Months ago, I attended a virtual "Best Friends BBQ" with two of my role models, Alicia "ACE" Easter and Jennifer Pastiloff. As we discussed what we were cultivating in our lives at the time, I leaned on a word I also used in the tagline of my memoir: tenacity. In that moment, Jen Pastiloff (whose "On Being Human" workshop changed my life) dubbed me Tenacious C.
I posted a picture this week on social media for #tuesdaytransformation that showed me at a party years ago in Phoenix and me in January, side by side. I included in the caption that the woman on the left gave up too easily. I've been sitting with that comment in the days since, and realizing just how true that statement rings.
I gave up on sobriety at least 100 times before it stuck.
I started and subsequently quit multiple fitness challenges.
I abandoned hobbies I couldn't master immediately.
I can't be too hard on myself. There are plenty of things I saw to the finish line including, quite literally, the half marathon I ran in 2014. I think back to how often I hiked over the course of the four years I lived in Phoenix. Plenty of nine mile trails completed. I set an intention to become a buyer by age 30 and I achieved that, even though I never could propel myself to the next level in that career path. I understand now that it was never meant for me. As we say in recovery, God was doing for me what I couldn't do for myself.
When it comes to recovery, however, and my transformation in the years following, I can see how living my life one day at a time helped cultivate patience. I couldn't quit before the magic happened. And it did.
Now, as impatient as I may become over bringing dreams to life, I don't give up. My ambition ebbs and flows (this past winter was particularly rough), but I stay the course, always. My husband and I took raw land and turned it into a working hobby farm. I spent two years writing the memoir I self-published last August to incredible praise. I started a retreat dream in 2020 and will offer my first event this fall. I also prioritize. I have far more ideas than time, so if something falls off the radar, it is not meant to be, at least not in this season.
It's impossible not to credit my sobriety journey for my tenacity and willpower. At the same time, it's also impossible to extricate some of the other events unfolding in my life over those same years. My relationship with my husband began in 2014...in a bar, no less. Learning how to plan and execute farm projects from a man who is driven by hard work empowers me. My yoga journey began in 2015, three years before I would stop drinking. The implementation of "off the mat" lessons in the BMS Studio generate a level of personal growth I didn't find in recovery meetings.
If God has been doing for me what I couldn't do for myself, I've been given some pretty powerful tools over the last decade...not to meant the grit and grace genetically bestowed upon me.
Tenacious C. It has a nice ring to it. I think Jack Black would be amused.