Wednesday evening I was doing some small chores and changes around my happy little house and as I removed a wood-mounted robe hook in my bathroom it refused to come alone. Instead it brought with it the three layers of wallpaper that for the entire five years of my stay here I have meant to get around to removing but as of yet have not.
At first I stood there both aghast and somewhat frightened. As much as I wanted this wallpaper down, I now had an unplanned demolition in progress. The section of paper that had come down along with the wood plaque was quite large. My inner critic is always first on the scene, wanting everything to look and seem perfect. It was she who was asking the question “What have I done?” as I experienced a very shallow and very brief sense of dread. I will always have this critical aspect of my personality but I am learning to have about myself and about my way of being an elasticity that I did not have before. There was a sense of excitement that arrived, drowning out the voice of criticism so quickly – sure, the bathroom looks like a hot mess now but I began to think about all of the possibilities; the many possible wall colors were running through my head and the paper was coming down quickly so that it was piled up around my feet up to my ankles. As quickly as that I essentially have a blank slate from which to start new again.
I seem to have quite a few of these in my life lately, and no matter the context they are terribly frightening and not at all pretty to look at when in the first stages. I used to give into my inner critic all the time and never allow myself to push through the panic and keep pulling down the paper. I need to remember that on the other side of that panic is opportunity.