PYL Series: Laura Haven
by Laura Haven
photo by: Athena Pelton
I got married and divorced when I was younger. People always seemed surprised to hear this, followed by, “What? What! I never would’ve guessed!” But why would you? It’s not exactly my favorite dinner party topic. There are, for example, so many more interesting things about me that I’d rather bring up, like how I can’t do a somersault, but I do make a very nice risotto. I tend to lump my very short marriage and very weird divorce in the same murky category of forgotten memories titled, ” Other Dumb Things I Did When I Was 20.”
I bring it up now because said divorce was the catalyst for a lot of things that have happened since then. When you’re young, you don’t know who you are, or what you’re going to be all about, or where your passions lie, or all the cool stuff you could possibly do. It’s more difficult when you find yourself stuck with someone who would rather have a pretty, skinny girl who has few opinions and does as she’s told. I had no sense of who I was or how to give myself a life so full, and wild, and hard, and wonderful that it was worth rising to the challenge.
Hell hath no fury like a woman in a cage, right?
Thus began many unintentional years of saying yes to things that terrified me. Move back in with my parents? Great. (thanks, guys.) Move to a kind-of-scary, pretend-it’s-cute apartment downtown by myself? Yep. Sign up for a half marathon with zero running experience? Sure. Run a full marathon? Done. Trapeze classes? Wheee! Travel to Budapest? Croatia? Norway? Yes. Try new foods? Beef heart, yum! Oysters, never ever ever again. Agree to come to a gym when you’ve never so much as picked up a 5lb dumbbell because you used to be afraid of being ‘muscley’? Why not. Pick up heavy things. And heavier things. Addicted to the endorphins, and the sweat, and the way your heart shakes in your chest after an impossible A20? Feel it. Quit your cushy job without a clear plan? Do it. You will be ok. Pursue a journey that you had no idea you wanted to be on, but are sure with everything you’ve got that you’re meant to be on? Try your goddamn hardest. Every step of the way, fall, fail, stand back up, keep pushing.
While I am not suggesting that you get divorced (even when it’s what you want, no fun is had by anyone,) I am forcefully suggesting that you pay attention. Those things that get your brain buzzing and your heart exploding? Do them, and do them often. Whatever it is that fills you up so full that you feel as though you can’t possibly contain it, go after it fearlessly and relentlessly. However long it takes you to get there, chase it fully and completely and don’t lose heart when things get tough. Whatever your ‘it’ is, discover it, become it, and give it your all. The path to getting there is worth it, I promise. Pursue Your Legend.
Laura Haven is a coach at Alchemy North Loop. In her spare time, you can find her drinking wine in her backyard, eating breakfast food, and re-reading Harry Potter.