Thanks to @LittleRedElf

Photo by @LittleRedElf

If you had asked me whether I felt there were times in my life that I retreated into my shell, I would have probably laughed at you.  Those who have known me for awhile wouldn’t have laughed with me.

I am an extrovert, I have literally had my husband tell me that I needed to go networking because I’d spent too much time in task mode and hadn’t had enough interaction.

I have definitely gone through periods where I adhered closely to the belief that if you aren’t fit for human consumption, you should probably stay home.

I just never thought of it as a turtle shell, until the last 2 months.

When I started writing, I was warned that it would be painful and difficult. I actually laughed and said, I’ve been to therapy 3 times, I’ve had and professional coaches, and I’ve been to countless personal development workshops.  I could handle writing my story and what I’ve learned.

Um, yeah, pride goes before the fall.

I started realizing I had a turtle shell when loud noises started scaring me.  Loud noises like people asking me how writing was going, or like people saying I really like reading your writing.  Noises like people liking, sharing and commenting on my posts.

Then I wrote a piece for my book that wasn’t published on the blog and it turned out that I ripped a band-aid off a big gnarly wound.
I snatched my head into my turtle shell so fast and so hard that I didn’t know what had happened.

I sort of stumbled through the next few weeks, thinking that I was being weird because I was stressed at work and with some volunteering I was doing.

It wasn’t until I got to World Domination Summit (#WDS2014) that I really recognized the turtle shell.  I had been looking forward to this since last October when I first heard about it.  World Domination Summit is a place for people that believe we need more community, service and adventure in our lives.

I got there and went to a few meet-ups and promptly got completely overwhelmed by the number of people that were dreaming big dreams, believing in other’s big dreams and willing to get very excited about whatever project you were working on.  Anything is possible and they were here proving that with effort and perseverance we could achieve our wildest dreams.

I continually pulled back, I retreated to Powell’s Bookstore one afternoon, I was barely peaking out of my turtle shell.  Me, extrovert, was overstimulated.  More than that, I didn’t EXPECT to be overwhelmed and overstimulated.  I felt completely unprepared for these feelings.

Partly because my husband was engaging full throttle, partly because I had a made an investment and a whole lot of grit and I showed up to everything I was scheduled to go to.  I didn’t talk to as many people as normal but I eventually found my sea legs.

Here’s what I learned in the process.

1. In this life you will experience hardship.  Unless you live deep in your comfort zone, never venturing out, you will have setbacks.

2. Every season and situation requires a different speed of traveling.  Sometimes we get to drive at 90 MPH, but sometimes 15 MPH is a better speed to ensure you actually make it to the destination.  Celebrate progress.

3. One really deep conversation where you get to share your whole heart is often more enriching than 17 different conversations that are 10 minutes long and only get to share a portion of your heart and dream.

I was blessed to be able to spend kick off party and closing party visiting with a friend from Northwest Arkansas and her daughter that now live in Portland.  It was like a life preserver in a deep ocean.

I had begun to seriously question the sanity of my quest to write this book.  I learned that most folks that have written a book have questioned their sanity and they kept at it.  Sometimes the very act of writing is just work.  I knew that in my head, but hopefully now it’s moved to my heart as well.

So thank you for your patience as I continue on the journey.  Sometimes at 90 MPH sometimes at 15  on a hairpin turn.

I appreciate your encouragement, your comments, your hugs and your presence.