The Unknown: Scary and Freeing

Where to?  road_into_the_unknown_by_lowjacker

Hey reader!  Yeah, YOU!  Come take a ride with me.  Picture this: You and I decide to take a ride one day.  It’s approaching the beginning of the spring season, which happens to also be my favorite time of year, and it’s a beautiful day outside, kind of like how it was two Sundays ago in Columbia, MD.  The sun is shining bright and the weather is definitely Spring-like, providing a much needed break from heavy winter coats, scarves, gloves, and snow. You agree to take a ride with me and we hop into my 11 year old Honda.  You turn to me and say, “Where to my friend?  Where are we going?” to which I respond, “I have no idea,” and then smile brightly while starting the car.  Ok, so for some of you, that may be your cue to exit stage left and hop out the car, while others may say, “Bring it on.  Let’s GO!”  For me, probably 12 years ago, (ok just kidding, maybe closer to 2 or 3 years ago), I probably would have responded similarly to the former, but these days, I am leaning more towards the “Let’s Go” flow.  As a planner at heart, it is very hard for me to wrap my mind around doing something without having some sort of end goal in mind or a destination to reach. I am often bogged down by time constraints— deadlines I’ve personally set or a very rigid schedule with little to no wiggle room. This is usually along with a never ending task list—whether written on paper or in my “mental”—to follow and check off at the end of the day. Forgive me, but this is my way of feeling more accomplished.

“Let’s Go” flowDriving Down the Road

Yet, what I am learning these days as I step into more of who I was created to be is that I have a creative, “go with the moment” side. I am even more willing to forego the “need to know every detail before I start and what’s the end product” hat and just DO it—as Nike said years ago. I am slowly stepping out of the shoes of who I was supposed to be, who others thought I was, or even who I pretended to be in order to embrace the woman who: 1) does not have it altogether, 2) cries a lot more for the silliest and smallest, but most heartfelt things, 3) will readily admit that she does like to be asked, “How are you?” and really have someone genuinely listen without interrupting, and 4) is learning to be more vulnerable, and not just open and transparent (thanks Black Love and Errol!). I have begun uncovering the young woman, once buried under the pile of dirt called “life”, who used to hop in her car at a moment’s notice and literally just drive for hours at a time, with no destination in mind, because driving is just so relaxing.  She was never afraid to get lost and as a result, often discovered two or three new ways to get back home. This is the same woman who would decide within a day or two that she was going to Florida on a mini vacay with her bestie. She could also be found several years ago hopping in a car one Saturday afternoon with a packed bag and no particular destination in mind, but ending up in Philly and staying the night at a beautiful hotel—YES, by herself!

Freeing and scary



So I asked myself, what happened to this woman—who wasn’t so afraid of the unknown and who was once okay to say to her patients, “I really don’t have the answer for you, but I will do my best to find it”? Someone or something had presented her with Kool-Aid (insert your favorite flavor here _______) that tasted, “Oh so good!” but was laced with a particular formula that included, “You always have to know everything, figure everything out, know where you are headed at all times and prepare for the worst, months and even years in advance.” The truth is, she finally wised up, got sober and realized, sometimes the unknown is just that—UNKNOWN—and it’s okay. It is scary for a former planner—ok maybe not former, but a less “rigid” planner to go with the unknown, the uncertain. Yet, this approach is so freeing—more freedom to live my life with less pressure and simply embrace just “being”. No more worrying about how much time it was going to take me to get to my destination, what roadblocks and detours I may encounter along the way or what was going to happen next. Whatever that “next’ is, I can’t prevent it from happening nor can I avoid it. I have to believe that all things truly do work together for good—the good, the bad and the ugly things too. It is freeing to not have to figure it all out at once. Don’t get me wrong.  I am a strong proponent of being proactive and being ready for the obstacles and roadblocks that are coming because they will come. Yet, we can’t manage everything and sometimes, it is better to hop in the car without knowing the destination.  How many things would you NOT have accomplished or done if you had known the destination or where you would end up?  What things would you NOT have faced or overcome if you had known about the “journey” to the destination of a better, strong, more confident and grounded you?

Change positionsthe-scenic-route

In addition to just getting in the car, I have also changed positions and moved to the passenger seat.  I was never called to drive this car called “life”, but instead am called to a purpose beyond myself to be a willing passenger who trusts the ultimate Driver, the Holy Spirit. He knows where He is going and where He is leading me so it isn’t necessary for me to know. So while I am unsure of all that this journey entails in terms of the “what”, “when”, “where” or “how”, I am much more confident in the “Who” so those other things don’t matter as much.

You are welcome to join me on this journey.  The drive is sure to be bumpy, filled with some sharp turns, and no doubt some steep hills as well as valleys. Yet, it is also filled with beautiful scenes, smooth roads and rest stops along the way. I am confident of this one thing: that “He who begun this good work in me”, who invited me on this ride with Him, “is faithful to complete the work” and get me to my final destination safe and sound.  Next stop: Who knows?  Just enjoy the ride and you might as well learn and glean some things along the way.

Becoming More, Doing More, Living More 




About the author

Referred to as the “midwife of life coaching”, Coach Charlene has a passion for walking alongside women helping them to give birth to their dreams, goals, visions and ideas. She has over 13 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, coupled with 15 years of counseling individuals through career transitions, relationships, self-discovery, faith, goal-setting, and work-life balance. Long before she knew what coaching really was, Coach Charlene was coaching family members, friends, leaders, young people, and coworkers alike. When she was introduced to life coaching over 3 years ago, it literally changed her life and allowed her to birth some of her many life goals: start a nonprofit mentoring and coaching program for young ladies (The Potter’s P.E.A.R.L.S); become certified as a Professional Life and Leadership Coach; begin writing her first book; launch Life More Abundantly Coaching (LMAC).

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