Discovering Empowerment

Four months ago Adam and I bought a house. A house that needed renovations. I don’t like doing house “things” besides buying a million decorative pillows only to return 955,000 after choosing exactly the right ones. This is an iterative process and takes me roughly the time of three full moons.

In the middle of this, about two months ago I joined Neghar Fonooni’s Wholehearted Coaching group. One of the questions on the application asked about inspiration, motivation, and empowerment. Well, shit. I have no clue.

Here’s the part of my response about empowerment:

Empower…wow. I had to look up exactly what it meant. Sometimes I think that I do things because they are different or interesting or because they are available and something inside me says “DO IT!!”.


Oh, right – the house. At this point I wasn’t putting much effort into the house, leaving it mostly to Adam. I’d scrape wallpaper paste off the walls and do some cleanup, but the heavy lifting (and, let’s be real – most of the paste scraping) was left to him.

(SHOUT OUT to both of my parents were also extremely helpful in this reno process.)

During the past two months there was a definitive shift though. It started with a day I had to take off to be home when we were having some work done. We needed to get the walls primed with Killz (a very smelly, oily and messy primer). So, I did it.

Then, Adam needed help to skim coat the walls. I helped. (Adam would like to point out that he asked me well before this moment to help with the skim coating.)

Then, part of the walls needed to be sanded. Then, primed and painted.

This is when things really got going. We were about a month from move in and Adam was super busy with the bathroom floor. My dad was in town to help and we needed to get a second skim coat done on one of  the bedrooms.

I’d seen it done enough. Quick Set + Water, mix with thing attached to drill, roll on, wipe off, done. I could do this, right? Worst case, I can blame it on my Dad. He he.

So, we skim coated that bedroom.

Then. THEN. The guys were preoccupied with the bathroom and the hallway needed to be skim coated. So I freaking did it. All by myself.

Now, if you’re a pro plaster worker, this is a silly thing to be excited about. But, I’m only now considering getting into plastering professionally, so this was a huge f’ing deal! From start to finish I skim coated the hallway. And, it didn’t stop there.

I then skim coated the dining room. And, took out part of the kitchen’s drop ceiling, and, then…


I’m so proud of that floor.

And, now, I’m proud to have realized that I don’t think I know what empowers me. I know I know. Somewhere between skim coating day 1 and hour 6 of laying down the tile floor I discovered that what empowers me is doing new and scary shit. And, then, doing more new and scary shit. Being scared is that boundary that needs to be pushed because I don’t gain any value from doing the same thing over and over. I’ve always been afraid of failing something new, but what’s worse – and, I know this sounds cliche – what’s worse is not even trying.

And, if things do go well, there’s so much magic in succeeding at something you didn’t know you could.

So, get on with your bad self and demo that bathroom. JK JK…call me first.

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