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In My Own Time

For a long time now, I've been a "slow learner." I know that phrase has some negative connotations, but I mean it. It takes me a long time to make changes for myself and to my routine. I need lots of preparation, I like to think things through, and I tend to avoid for a while. I've been in talk therapy for about 11 years, but I honestly believe I haven't really been ready to make significant changes in my life until the last two years or so. I am a great procrastinator, but I'm also very, very slow to accept changes. My therapist has encouraged me to "re-frame" the language I use around this part of myself. She suggests that "slow learner" is too negative. I'm embracing it, though, because I think it is the most accurate way to describe how I move. I am slow.

Pushing myself to take this road trip has been an exercise in moving faster than I'd like. Originally, I'd planned to take this trip during my 40th year. When things got moved up by 12 months, I realized I'd have to get comfortable with a lot of things much faster than I'd anticipated. Like driving an RV and camping and solo travel and saying goodbye to my dog and packing up my house and figuring out how to work non-traditionally and on and on. I've definitely been avoiding most of those things. I still haven't driven an RV. I have done no practice camping. I cried yesterday thinking about saying goodbye to my dog for a year. I am moving at my normal pace but time is ticking away...and it's running out.

Mostly, I'm working to finish out the school year. Once I am through with work, I will be forced to face some of these things because, frankly, my days will be otherwise empty. I booked a room for a beach vacation and made plans for a wedding in the early fall. Those are the extent of my summertime plans so far, so I have the time to get moving. I dread it, but I have it.

It probably seems incongruous to want something and yet dread doing it. That's the story of my life. Most of what I've wanted has instilled a terrible dread in me. It's why I so often don't get what I want...I avoid doing anything about it until it becomes impossible. Now, though, I've set myself up to make things happen: I've been public and honest and I don't have room to avoid.

I've had to kick my slow learning into high gear. Or, I guess, I will kick my slow learning into high gear. But first, let me just finish the last few episodes of New Girl, mop the kitchen floor, plan a lesson or two, and snuggle with the dog for a while.

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