Doing Nothing to Rediscover Your Everything

I haven’t done much this week. Or the last. 

It has been a strange space in time of both boredom and apathy. I had nothing to do and also did not have any desire to change that. 

Perhaps my spirit knew that I needed to burrow way down into my couch, and just absorb the time alone. I needed to sleep and read and watch and scroll. 

Like when you’re running in circles, trying to find your direction, and finally you decided to sit down and stay put for a bit- like your mom always told you to do when you got lost.

I haven’t posted anything I’ve written in so long because I could tell that I was writing circles around something, not quite finding an entry point to the heart of the matter. I wrote about depression, I wrote about self-discovery, I wrote about milestones I’ve achieved… and the beginning of what seemed like a solid argument always petered out into musing that had gone off-course. 

So I got quiet. I got still. I surrendered a bit. My therapist said I had an identity crisis. Super cool. I’m probably still in it, but this feels like the first day of climbing my way out. Also super cool. 

I think most who know me would agree that I’ve always been a bit fierce about assertion of my independence. “Marching to her own drummer” may have been a phrase coined just for me. But lately that’s been muddled. As a pleaser, I have assigned myself the impossible task of trying to be and do “right” in everyone and anyone else’s eyes, so often at the expense of my own perspective. I take outside messages incredibly personally… and they come at me (actually, all of us) from every angle, every day. 

And then I realized that it really comes down to “what do I want” and “what do I need”. I had gone so far down the rabbit hole of what everyone else thought that I felt completely anonymous in a life I didn’t feel like I had chosen. 

This sounds so simple. So easy. So… DUH. But in a world that is so digitally connected, we have constant access to others’ opinions. And that’s dangerous for me. 

So I’ve spent these past few months getting quiet and listening hard, trying to hear from within what I really care about. What gets me feeling alive again. What brings me unfettered joy. I’ve given up for a bit doing what I think I SHOULD do, what I think others expect of me. 

The biggest of these is ambition. I’ve never felt it. Not for myself. I don’t really want much… but every corner of social media has told me that I should be becoming a “boss babe” or finding an ingenious way to monetize my art or use it to change the world… and I forgot that my power has always been most activated in the quiet. I am not a noise-maker. And I’ve spent years thinking that I needed to figure out how to force myself to do that. 

I have forced myself to do so many things I don’t truly enjoy or believe in- that it genuinely surprises me when I actually do something that feels right. When I feel something that feels SO good. I surprised myself by thinking last night “I just want to live in a place where I don’t have to have blackout curtains.” So I don’t have to choose between getting to sleep in the dark and waking with the sun. All I want is less street lights.

I woke at 4 am and the actual presence of silence caught my attention… it’s so seldom I experience such quiet in my own bedroom. I breathed a sigh of relief. 

When you live by someone else’s compass, you will always be lost. Discover your own and go bravely in your own direction. 

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