The Call To Courage
To say that I am a big fan of Brene Brown is probably an understatement. Ironically enough, I came to own Daring Greatly because it had been one of the books that my, then boss, had given me to display on my office bookshelf. I had recently been hired on as his marketing director, and I was so thrilled to finally get my dream job. Absolutely stoked. I had worked my tail off to get to that role, and finally my dreams were coming true. I was going to be a big to-do!
Less than a year later I was packing up my desk with my husband on a weekend so no one saw me packing up the massive amount of stuff I decorated my office with. I was leaving the job that I had been so thrilled about only months prior. Downsizing they called it, a financial decision, but it was the first time I'd been let go. I was devastated, feeling like I was such a failure, and starting down a shame spiral that lasted for a few years. I was angry. My confidence, that I had very little of to begin with, shattered.
Little did I know that my husband had packed up some of the books on the shelf, thinking they were mine, and I ended up bringing home Daring Greatly. As I started my "job" of being unemployed, I needed something to distract me from the stress of online applications and the "where do I go from here?" fear. I went to my bookshelf, and I saw the words, "Daring Greatly," staring out at me. I felt compelled to pick it up.
When I read the inside flap, the first thing I saw was the quote from Theodore Roosevelt that inspired Brene to write the book.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly..who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."
I was in that arena. I had been kicked to the ground. I had blood pouring from open wounds on my face and body. I was feeling like everyone was pointing and laughing at me. "You'd thought you were a big shot! You'd thought you'd made it! Haha! You suck. You aren't good enough!"
I read the book quickly, consumed it really. It made me feel like someone understood what I was going through, and that it was okay. And though it wasn't an "ah ha" moment right from the start, it has helped me understand through the years that in order to be brave, you're going to try things and fail. And failure is not a reason to stop. If anything, it's more of a reason to keep going.
Fast forward a few years, and here I am.
Why all that back story? Well, today I decided to get serious about the secret dream that I've had for several years - to be my own boss. To start something creative that I can share with people that will bring joy and connection. To just begin.
I've been talking about it for a few months now to my family and friends. I've made some things, but I haven't really planned or thought about all the things besides product that goes into a business. I hadn't gone so far as to make a website or set up feelers for craft fairs I can attend. I was afraid to jump. Afraid to fail again, honestly. And now - though still afraid - I'm also super excited to own up to my dreams and just try.
As if I needed another sign, Brene Brown's recordered lecture on Netflix, "A Call To Courage," started airing on Netflix last night. I watched it this morning as I began my day with a cup of coffee. Her message really speaks to me. Be brave with your life. Do what you want to do. Because nobody wants to get to their last days on earth and wonder "what if?"
So what is The Enchanted Allee? Besides a clever play on my last name, it's a place where I go to feel connection. And I'm inviting others to visit this enchanted place with me, to connect with themselves and with others.
I don't have all the answers just yet. I don't have a mission statement or a business plan. I will, though. I just have a feeling right now. And that feeling is joy, enchantment and magic. Because anything is possible.