Leaving the Dynamite Behind (Noel Rozny)

Ouch. That’s going to hurt.

That was my first reaction after I did some emotional stock-taking during the reverb10 writing project last winter, and realized I had some ugly personal demons that needed wrestling with.

Ouch. That’s going to hurt. A lot.

I knew the process wasn’t going to be quick or pretty. I knew it was going to take time. I knew there weren’t going to be any fast answers. Sifting through the landscape of your own mind can be like trying to excavate a dinosaur.

I think deep down inside I’ve known this house cleaning was necessary, but in the past, that is where I would balk. I don’t shy away from the grueling, the challenging, or the stressful. But when it comes to the painful, especially emotionally painful hurdles, I can be avoidant. I can spend my days under the haze of rose-colored glasses, humming happily away while the world crumbles under my feet.

And then suddenly I’m left standing there, balancing on one toe. Wondering what the heck happened. Caught in the same unnecessary cycles because I wasn’t paying attention.

And by then, the situation would be so dire that it called for major demolition and repair. Wrecking balls, fork lifts, welding machines. These times call for tools of a violent kind. And afterwards, things would appear to be fixed. Until that same issue would poke its head up from the ground like a gopher. And the cycle starts again.

The point of reverb10, in case you haven’t had a chance to participate (which I highly recommend), is to reflect over the course of your year during the month of December. And in writing about my year every day for a month, I finally recognized the face of those cycles, those nasty skeletons in my closet. Like I said, I think I always knew they had been there. It’s just maybe that I didn’t know exactly what they looked like.

But now I did. Now I had no excuse. I could put my rose-colored glasses back on and pretend I hadn’t seen them. Pretend that they were just an illusion in the mirror. Or I could get over them and move on with my life.

Ouch, this is going to hurt. But I guess I’ll find a way to figure get though it.

I wasn’t sure how to get started, and so I prepared those tools from the past, the only ones I had, the ones that just demolished everything so I could start over with a clean slate. But lately I’ve learned that the things we must overcome don’t have to be approached so aggressively. They don’t always require dynamite or machetes. There are tools of a gentler sort that work just as well, without as much effort.

Instead of blowing a hole through the roadblocks standing in my way, I can build a bridge, one step at a time, up the top until I’m safely on the other side.

 Blogger Bio

Noël Rozny is a web editor and content manager who loves hot yoga, the written word, and all things social media. By day, she writes and edits the career and education blog, myPathfinder. By night, she works on freelance projects and her blog, frenchchristmas. Find her on Twitter @noelrozny.

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19 thoughts on “Leaving the Dynamite Behind (Noel Rozny)

  1. Beautiful, Noel! It’s the scariest thing to look inward because, all too often, we’re not going to like what we see. I’m totally speaking from experience here.

    But the thing is…when you make that effort, not only do you find your flaws, but you find your strengths as well.

  2. I once wrote a poem called “If Ever There Was Silence”, and the pivotal line was,

    “If ever there was silence, I would flee.
    For the only man I truly fear…is me.”

    Sometimes the taking stock inwardly is scary because of what you may find there. Other times, because of what you may find is NOT there.

  3. @Susan and @Ty–thanks for your comments! I could not agree more. I like to pretend that everything inside my head and heart are all pretty, neat, and organized. This is unfortunately not the case, as I’m learning. :) There are some pretty big deficiencies that need to be filled.

  4. Hi Noël – one of the greatest blesssings of participating in Reverb10 was meeting you and other fellow bloggers. It was an emotional, sometimes painful and inspiring experience. Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. Oh, the journey inward is indeed scary and up lifting. With each step of that journey…. as the pain and hurt subsides….. we become open to our true selves and passions.

  6. I am thrilled to hear about the bridges that you are building.

    I had a similar experience with #reverb10 — almost in reverse. It came at a time in my life when nothing felt particularly bright or sparkly, and it made me remember the bright moments and think about how to replicate them. In some ways, it was a way of fending off the ‘black dog’. As such, it was a very valuable process for me and I’d recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.

    The community it fostered has by far been the best aspect of it and I will forever be grateful to #reverb10 for bringing you into my life.

  7. @stephanie–I don’t know what to say, other than thank you!! Which seems inadequate. I’m glad it resonated — I know I am so relieved to find a post that hits home when I’m struggling with something. It’s like a little oasis in the storm. GOOD LUCK with those conversations! :)

  8. Yes, yes, yes. YES. This is exactly what it feels like, and so well said. I think one of the best things about Reverb10 was the community of other people who were struggling–it’s one thing to write easy reflections, but the ones that struck me most were written by people who chose to dig deeper and come out optimistic at the end. Brava.

  9. Reverb was fabulous in that way, and Noel’s journey mimics my own throughout life as you question, learn, take apart, rebuild and contend with all those parts of yourself that might seem unsavoury. But owning them is the first step toward authenticity.
    thank you Noel for such a lovely post!

  10. I love the bridge metaphor and I love reverbing. I was surprised to see how much I said I had wanted to do I am doing and now… I am switching gears a little and it isn’t even June yet! LOL

    Grateful to continue reading you and look forward, even now, to Reverb11.

  11. @Shannon, @Dragonfly, @Roxanne–Sorry! I don’t know how, but for some reason I am just seeing your comments now.

    @Shannon–I so agree. It was all the things you said all at once, just like life. :) I am so happy to have met you, and to have your beautiful writing in my life when I need inspiration!

    @Dragonfly–That’s what I need to remember: the pain and the hurt does subside. Thank you for reminding me. :)

    @Roxanne–I love that image of “fending off the black dog!!” So perfect. And I’m so happy and honored to have YOU in my life! :)

  12. @Kim–I couldn’t agree with you more!! Growing, changing and evolving is so necessary but so hard. Having a community to go through it with you made it easier and, for me, more meaningful also. Sort of like how the energy of a yoga or cardio class can lift you up just as your muscles are about to give out on you!!

  13. @Mehnaz–This: “But owning them is the first step toward authenticity.” is so perfect. Owning the demons has been the hardest part for me, since I like to think/pretend/imagine that I could be perfect somehow. You’re so right: owning them is the first part of the journey to our true selves. Thank you for starting this series and allowing me to participate. I feel honored to be among such amazing writers, and ever time I have the chance to post on these issues I feel as though I am one step further down the path.

  14. @Julia–I know, right??? I really thought it would be this nice, tidy, end-of-the-year exercise. I had no idea the tremors and vibrations it would send into my life …. but I am loving every second of it. And I’m so glad the amazing relationships and friendships made there continue! Such an unexpected blessing. :)

  15. I am so blessed to have found such a community of support and friendship through reverb1o & through Twitter. I am grateful to have found people like you. I am challenged daily to be open to the wider world…one I had never imagined for myself.

    You have been so kind over the past several months and I am so happy to “know” you!

  16. This post is stunning, Noel.

    And the comments? Well, it’s the Reverb community that makes every moment and ounce of heart we pour into Reverb absolutely worth it.

    Thanks, all, for helping grow, nurture & transform this community.

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