December 27, 2012

On Years That Just Go By…

It was somewhere around the middle of November 2011, when I laid on the floor with my face buried in an old sweatshirt and cried angry, salty, stinging, bitter tears.

They ran down my face without apology, and with each crashing drop I felt the weight on my shoulders growing heavier.

I was stuck. I was frustrated. I was furious at myself for not doing more…and being more…and having more to show for the year behind me that was so quickly fading away.

I was tired. Tired of watching somebody else chase every one of my dreams. Tired of watching other people do what I wanted to do, and do it better. They were out there getting it done. Making each and every one of their dreams happen, like some golden to-do list that they were just marching their way through like an invading army . And I was on the floor crying into an old sweatshirt.

I felt the impending downward spiral of the ugly, ugly comparison monster coming on, and in that moment I just let go and let it wash over me in waves. I told myself a flurry of lies about how that would never be me. I listed out all the things I would never be able to do, so what was the point in even bothering at all. And I rocked the idea of just giving up altogether back and forth, as my sobs faded away into quiet tears.

It was a not very pretty moment in my life.

I felt jealous….and angry at myself for being jealous. I felt lost…and angry at myself for being lost. I felt like a failure….and I was angry at myself for failing.

But somewhere in the smoldering ashes of just giving up altogether, a spark started to take root.

It was somewhere on that hardwood floor with my face buried in an old sweatshirt that I started to realized two things: 1) I didn’t want to give up. Not really. Because I never ever ever wanted to be the person who just gave up without giving it one more try and 2) it wasn’t really that I was jealous of what other people had…it was just that them going out and chasing after their dreams was shining a big, bright, glaring spotlight on the fact that I wasn’t chasing mine.

And that right there was what really needed to change.

I had been stuck in this quicksand mire of just maintaining. A mountain of email and editing and doubt mixed in with fear. And I was so busy spinning myself in circles that I hadn’t moved forward at all. And there was one thing right then that I knew for certain: I didn’t want to find myself at the end of 2012 realizing that yet another year had gone by and I was no closer to actually DOING something about those really big dreams that I had been dreaming. That another year had gone by, and I still hadn’t managed to pick myself up off the floor.

And so, we went to work. And we set about to make 2012 a game changer for us.

And I can tell you now with just a few days left to go….that it has been. In the past 12 months we have gotten to go places and do things that never in my WILDEST dreams did I imagine would be checked off this year. Just a few of my favorites have been teaching a workshop in Australia, writing The Guide, doing a shoot with a hot air balloon, giving away a trip to Disney to a deserving military family at our talk at WPPI, having our anniversary pictures taken by Jose (Freakin!!) Villa, speaking at the What If Conference, speaking at a women’s Christian Conference at Pursuit 31, and getting a whole chapter in the new Style Me Pretty book (more on that to come!).

But here’s the thing, it’s not really about us. Or what we’ve checked off of our list.

It’s about you and your list.

This is a post for any of you who are finding yourself on the proverbial (or maybe literal) hardwood floor with your face buried in an old sweatshirt. It’s for any of you who feel like you’re too busy spinning in circles to move yourself forward. It’s for anyone out there who is feeling like you’re looking back on 2012 and you don’t feel one step closer to chasing the really big dreams than you were this time last year.

And it’s for ALL of you who never want to feel this way again.

In January, Justin & I will be hitting the road in the Showit Tour Bus (along with a crew made of some of our closest friends) to go to 10 cities for the What’s Next Tour with one goal in mind: to help you sucker punch fear in the face. To make 2013 the year that’s looked back on as the game changer for you all. The year when you picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and decided to never give up without one more try. The year when you refused to stay within the safe comforts of average, when you chose to do the hard work that matters, and you got your hands dirty in the name of chasing a dream.

If you are ready to get up off that floor, we’re here to help you. If you’re ready to admit that “someday” isn’t a day you’ll ever find on the calendar, we’re here to help you make it happen. If you are tired of standing on the sidelines watching someone else chase every BIG dream you ever had, if you are tired of playing small, I will fight side by side with you as you carve out a next action plan. And then cheer like crazy when it actually happens.

Because here’s the thing, I don’t think the world needs more dreamers.

I think the world needs more dreamers who are actually getting it done.

We would be honored to have you join us.

***And as an extra push to do this for yourself, when you grab your seat today using the code “mytime” that will get you $50 off your ticket to both sessions!! You can grab your seats HERE!!

  1. Emily Lockard-Furry

    I CANNOT wait to see you in Dallas. I’ve been having these moments this year…seems like I’ve been living on the hardwood floor lately. Thank you for being a light in our world! :)

  2. Laura

    LOVE THIS! And needed to read this. See you in January. :-)

  3. jamie

    Even though I won’t be able to make it to the tour (living in Ore, come here!), I found this super encouraging and inspiring. It is so easy to get stuck as a bystander in dream chasing, and your illustration of laying on the floor with salty tears is something I have felt one too many times! I was just thinking of alll the things that have gone wrong this last year (of course with comparisons in the back of my mind as well…) Thank you so much for the reminder and motivation. xoxo

  4. MartaV

    This is pretty much where I have been for awhile. I am fighting like mad to keep going and push thru it. It definitely helps to know I am not the only one who is or has been there. Thanks for inspiring and being real.
    (BTW I love that you alway call him Jose (FREAKIN) Villa. That is pretty much how I say his name in my head too :) )

  5. Kristin

    Love this post. Love your heart. Love that a new beginning is on the horizon. Love that I will be seeing you soon in Dallas!!!

  6. Kristin

    Love this post. Love your heart. Love that a new beginning is on the horizon. Love that I will be seeing you soon in Dallas!!!

  7. spring

    man do i know this thought process: "I felt jealous….and angry at myself for being jealous. I felt lost…and angry at myself for being lost. I felt like a failure….and I was angry at myself for failing. " Can’t wait for What’s Next!!! XOXO

  8. Athena

    It’s so weird how your voice sounds so remarkably familiar to the quiet, persistent one in the back of my mind. This is a thousand percent me. And that part about being jealous, except not really? Yeah. Um. Holy heck, Mare, that basically You’re not coming to a city near me, but I’m desperately trying to get time off from the cube farm so I can come to a city ….uh….near you. exes and ohs and dear-sweet-christmastime-I-can’t-wait-to-hug-your-neck. xxo

  9. sharon elizabeth

    inspire…. that’s what you do.

  10. Isaac Stott

    This is perfect! Love how you are never afraid to be vulnerable, thank you.

  11. Jennifer

    So. Freakin. Stoked. To see you guys soon!! Because seriously, this is me frustrated at myself. 2013 is going to be so much more!! Can’t wait!

  12. Christa

    I often have these same angry/jealous feelings when I read these amazing blog posts by you Mary. I’m angry that I’m not writing something as good for my own readers when I know I can. Here’s to 2013 and the kick in the pants to be one of the dreamers who are actually getting it done!

  13. Carmaleta Ann

    two words… Thank You.

  14. Tiffani D.

    you simply have NO IDEA how timely this post was for me. Thank you.

  15. Kristin S.

    Thank you. And Amen. Amen, sister-friend. I am so ready to get off the floor. I hope to meet you in person some day and give you a hug.

  16. Naomi Figueroa

    This post is for me. SO exactly where I’m at. Thank you, for sharing honestly and continuing to push yourself and to give back to the community.

  17. Jamilla

    The timing of this post is incredible. This is what I needed to hear at this moment. Yes, I am in that cry on the floor state. That point where you don’t know if you should just throw it all away. This post is giving me to courage, that this dream is still real for me! Oh how I wish I had the money to go to this. Here is to hoping I can find it in time to go, if not I am sure you two will rock the house!

  18. Jennifer Hejna

    dear mary I just read this post now and it speaks right out of my soul – I got so fired up from your workshop in Holland and I started changing things immediately but still will that make the things change that need to change this year ? It is the fear that hunts me when I go to sleep and that welcomes me when I stand up the next morning. I would have loved to attend the whats next tour to find a way to kick that fear and finally chase my dreams and do the right things to make 2013 the best year ever

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