As the days swirl around me, I know things are going to get hectic but I can’t be bothered with that right now. Everything is perfect right now. I 99.9% have a wedding venue and a date. I’m less than one year away from completing the coursework for my MBA. Healthy living is shockingly enjoyable. My better half is at yoga and I stayed after work to run. We just missed each other and right now I’m on the couch. The television is off. Vitamin String Quartet is serenading me and there’s a bright clementine to my left, should I need it.
An immense amount of my time on this earth has been spent trying to fix things, people. An enormous amount of energy has been exerted toward being someone that I’m not; trying to be the person I thought the world needed. Trying to be the person I thought the people I was supposed to care about wanted me to be. I had it all backwards.
It starts with you. If you don’t have a direction, you will certainly be lost and I got lost – so many times and in so many ways. I don’t mean to be vague but I hardly think the shallow examples that are representative of something so much deeper will do any good. It’s astounding to look back and see something so clearly that I couldn’t have seen no matter how sunny the day, back then.
I was a slave to forcing the success of those I thought I loved. I’m not even sure I knew what love was. Love was pounding on someone’s door until they woke up and convincing them to go to class so they wouldn’t fail. Love was pouring hours into a keepsake for someone so they wouldn’t not have something you did. I never fell victim to the usual sweeping rivers. I didn’t (and don’t) rely on boys and best friends to tell me I’m pretty, or skinny, or witty. My mislaid self-confidence was dependent upon them reaching their potential, even if I was the only one of us that saw this so-called potential.
Such a weakness might be called naive but that’s never been a word for me. Wanting what others wanted for me was convenient. I wasn’t comfortable enough in my own skin to ask myself what I wanted. I’ve made a seemingly safe and secure life by wanting what I thought others wanted for me. I’ve done a lot of “shoulds” which could be “want to’s,” but how would I ever know?
What’s the trick to never having to ask yourself what you want to do? Be busy. Keep your schedule as packed with busy as you possibly can. Be so exhausted from being busy at the end of the day you take an hour- or two-long dose of mindless television before you go to sleep to wake up for another day of mind-numbingly busy.
How do you feel about someone when you ask how they are and they say, “busy”? Do you think that person is probably really interesting? Do they sound like fun? Is that someone you’d like to be experiencing life with? Me neither. Somehow, that’s who I was evolving into, Busy. Busy with a lot of “have to do’s” and lacking in the “get to do’s.” Truly, everything can be a “get to do” when you re-frame your “obligations” but it’s all about your feelings throughout the day and I wasn’t having any. When, “whatever someone that I think loves me wants me to do” isn’t an answer to “what do you want to do?”, things get tricky. When people who truly love you, encourage and support you to do what you want to do, therein lies the conundrum:
What do I want to do?
Much to my dismay, this isn’t a post about what I want to do. This is simply a piece where I admit to myself this question has been long overdue – fortunately, as the universe happens to work, I know I’m exactly where I need to be. Any meditation step-by-step will tell you to know that too. I’m finally starting to understand all of that crap. Everyday is the first day of your life. Be what you’re passionate about in the world, because that’s what the world needs, passionate people. Blah, blah, blah. Yes, yes, yes.
I’m going to start small. What do I want to do this month? This week? Today?
Today, I want to be grateful. I want to express my many thanks to the forces at be for my family, friends, family-to-be, career, mentors, and even the people who would be the opposite of who I would mention in an acknowledgments section of my first novel, because they’ve been half of the journey too.
Now, I must find a picture of me looking reflective, because that’s what I want to do.
What do you WANT to do this year? Month? Week? Day?