For over a year, I’ve been zooming along at 200 mph–along a path I’ve traveled before and never thought I’d revisit. It was a (mostly) good experience, and it gave me what I needed at the time. During this time, I’ve learned a lot about what I actually need and what I merely want. I learned about how I react when I have too much going on…how I put incredible amounts of pressure on myself and how I revert to old behaviors because I’m really too busy to think–so instinct guides me–and my instincts are all wrong…instincts that throw me and my needs under the bus in favor of absolutely anyone else.
I’m not sure if that will ever get better–if I’ll ever be able to find balance and allow myself to make the list. Recently, there was a perfect storm that kinda came up in my life, and certain choices were presented. I could continue on as I was–and burn out a few weeks later–or I could stop and figure it all out sometime in the future. I chose uncertainty and risk–to pause the reality button when it came to work and figure out what I needed. I realized I had worked hard enough that I could actually afford to do it, and I realized that all I worked for wouldn’t disappear if I decided to put me first. And if it did, it probably wasn’t good for me and something equally amazing would show up when I needed it to.
Now, this was kinda terrifying because this goes against everything I’ve ever known in my life. I was raised to work hard. Period. You didn’t walk away when you didn’t feel like doing something. You put yourself last and just kept going. Up until a few years ago, this is how I lived my life. I kept going and going. Until I hated myself and everyone else. Mostly because I was terrified of not having anything. A few years ago, despite my hard work, I found out that all of that doesn’t matter. Life does what it does. And you can hit bottom for absolutely no reason. Well, none that’s your fault. I learned to live with constant fear and uncertainty. I relied on every part of my childhood to get me out of that situation, and when I got out, I told myself I’d never go back. And I’m not going back. But I also learned you can’t go back to that other stuff either.
For the last several days, I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping. At odd hours. I’ve done more creative work than I have in three years. Work I actually love. I’ve had time to rest. And as I’ve been resting, all the stress has been seeping out of me–toxic crap–to the point that I’ve felt sick almost every day. But an odd thing–my shoulders have finally relaxed. And another odd thing? I’m super emotional. I cry as easily as I did the year my Mama died–which is very unusual for me. I thought it was due to some new medication, but I’m realizing I’m just being me–and I haven’t been able to be me in a long time. I like this vulnerable side, as hard as it is for me to accept.
I am seeing so many possibilities for my life–things I never thought about–or never considered because money was so much of a concern. It’s still a concern, but I have everything I need. I’ve cut down on things I don’t love and have made some big internal changes. I’m discovering room in my heart for more joy, and I want to explore.
So much is up in the air, but I mostly know where I’m going and what I’m doing. I just have to choose and be brave. I have to stick my neck out and experiment. It’s funny to me that I am not more afraid, and in a strange way, that terrifies me more than the situation I’m in. I’m lucky, though. I have options. And the next few weeks are going to help me get through the next five years. I know I’m going to need to be strong–physically, mentally, spiritually–to rebuild my life. Or rather, create it. Because that life will be almost nothing like any I’ve ever lived. And I need to be fully myself to be worthy of it.