I’ve always loved March’s “in like a lion, out like a lamb” dichotomy. On the one side, there’s a fierce restlessness and on the other, a kind of peaceful hopefulness.
It’s not much of a stretch to say I’ve repeated this pattern in my life almost as if, being born in this month, I was given a script by which to operate.
I can be very Lion-ish about certain things. I once identified it as my leadership style. The entrepreneur in me, the would-be punk with mismatched clothes and wild hair, she’s a Lion. Nonconformist, freedom-loving, and willing to debate and argue politics. She’s been woke these last few years after #MeToo, #Resist, and #ShePersisted. She’s been willing to admit her privilege and tried to be empathetic to the journey others are on.
A lion is a pack animal, protective and focused on doing what needs to be done. We’re talking the Nala kind of lion, not Simba the slacker.
|Photo Courtesy ScreenPrism.com|
My lion side wants to force things, take the lead, share a vision that others embrace and respond to. She’s writing the entrepreneurism “textbook” (more of a digital course supplement than traditional textbook). She sees gaps in the marketplace.
My lion side gets discouraged and frustrated when she can’t rally people to the cause. Why don’t we have more listeners on our radio show? Why can’t we get people to participate in our local authors book club? Why is it so hard to build a tribe?
If you build it, they will come isn’t exactly a business strategy. My lion side knows this. She wants to work, to hustle, to build.
Then there’s the lamb. She sacrifices herself. She accepts a certain kind of dismissal, overlooking, and low expectations. She doesn’t bite back when people say, “If you can do it, so can I.” (Cuz really, fuck that. No, you can’t.)
She smiles with grace and dignity when she’s denied funding for an idea. When she loses a sale. When she’s ignored by decision makers, king makers, in this town. She defers: recommends and promotes others into roles she ought to be Lion-ish about. She gives.
And then she lays down and waits.
And this frustrates my lion side. I want to advocate but am I standing on an empty shore and spitting into the wind?
It’s my birthday month. A traditional month of introspection for me. The year I turned 40 I started a little journal of the “well-lived life” things I was going to do: read more female authors (check), spend more time with family (check), donate more clothing (umm), build Hollie’s scrapbook (umm), submit to more journals (yes, but with sad results).
It’s three years later and I’m no worse off now than I was then. I’ve published a book, earned a full-time faculty position, and established the only school for consultants in South Carolina. I’ve also gotten into some of the habits I wanted to establish like attending live events and blogging more regularly.
This month I’ll be taking stock again. The lamb in me wants to understand where I’ve been and how to course correct. The lion in me wants action.