Big Dreams & Shit Sandwiches
Over the last two weeks, I’ve made huge strides and I’ve also scraped the bottom of the barrel. I’ve realized some really big dreams and I’ve also had to cope with some big personal No’s. One minute I feel like I’m on the verge of something amazing and the next it feels like it’s all falling apart and I’m on the brink of failure.
Just three weeks ago, I was interviewing for the studio manager position at the new King of Prussia LifeTime Fitness and I shared with you my disappointment and how I was navigating my “No’s” with excitement. The lesson I took from that experience propelled me forward on another set of interviews for the same position at the Fort Washington location.
A week ago, last Saturday night, I (informally) found out I landed the position of Studio Manager at the Fort Washington location and would be starting immediately – and I’ve been dying to share this exciting news with you! Going into these interviews I knew there’d be a lot of work to do for grand opening and I was fully committed and prepared for the road ahead. I knew there’d be sacrifices and I’d have to give up some things.
I “knew” I’d have to give up my current teaching schedule, my Saturdays in NYC – my life as I know it – so I could build my team of performers and manage a club. I “knew” that and while I accepted the price of moving into a position that is aligned with my dreams, it was – and is – hard to say goodbye and let go of what I know. Saying goodbye to colleagues, mentors and most importantly my students – some of which I’ve had in my life for nearly five years – is tough.
Even as I’m writing this, I’m sitting with the realization that these are my last classes for a little while until the Fort Washington club opens (check my full schedule below) and I’m wrestling with overflowing excitement for the road ahead and the pang of change and letting go.
I keep reminding myself, This is what you wanted. This IS what you want. And I’m not reminding myself because I’m unsure – I know this is what I want. It’s a position I want to step into and a company I want to grow and evolve with. The reason I keep reminding myself is because I didn’t think it would be so hard or that I would also be feeling nostalgic and sad along with my excitement. I figured, This is what I want and when I have “this,” it will be a done deal – easy.
I was wrong.
And then it dawned on me.
This is the Shit Sandwich. This is MY Shit Sandwich.
A while back I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic in which she talks about the creative process of birthing some great idea or dream – and the shit sandwich that comes along with it.
The shit sandwich is the things that aren’t easy, fun or convenient. Shit sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes, but more important than how they look is remembering there’s always a shit sandwich to be had.
While the shit sandwich concept was new to me at the time, it was actually something Elizabeth Gilbert gleaned from Mark Manson’s blog, “7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose.” In his blog, Manson says the all-important question that helps you discover your purpose is finding out what kind of shit sandwich you’re willing to eat.
“What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich and does it come with an olive?”
I remember the first time I read Manson’s blog. I felt like I saw the world – my world – with new eyes. Up until that point I had truly believed that if I intended, wrote out my vision, had a vision board, hustled hard and was spiritual AF, I’d manifest what I wanted. It’s what The Secret proposes, right? I also believed that if things didn’t work out or if the process was too hard, it meant that goal wasn’t for me. I mean the stuff we’re aligned with, the purpose we’re meant to live, it’s supposed to be easy, right?
On some level I think we all have those false perceptions of what the process should look like and how things should work when it comes to our goals and dreams.
We think because we’ve intended and visualized and mediated on it, that our desired outcome should come to us on a silver platter with a big F-ing bow. We think because we’ve read The Secret and we’re spiritual AF, we “get” how the process works.
Most of us lose sight of the real process because of those false precepts. We forget that our dreams take work and we don’t get from “here” to “there” without a great deal of effort. We don’t realize that those shit sandwiches that we’re presented with aren’t signs that we’re not meant to have something. Those shit sandwiches are the contractual agreements with the Universe that we have to make if we really want to work towards the dream.
The reality is: there are no silver platters, there are no red bows or hand delivered dreams. There are simply big dreams and the shit sandwiches that go along with them.
The question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate?
So often what we want and what we’re willing to do are at opposite ends of the spectrum:
- We say we want to write a book, but we don’t have make time to write. Or, we fear rejection and never put pen to paper.
- We say we want to lose 15 lbs. and have washboard abs, but we aren’t willing to invest the hours at the gym or in our personal nutrition.
- We say want to be more focused and organized and yet we keep investing our time and energy in multiple projects and interests because everything is important and we don’t want to give up any one thing.
- We say we want to be a lawyer or doctor (or any other profession rolling in the “Benjamin’s”) but we aren’t willing to work 80-hour workweeks.
When it comes to the shit sandwich, we have to ask ourselves if we’re willing to endure the parts that are hard so we can create and live the parts we love.
- If you want to be a therapist or life coach, then you won’t mind listening to other people’s shit sandwiches. Mind you, you don’t have to eat theirs, but you do get to help them design the dream alongside it.
- If you want to create – be it a piece of writing, art or music – you’ll accept failure, rejection and controversy.
- If you want to have children, you’ll deal with the morning sickness that often accompanies pregnancy.
- If you want a fulfilling relationship, then you won’t mind putting yourself out there, facing rejection or dealing with another person’s nuisances – because let’s face it, every person comes with their own set of shit sandwiches.
For me, the shit sandwich is giving up my classes and saying farewell to the places where I’ve grown and the people I’ve come to know so I can focus on building my team of performers. In times like this, it’s remembering the bigger picture. It’s remembering that there’s always going to be a shit sandwich to eat and the bigger the dream, the bigger the sandwich. It’s knowing it’s always my choice what shit sandwiches I want to eat. But, here’s the caveat: if I choose to not eat the shit sandwich, I don’t get to complain about not having the dream and, if I do eat the shit sandwich, I also don’t get to complain just because I’m eating it. The shit sandwich is the reminder to be in the process of making progress – to remember there’s always a shit sandwich and complaining won’t take away the shit.
Needless to say, this week is big for me – equally exciting and sad. As I end this chapter of my life and begin the next, I’d love to celebrate it one last time alongside YOU. Whether you’ve taken class with me once or for the last 5 years, I’d love to see you in class this week (see below for class schedule and if you’re not a member, message me for a guest pass).
More importantly, thank YOU. Thank YOU for taking the time to read this. Thank YOU for taking the time to read my blog each week – and for sharing your struggles and successes with me. Watching YOUR personal journey has made my journey worthwhile. YOU are why I do what I do. You’re the one that has me dig deeper, dream bigger and show up more authentically. Thank YOU for being you and for supporting me every step along the way. Beyond words, I am grateful our paths have crossed and I hope they do again in the near future.
To bigger dreams and shit sandwiches with olives,
9:30am – HIIT at Future Fitness *last class April 3rd
6pm – Bootcamp at Sweat Fitness, Old City *last class April 10th
9am – Body Alive at Weston Fitness *last class April 11th
12pm – H30 JumpSport at Weston Fitness *last class April 11th
12:30pm – H30 HIIT at Weston Fitness *last class April 11th
7pm- Gluteus MAXout at Weston Fitness *last class April 25th
8am – Strike! at LifeTime Fitness, Mount Laurel *last class April 26th
4:30pm – intenSati at LifeTime Fitness, Mount Laurel *cancelled
5:45pm – LifeBarre at LifeTime Fitness, Mount Laurel *last class April 27th
9:30am – intenSati at Weston Fitness *last class TBD