Before this week, I was questioning a lot of my life choices–things related to my path. Things that had been clear to me for years. Changing your life in big ways? Well, it does that to a person. And I was questioning it–thankfully–because the part of my life that is work has been so incredible lately. I’ve found that I am able to do the work I want to do now–in ways that don’t (usually) deplete me. That the meaning I sought in my professional life IS actually possible. That people see me, and I can actually be myself where I am–while supporting others in a meaningful way. It’s not perfect and, some days, I consider running away to Costa Rica or traveling the country in a VW bus. (I may still do that, btw).
I’ve always been a meaning seeker. Growing up in the depths of poverty, I have also always been ambitious–because getting out of poverty was a feat many never achieved. I have always felt an immense responsibility to do things for other people because I somehow had the drive and the privilege others lacked. It’s possibly why I’ve never been a logical person, in mainstream ways. I just don’t think like other people, and I don’t give up on things usually unless they steal things from my soul. I am stubborn beyond all levels of comprehension, so I am very choosy about what I commit to–especially since my Mama died. Everything I do must survive those pesky gut checks, and if I can’t reconcile it–even if it makes no sense–I tend to release it and focus on other things.
So, for most of my life, I’ve really struggled to find work that lets me live my conscience while allowing me to be someone who isn’t constantly worried and paralyzed by material concerns. And, thankfully, a couple years after my Mama’s death, I bumped into something that made everything pretty clear. I took steps toward that, slowly–frustratingly glacially–and y’all know I am not a patient woman. When I was a kid, I was. Maybe because I was stuck. Maybe because I didn’t know how powerful I was. Maybe because the path was so very clear. There was no ambiguity. It was a singular road to walk.
Now, though, there are so many ways to do the things I want to do. And frustrated me is a woman of restlessness. I am a woman committed, always, to possibility. So, all those other options see really cool and so much better than THIS when THIS is so hard and feels so beside the point.
So, lately, I’ve been weighing options. Considering who I am and what I will accept. Deciding on what makes sense. Living a life devoted to self-care rather than one I inherited when I was a traumatized child, just trying to live.
This week, I realized something–though–this path I chose during the most painful, confusing part of my life is the right one. It is where I belong. And part of being ready for this path is going through this. Because it’s not an easy path, and I need to be stability for other people. I can’t be this chaotic restless person unsure of every moment. I have to learn how to be that woman I so know I can be–for myself and other people. So while it is frustrating, it’s all part of my education and training. And the truth is? Being a wholehearted person dedicated to comprehensive healing is probably the most difficult path you can walk…so of course, this is mine. Haha.
And I am going to do it. But I think I know what’s been frustrating me and why. It’s that impatient part of me that believes how powerful I am. That goddamn ego, yet again. I need to find ways to check it while also feeding it a little bit–because I am not here to punish that girl who wants to save the damn world. I’ve been thinking of these things for a long time–and sputtering to do these things off and on–only to let life steer me to distracted paths. I’ve got to make the meantime mean something, and this week delivered many ways to do that. Namely, walking the talk. Working together. No degree necessary. Just carving out time and showing up. So, that’s what I’m going to do. While–pursuing the other stuff. The formal stuff. The things that end with licenses and offices and quitting my precious stability in favor of service.
And–after all of that–I am now even more convinced that I must not see my art as a hobby–that it is an integral part of this path. Not separate. And that it is the thing that will inspire me and keep me going when I am totally disillusioned and heartbroken–as I’ve been all week (and not just about the specific outcome of the election).
The person I know myself to be is someone who transcends the trauma of her life–who is kind and loving and…yes…a writer. An artist. Someone who speaks from her heart and repairs the broken hearts around her. That’s my new mission.
Long story short: art therapy school for licensure with a focus on addiction and trauma…plus an MFA in photography and playwriting. Therapy first. In the meantime, dedicating myself to a cause that supports children and women using art. Showing up more for friends every single day. Being a crazy person about self-care. I’m going to be exhausted. I know this. But it’s all very clear. This is why I’m here. And in case you were wondering, I love you. No matter who you voted for–even if I disagree. Let’s stop being enemies and heal each other. Because we were all a bit broken long before this week. ❤