Page 3 (of 5)

It’s not about demographics

It’s about what Jackie yearns for, what dreams live in her heart and don’t go away. It’s about what she’s afraid of, what she believes, who she admires and wants to be more like, and how honest she’s willing to be about where she consistently gets tripped up and tangled in the limits of her own understanding, and also, if she’s done struggling to try to figure it all out by herself. 

Only when all of that TRULY gets old, does Jackie show up for the Claire-journey. 

I’ll tell you this:

It for sure wasn’t basement apartment-dwelling, or being a college graduate who was on a first name basis with collection agency reps, or having a therapist who admitted she was surprised when I returned for another session, or the fact that my longest cohabitation relationship at the time was with my cat … these are not what made me a good prospect for dream realization. 

These “demographics” didn’t qualify me. (They also didn’t disqualify me.)

But they, for sure, weren’t what made my success possible, or predictable.

What made me a contender was my willingness to stop repeating what wasn’t working. My willingness to dream, despite my circumstances. To believe that my desires weren’t seeded in my heart and head just to torture my soul! My determination that they were there to be followed, even though I didn’t have the first clue HOW to make them real and felt wholly under-resourced in every possible way.  

My mind, heart, and home (a.k.a. the Tara’tory 😉) was a Wild West of horses that I didn’t know how to ride. 

But – I was determined and driven by the spark of my desired FUTURE.

I chose to believe that I was meant for something more, something bigger, something far more joyful, satisfying, and fulfilling. I chose to trust the wildly illogical thought that I was somehow here to help others, while also acknowledging that this meant I better get on with helping myself first. I was willing to commit to the journey ahead, no matter how difficult. I was willing to learn and be uncomfortable, to not know what I was doing, and to show up where there was no actual trail or map, and enter the forest anyway. Ultimately, I decided that all of this was more appealing to me than staying in my uncomfortable-but-familiar-and-deeply-unsatisfying groundhog-day PRESENT. 

This meant I had to learn how to operate differently. 

I had to do an honest self-assessment. 

I had to try and fail.

I had to take responsibility and own my choices. 

I had to say “yes” where I used to say no, and “no” where I used to say yes.

I had to transform ME and trust that my circumstances would catch up, eventually. 

It was a no-going-back decision. I accepted that it would take years and that I was in it for the long-game.

👆 This was obvious to Claire. 

But to Jackie, not so much.

Jackie wanted overnight change, and Jackie was preoccupied with things like wondering what to do about that musty smell in her basement apartment, and the phone that wouldn’t stop ringing with collection agency calls filling her answering machine (for you young ones: an answering machine was a clunky old gadget that took up a good square foot of my desk and beeped loudly for every message received). Jackie was also preoccupied with who to blame for her circumstances.

While Jackie was looking for shortcuts and wishing someone would save her, Claire knew she had to save herself and that change wouldn’t happen overnight. That she’d have to show up and do the work, even when it was hard.

When I made shifts, in thinking and in doing, from Jackie to Claire, things started to change.

Next: Part 4 (of 5): A product of society


1.   Demographics don’t predict success in the realm of personal development.

2.   Truth is, “overnight change” can take years. And it generally begins only when struggling to figure things out on your own truly gets old.