The promise of something a little raunchier decorating the typical sunshine and kittens MamaMick post grabbed you for a bit, right?
Even if you didn’t play the video, you recognize the scene from “When Harry met Sally” where Sally convincingly fakes a public orgasm.
Sorry to disappoint. This post is not about sex (not really), not about orgasms (nope!) and nothing fake (definitely not!). This is the second post in the series People who inspire me and it’s about a personal friend of mine who actually resembles Meg Ryan–you need to hear her story.
Susanne is a long-time friend and co-worker who lives several cold states away in a different time zone. She’s the one who has talked me down off the ledge too many times to count and I’ve done the same for her. Long before the words graced every internet meme or outgoing e-mail signature, she introduced our close-knit team to the phrase, “Keep Calm and Carry On” followed quickly by, “Keep Calm and Break S%^t!”
Our team had heard about Susanne before meeting her. As we were all entering into a new job role in parallel geographies, she was struck with a brain aneurysm soon after giving birth to her twins. We’d bonded before meeting because I couldn’t quit thinking about her, worrying about her and wondering what her babies were doing at home while mama was in ICU. Happy story short, she recovered, returned to work and mothering double time and a half. Susanne is a healthy and amazing mom to four kiddos under the age of 12 and happily married 20 years to her hot husband.
Susanne would never describe herself as anyone special or interesting. Humble to a fault, she exudes grace, intelligence, calm and professionalism–a full meal deal that’s difficult to find in our cutthroat industry.
But, at the end of last year and beginning of this one, something happened.
Something good. The conservative, warm and loving woman I’ve known went Princess Leia on me! For the first time, she was letting the world finally see the Susanne I’ve always known was there. Her words, her contributions, her actions all smacked ass of confidence, purposeful vulnerability and authenticity. She has become the poster child for “showing up and being seen.”
And I’m totally stealing her thunder.
What prompted this post was a couple of text messages and e-mails she sent to me sharing the metamorphosis she was experiencing. An evolution she was imposing, creating and causing. She’d been working on her Vision Board, buying tickets to see her new favorite band (The 1975) and getting called cute by hot guys at the mall (she was in piggy tails, duh!)
When she sent me her Facebook post, it all made sense:
January 1,2014. There was a knock at my door. I answered it and to my surprise, there she was, my midlife crisis!
She was standing there with arms open wide offering a soft shoulder to cry on. I went willingly to her and we spent 4 glorious days together in my bed before my husband so rudely interrupted us asking if I was coming back to the land of the living.
I begrudgingly got out of bed and decided that 2014 will be my year of “YES”. Saying yes to new adventures/opportunities first then worry about the details later. So far so good!
My midlife crisis is still here, we’ve shared some good and not so good moments of hashing and rehashing my past, present and future and I’m not sure how long she plans on staying but in many ways I’m grateful she came to visit, even though she didn’t need to bitch slap me so hard.
I’m awake now and ready for my year of YES! Bring it on!
Knowing this was my chance to grab blog content, I quickly asked her for the following and received the positive responses:
- Feature of her paragraph on my blog (YES!)
- A picture of her vision board (YES!)
- A picture of her son’s vision board (YES!)
- A picture of her beautiful face (okay, well…Yes, since I’m supposed to say yes)
Susanne’s words, vision board and bravery gave me the platform I’d been looking for to address the often unseen chronic disease that invades a person, a marriage, or a family without warning.
Forever a Brene’ Brown disciple, I took a quote from her book Wholehearted: Adventures in Growing Up, Falling Apart and Finding Joy by Brene’ Brown
“Midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. The time has come to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.”
Midlife: When the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you “I’m not f-ing around, use the gifts you were given”
For the friends and family of Susanne reading this, she wanted to assure everyone that “saying yes and figuring it out later” does not mean you’ll see her engaging in risky behavior like drugs, random hook-ups or adopting a new litter of puppies.
Special thanks to Susanne for letting me share this with you. It’s only a glimpse into the awesome woman she really is. She has the bravery to let her voice be heard when it would be easier and less scary to squash it down, stay obedient and be forever silent and safe.
Let’s crash that party and kick some midlife butt!