Yesterday I was feeling pretty, and so I snapped a selfie only to notice that my hair looked long. Well … longER. I’ve been trying to grow my hair for a few years and it’s been anything but quick. I posted the pic on Facebook – feeling a little odd about doing so as I have a sort of like-hate relationship with the platform and especially with its TMI tendencies. But up the photo went with a report about my progress and a day later it has more than 80 likes.
The fact that I sometimes post my writing, such as this, and garner a single “like” can sting. I’ve bared anxieties and depressions, stinging doubts and moments of joy. Put any of that side by side with kittens or – it turns out – hair growth, and the differing reactions make me glum about the state of our brains and hearts.
On further reflection, though, I think there may be more to all of the thumbs up and hearts I received yesterday. There was something happening beyond friends being kind and Zuckerberg’s mysterious algorithms. Instead, I think it was a vote for progress.
We are at this weird juncture in our history where change is hyper fast, and yet we seem to be going backwards in some areas (hello, Britain!) or perniciously stuck in broken systems (good day public education!). It can be easy to feel that actual change – especially change that doesn’t involve nanos and gigabytes – is out of reach.
This spring I wrote about my very loud Not Enough Voice and the less obvious ways she shows up in my life, such as through impatience and doubt. I revisited those various voices in my journal last night, considering where each is now after several weeks of some pretty intense inner shifting. And though I cannot measure any of them like a standardized test, or even like the length of my hair, I am sure that there has been movement. Some of the voices have softened considerably. Others are hard to even find at the moment, as though they took a trip for awhile and are considering renting a condo closer to the equator. And – sigh – yes, a few of them continue to stick around, stubbornly hoping to keep squashing the beauty that is blooming with or without them.
This kind of movement is occurring all of the time!! It is specially occurring when we are consciously choosing to dance with ourselves. I mean if you don’t drop the needle and play the damn record already , if you don’t get yourself out on the floor then there can be no waltz or foxtrot, no nae nae and definitely no tango. There will only be you sitting and looking at the dance floor with longing.
It’s so damn easy to miss the change if we don’t PAUSE and NOTICE: Where am I now? Don’t pause and ask, “How messed up was I two weeks ago?” Don’t sit yourself down with your journal and ponder, “Where do I want to be in September?” Ask yourself right now: “Where am I?”
As the answer to that question unfurls, there will be an inkling – or maybe more like a full-body AHA! – that, yes, something has shifted. I am not where I was two weeks ago. And though I have feelings of where I’d like to be in the future, I can now feel that it’s possible to move in that direction. Dance toward it without any expectations. Just dance.