Clarity in the Chaos
Funny how the universe works. The universe, God, the almighty, big guy in the sky, fate, energies, or whatever you call that supernatural force. There’s been a question haunting me for a long time now. I guess you could say it’s haunted me my entire life since I was first aware of cognitive thinking. But especially in the most recent year, it’s been following me, harassing me, terrorizing me.
What am I doing with my life? Or more specifically what do I want to do with my life?
I found myself telling someone this week that I consider myself a jack of all trades, master of few. I have so many dreams for my life but have never been able to settle on what I want most. The last several months, and especially weeks since social distancing, I’ve spent making lists. Pros and Cons. Wants and don’t wants. Strengths and weaknesses. Childhood loves vs. adult loves. Brainstorming and daydreaming. Reading article after article about finding your purpose and questions to ask when determining what to do with your life. I admit it. I’m 33 and have had no clue. Until today.
I woke up this morning, another day in quarantine, feeling hyperanxious. That’s not even a real word, but thats what I was feeling. My whole body was in fight or flight mode as if I was in danger. People that know me can tell you that I’m always just a bit jumpy anyway and I tend to hold tension throughout my body when I’m stressed, but this morning was unreal. I had to physically start at my toes and work my way up through my body to my head clenching and unclenching to make sure every part of me was relaxed as I did some deep breathing. And when that didn’t work, I got up and went for a walk.
The first mile I just enjoyed being outside and the perfect temperature that the weather has been consistently giving us the past couple weeks. But in that second mile my brain began to spin again with all the various questions of purpose and destiny and life. The first thing that came to my mind was that I knew I needed the kind of career path that allowed me to get outside regularly because the anxiety I had been feeling when I woke up was already melting off of me. Yes, I was still confused about life, but that hyperawareness of the morning had disappeared. I made a mental note about that desire to be out in the elements and then sat down to enjoy the feeling. As I sat there, I took out my phone and started writing in my notes because I had this pressing feeling that something had just shifted inside me. It was like all those lists and all that stress came rushing to the surface as I breathed in the warmth of the sunshine but instead of more anxiety, I finally experienced clarity. And this is what I wrote:
Maybe it’s been staring me in the face all along. Maybe I’ve just been too scared to admit what it is that I want to do. I don’t want to sing for huge audiences. I want small crowds who appreciate a song with a message. It’s the writing. It’s why I’ve been drawn to acting. It’s the emotion behind it all. I’ve been writing my whole life before I even wanted to sing. I need the outdoors. I realize that today. Laying in bed helps me hide but I have to be part of the world. Not necessarily its people but out in nature. I need it. I need grass and sunshine and wind. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I’ve been pushing it all aside because admitting what I want is way too scary. It’s scarier than performing. It’s putting your soul onto a piece of paper and saying please understand me. Please relate to me. It’s always been that for me. It’s always been deeper than just the singing. It’s not please like my voice, it’s please believe what I’m singing. Please feel something because of me. That’s what I want. I want to write.
Now I just have to stop thinking about how and just do. Stop questioning the where and put pen to paper. There I can live in my imagination. There I can live in my emotions. There I can live in helping people. There I can live in truth. My truth and maybe someone else’s. This is what I want. This is what I need. Just do it.