The hardest thing I’ve ever done

“I don’t belong here. I don’t belong here.” That’s the unfortunate mantra I find myself repeating as I skate these days. Two practices into my New Girl training, and I’m feeling humbled and embarrassed and…all sorts of emotions. All the feels. I myself in tears at the end of a drill last night.

My classmates are amazing, strong, smart women. They fight through our drills like nobody’s business. And while I have yet to quit in the middle of an exercise, man, have I wanted to. I’m painfully slow compared to them all. Definitely not as agile. Certainly not as confident. I don’t want my low skill level to bring down the quality of our practices.

Will this experience be an awesome exercise in maturity and toughness, or will I end up with my self-esteem even lower? When I’m away from the rink, I think the former. When I’m struggling to keep up with the pack, skating a bad line just to stay out of the way, I’m convinced it’s the latter.

So what would feel worse? Quitting or sticking with it and not succeeding?

As low as my confidence tends to be, I think quitting would feel worse. I’ve never done anything like this. The experiences I have are going to be eye-openers, for sure. I’m excited about them, but still a bit scared.

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New Girl!

Sunday of this week was a lovely day. Not too warm. I spent most of the day sitting on my sun porch, reading the NYT, knitting, playing Words With Friends. Lizards frolicked in my trees and on my patio.

I was enjoying the feeling of my ass on my chair when my phone rang. A number I didn’t know. Huh. I answered.

“Hi, this is Mouse. You’re going to want to clear your calendar for the next month. You made TXRD New Girl!”

I managed not to shriek, tho Mr. Fab figured out pretty quick that something big was up. I’d tried out the day before with no expectations – I was doing it for the experience. But it went surprisingly well for me. I performed every skill – some better than others – and did it in a respectable time. 

So. I’m a New Girl. I’m not sure what to expect next – I’ll find out more this week – but I’m not scared. I’m glad that, even at my age, I can still be tickled and excited by things that happen in my life. 

I’m eager to see what I can do.

The morning world

For the first 12 years of my professional life, I worked a 3 p.m.-11 p.m. shift (or something thereabouts. I’d rather not talk about the 8 p.m.-4 a.m. or 4 p.m.-2 a.m. stints I pulled). The rhythm of my days was decidedly different from that of a lot of my friends. I’d run errands while they worked. While I worked, they’d attend concerts and parties or go out for cocktails.

For many years, I barely even awoke by noon. I missed the morning world (I took mostly morning classes in college).

When my career changed two years ago, I was more than ready to end the night shifts. The shift to dayside employment brought its own challenges. Now I had to fight the crowds in the grocery store in the evening or on weekends instead of being able to shop during the day. I had evenings free, finally, but found myself tired from getting up early and working all day.

Since we moved into our house in January, my commute’s more than doubled – and for the first time, I have to make that commute when everyone else is doing it. I don’t dig traffic, and Austin is full of that.

I do love waking up with most of the world, though. I see the same cars most mornings. Moving vans from Unicorn. Legend Lighting trucks. Tradespeople in vans going about their days. Landscaping crews. School buses and school zones, flashing lights and all.

Sometimes I miss having the grocery store to myself. I miss my career as a journalist. Rediscovering the morning world has helped me make the best of it.