The amount of time spent in my brain exhausts me sometimes, but it is also what lets me figure out what to do next.
Next meaning…immediately next. Not 5 years next. I used to spend so much time worrying about the future, because that’s what the world constantly stresses. And while it’s good to have goals, some emergency funds, etc, spending so much time planning the details takes you completely out of your own life. You can talk about all the things you’ll do in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, but what about now?
I notice that many people avoid doing things right now because of what that might mean in 5 years +.
Thank you Chuck Palahniuk…
Most would rather avoid the path their soul is walking them towards because society has told them that happiness is a house, that steady 9-5 job, that human being that has signed a paper to ensure they spend the rest of their days with you no matter what. They call this security.
Don’t get me wrong, those things might be monikers of success and joy for you. Being with someone until one of you leaves the world can be a very real and amazing thing. But the WHY is what defines what it truly means for someone. Are you with a partner for 30 years because you both truly choose each other? Or is it because you’ve completely intertwined your lives and it’s “comfortable” (I use that term loosely, as many people mistake comfortable for just being used to something. You can be used to walking on egg shells and not consciously feel phased by it even though your subconscious is on life support in the form of stress and anxiety and all kind’s of health issues).
The why is what matters. Did you buy a house because the feeling of home and owning a place to make your own makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Then great!!! Buy that house baby.
But if you’re doing it because “that’s the next step” or others have pushed the concept….well you might want to take a step back and look at it and what it means for you.
See, there isn’t a generic right or wrong way to live (with the exception of hurting other people. Don’t do that)….but there is a right or wrong way to live for you. Asking yourself why you are doing something and what your true purpose for it is will help you start to see what is right or wrong for you and your life. From there you can decide whether or not it changes anything, but awareness is powerful. Scary, vulnerable, eye-opening…but powerful.
Doing and following the things that truly light your soul on fire yields a whole new world. It means people will think you’re crazy, stupid, short-sighted, wild…..I’ve heard it all and I’m not even that far off the grid. The things that the world has told you to do are worth looking at. But if you really look, you might just see that it isn’t for you.
I certainly don’t have everything figured out. In fact, that’s actually what makes my life so enjoyable (for me). It used to scare me and make me feel lost. And used to meaning like…even 6 months ago. But things can change quickly. If I look back to the catalyst for my transformation, which was almost 3 years ago, I’m a far different person now. 3 years really isn’t that long ago. It’s been a shit load of ups and downs to get here (and there is no question that it will continue until I die), but in the big picture, it’s a small window of time.
I used to be really afraid of the fact that I didn’t have a master plan. And then I realized that the master plan has been there all along. It ebbs and flows and zigs and zags as I go, but it is the most reliable and secure path there is. I started trusting myself before I trusted myself and it was terrifying. I didn’t know how to just let go of the reigns I was holding onto, because I was afraid. Turns out those reigns were connected to a merry-go-round pony. False control. It made me “feel better” but ultimately just took me in the same circle a thousand times over.
I’m still afraid sometimes, but I’ve gotten much more comfortable with not knowing, not having a plan, not manipulating, and just trusting. This also doesn’t mean that being a feather in the wind is all that I am. I still choose my environments and have goals. But my goals have started to center around happiness. And oddly enough, I have become more successful in all areas of my life through this “goal”. It turns out that doing what makes me happy and making that my ultimate goal actually makes me better at the things I love and a better human to others..without focusing so deeply on the outcome.
Spending my energy doing the things that fuel my passionate self, that make my heart dance, being with people that I connect with beyond just being in the same square footage….it all contributes to reaching my “goal”.
It sounds so fucking hippie dippie that it kinda makes me want to punch myself in the face, but at the same time it actually makes sense to me now. Only because it’s proven itself to me time and time again in the last year or so (and actually longer as I start to see it all as a whole).
Prior to that, my eyes would have rolled so far into the back of my head after reading what I’m writing that I would have probably found the contact lenses I lost 5 years ago.
The inner voice, instinct, internal compass, soul, gut, whatever you want to call it……it tells me where to go. It shows me what makes sense and what doesn’t. It does it for everyone, but you just have to shut up long enough to hear it.
Ever wonder why young kids are just happy all the time? Like yes, they lose their goddamn minds when they don’t get to bring all 14 of their Batman figurines into Chili’s, but that’s because you’re interrupting their inner desires in that moment ????
They follow what their gut tells them. They don’t have the capacity to listen to all the noise that us kids-acting-as-adults do. When was the last time you heard a 3 year old tell you how worried they were about whether or not they would make it down the big slide at the playground next week? In fact, we get soooo caught up in the noise that it becomes all we hear. And so we start building a life based on what’s coming through the cheap, shitty, blown out speakers and not what’s actually been etched into the vinyl.
Take a step back. Look at your life as a whole. What parts of it light your soul on fire? What parts of it give you anxiety? What parts of it are not ideal, but not a total bother?
And then ask questions for yourself. Why? Why are you doing all the things you’re doing. Is it because you truly want it? Is it because you’ve been told it’s what you want?
I actually have no problem with people buying houses even though it seems like I bring it up a lot. My issue is only in the fact that people view that as a gauge for success because someone told them it’s what they should do. As if buying a house means you have done something substantial with your life. It COULD. Or it could not. But most people don’t take the time to unpack these blanket statements and ideals.
It might not make sense for you AT ALL to buy a house, and yet I guarantee, no matter what, people will congratulate you when you do it. They’ll tell their friends and family too. You’ve done it. You’re there. Congrats.
As my boy Chuck says…”What we don’t understand, we can make mean anything.”
Ugh, this is why I call it a Bramble Jam. Well, that meme is really why, but also because I go down so many different avenues I forget why I started. As Michael Scott says “sometimes I start a sentence and I don’t know where it’s going, but I hope that I find it along the way”
That’s my entire existence in one sentence haha.
Ok, let’s wrap this up.
What I notice more and more is that when I focus on aligning my life with what lights my soul on ????, the more things that light my soul on fire show up in my life. It feels like it’s cheating. Like I cracked the code in Earthworm Jim ????
And for a long time, I really just chalked it up to coincidence. But over time as it’s proven itself over and over…as my life has become fuller and fuller…as I’ve learned more about who I am and what this world looks like when the emotions are stripped away….it’s become clear to me.
Listening to and following the inner voice, silencing the noise, moving towards the things and people that fill my soul up and walking away from the things and people that empty it…..it all starts to align. In a scary, mind-blowing way.
Do I still fuck up and let the noise distract me? Oh yeah. Do I still have things in my life that are pulling me away instead of pushing me towards what feeds my soul? Yuppppp. But I’m also learning to be patient. With myself, mostly. Taking small steps, not manipulating my situations, letting things happen and be, letting the world around me happen and be, and making small adjustments to shimmy my way into the right places for me.
Charles Bukowski has a quote that really puts it into perspective for me:
“People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.”
I have been that person. So much that person.
But luckily she died and now there’s me. And hey, maybe you’ll all laugh at me in 10 years when you’re living in your 5 bedroom house with your new kitchen remodel and I’m still sitting in my apartment trying not to get evicted for playing Lady Madonna 600 times in a row. But man…even the small number of exhilarating feelings I’ve experienced by choosing to live on my own terms (mostly) are worth it. While I hope to live for many more good years, I could leave the earth tomorrow with no regrets. It’s not something I could say even a few years ago.
Oh Black Betty..