait to share more of it!

  13. […] her recent post, Sarah opens up with a human, relatable story that sums up exactly why you should listen to this […]

  14. Lorena says:

    Sarah-
    Thank-you. Thank-you. And once again thank-you. I feel like I’m right there with you- I’m in the same space- both with developing my blog, my business and my place in the world. And more than ever I’m totally unsure where it is going and even more sure than ever that I’m on the right path- a path that resonates deeply inside of me- and is so much less based on what it looks like on the outside. Be well sister.

  15. Katie says:

    Wow. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your journey. Like all of the comments above, I’m also in the same place with life, blog, work, and body. This was one of the best posts I’ve read in a LONG time and I’m saving it to return to when I feel down and alone in my own journey.

    You have a true gift in opening up and sharing through writing and I look forward to reading more about your journey along the way.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Katie! Thanks so much for being here and for sharing your journey. I find more and more that it’s always some form of transition happening–have you read “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron? Such a beautiful book about the journey and what the current events in life have to teach us.

      Hope you’re well, and thank you for leaving a note! It means so much to me.

  16. […] One of the best posts I’ve read in awhile. Beautiful, heartfelt post on change and courage. […]

  17. […] scary. Sarah captures it well; the fear of jumping & hoping that there will be somewhere soft-ish to land. […]

  18. Zineb says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories. You write very beautifully, and my favorite line was “We are more than the work we create and the products we produce (..)” I related to a lot of what you have been talking about. I am still a student, and it has always been hard for me to make the right career choices.

    Reading your post helped me connect with myself and find out more about what I really want. It was wonderfully inspiring and interesting :)

    I am glad that I found your blog, and I hope that I will find enough time to read all of your posts !

    Zineb

  19. […] ‘finding my voice’ is a work in progress. I refer back to posts by James Altucher, Carol Tice, Sarah Kathleen Peck, Jeff Goins, Corbett, Caleb, and Chase at Fizzle, and many more I find daily to try new methods and […]

  20. […] been an incredible year of change for me, and the year isn’t over yet. As I transition from traditional employment to building my own […]

  21. […] nervous, awkward girl from my teens and I wonder if I’m really capable of the vast amounts of responsibility and increasing autonomy in front of me. I won’t lie: sometimes I’m scared shitless by what there is ahead of […]

  22. […] I am also  happy  that Clare has moved to New York and Sarah taking the plunge and becoming a solopreneur […]

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