Because there's magic at stake.
In my mid 20s, I took a year off to live the unemployed life. Throughout that year, at one point or another, most of the people in my life questioned what the fuck I was doing. Why was the girl with the most directed and structured life suddenly floating aimlessly?
It came from a good place, I recognize that, I think a lot of people felt that I was lost or maybe depressed. The opposite was true, I think I was actually finding myself for the first time and I wasn’t depressed, I was sad and that was ok because that’s what I needed to be. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy. It was a long, arduous and extremely painful process, but I don’t think I have ever felt more connected.
Today, my life is full of direction; a great job and a growing creative project that’s all my own. This is a destination I’ve been driving myself towards with some urgency. I expected my arrival to be full of inspiration but as 2016 draws to a close, the words aren’t flowing. They aren’t flowing onto the page. They aren’t flowing into my own brain. They aren’t flowing out of my mouth. I can’t get past the taunting, blinking cursor. I can’t get clear on how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking and I can’t seem to express myself to the people around me.
How do I feel about that guy I went on a date with? Where do I see myself in five years? Would I rather go out or stay in? How do I feel about my writing? Do I still have feelings for him? Am I happy?
I can’t answer my own (deceptively simple) questions.
When I come home from a date, I drop my keys on my counter, I crawl into bed and I feel ambivalent and tired. When I sit down to write, I stare at a group of poorly worded and disjointed paragraphs, I shut my laptop, I crawl into bed and I feel ambivalent and tired. When I come home after a night out, I take off my make-up, I crawl into bed and I feel ambivalent and tired. When a man exits my life, I drop my phone on my table, I crawl into bed and I feel ambivalent and tired.
Maybe a lot of people would see this as stability or progress – being unshakeable is often seen as a sign of strength. To me, it’s a sign of disconnection. I consider myself to be a fairly emotional and sensitive person though, most of the time, I am extremely adept at hiding this from other people. It’s an asset and a liability depending on the context and the perspective. I think I’ve become so good at hiding it, that sometimes I can even hide it from myself.
The truth is, often, it’s easier that way. You can’t break my heart if I never really let myself feel anything for you in the first place. I won’t be disappointed about not ever getting a manuscript published if I never write one. I won’t be upset when you find someone new if I never grasp the fact that I still miss you.
It’s safe behind those walls. But no real magic happens inside that fortress. And I kind of want the magic. I kind of want the big love. I kind of want the fulfilling career. I kind of want to live my life on my own terms. I kind of want the whole damn package.
So, what am I focusing on in 2017? Nothing.
I’m going to focus less and feel more. I’m going to figure out where my compass points and I’m going to follow that arrow with no questions asked.
I’m going to keep writing about whatever I want to write about so long as it’s honest.
I’m going to keep seeing that guy who doesn’t check off a single box but makes my heart sing.
If I feel like I want to go to that party, I’m going to go. If I don’t. I won’t.
If I want to kiss you or sleep with you. I will. If I don’t. I won’t.
If I want to go home, I’ll go home. If I want to stay out, I’ll stay out.
If I love you, I’ll tell you.
Because the things you’re drawn to – they’re everything. They’re your roadmap to happiness and the things you hate – they’re pushing you away from a life that’s not meant for you.
So get really clear in 2017 because there’s magic at stake.
Happy New Year xo