What's going on? Why am I here? Where am I going? Maybe if I just walk around this tree for awhile things will get better and I'll know what I'm doing and everything will be clear.
So how's that workin' out?
When I resigned from my full-time HR job in 2012, I had grand visions. The hubs and I planned on selling most of our stuff, moving to the Philippines, and I would finally get to live my dream of writing by the ocean.
Yep, I'd finally have the time and space to write a novel. All the time I could ever want without worrying about finances. My handful of freelance jobs and my husband's small pension was enough to live comfortably in the Philippines.
In fact, in the beginning, we lived right on the ocean. It was a very minimalist apartment and I didn't have all the Western comforts, but we were right on the ocean! And I learned a new way of living. One where I hung clothes outside to dry, one where I didn't have an oven or microwave, one where I didn't have the option to grab a coffee from Starbucks or browse through Victoria's Secret.
So there I was, ready to start the next chapter of my life as a novelist by the sea.
But what did I do instead?
I sat in front of the computer inside the house and looked for more work.
I'm still writing, I'd tell myself. It's for other people, but still.
"Why don't you use this opportunity to focus on your writing?" my husband would ask.
"Because I need to make money."
"But you don't need to make that much."
"I do if I want to buy things."
Maybe that's not exactly the conversation, but you get the point.
In six years I've maybe gone to the beach 20 times. For six years I've put writing my own stuff in a corner and said, "I'll get to you later." And yes, I've worked on it here and there, but there's never been any focus, and it's certainly never a priority.
Even though I think about it all the time.
I remember sitting in my office at work, staring into space, thinking, Wouldn't it be wonderful to just let it all go and not have to live by this stupid template society has placed on me? If only I didn't have to make so much money just to get by. If only I could live by my rules. If only I could wake up when I wanted to and not have to go to a job that doesn't fulfill me. If only.....then I could make big things happen. Then I could write a novel. Then I could inspire people to ditch the old template.
All of those "if only's" came true and yet...
Although I'm happier working for myself and grateful that I can call myself a working writer, I'm still tethered to a desk. I've done nothing to further my dreams of becoming an author.
Not too long ago, my husband asked me, "What is your life plan? What is your vision for the future?"
I said things like write a book and open a witchy shop and teach dance.
And then he said, "No, those are just points on a map, but how do you get to them? What is your plan? Go deeper. Get more detailed."
"I don't know," I replied. "I think those goals are good enough."
"So you're okay with whatever happens?" Basically...
The soul which has no fixed purpose in life is lost; to be everywhere, is to be nowhere.– Michel de Montaigne
And that is exactly how I've felt for a long time. Everywhere and nowhere.
This whole time I've just been so afraid to let go of the desire to earn more, buy more. I ask myself, but what if I really want something and I don't have enough money to buy it?
I am so fearful of not having enough, even if it's just crap stuff. But I look around and I see that I have more than enough. I have shelves full of crystals and books and candles and nick knacks. I have enough shoes and clothes. I have a computer full of games and a PS4 and purchased workshops that I never finished.
But you know what I don't have?
A finished novel.
A sense of accomplishment.
A road map to my dreams.
And it's sad because the universe handed me an ideal opportunity and all I've done is waste it for six years. SIX YEARS!
Here's what I want to work towards:
creation, not consumption
cultivating and strengthening meaningful relationships
I'm sorry if all this reads like a chaotic ramble, but I felt drawn to just get it out.
If you have something you've been putting off because of a bunch of "if only's" just know that they are excuses. Even if you're granted time and space and money and everything your heart desires, nothing will change on the outside if you don't change what's going on on the inside.
The old wounds and thought patterns and fear will still be with you, no matter where you go.
So let's start right here, right now, exactly where we are. Let's write a new chapter. Let's get the help and support we need. Let's let go. Let's prioritize what's really important.
Because, honey, what is it that you'll care about in the end?
For me, will it be freelancing or calling myself an author? $3000 in the bank every month or being able to say, "This is my book,"? A lifetime of experiences or a lifetime of stuff?
This is not to say people can't have both - plenty of people do. But for me, it's about focus. It's about letting go of auto pilot and living with intention. It's about being true to myself and my dreams. It's about not going to the grave with a song still in my heart.