What happens when your dream comes true? When you get the 3.4 kids and refrigerator magnet of a life you’ve always imagined? You celebrate, then savoir, you remember, then onto the next. It’s our curiosity that keeps us young and passionate, so what is my what right now? Now what? Yes, appreciate, be thankful, give to others. But, seriously, now what?
Get another dream. Or, more befitting, “Get a life.”
Ram more life in and make sure every lick of it is a swirl of delicious.
I’ve been feeling lost lately. Like, talk aloud to the universe, asking for a sign, lost. “Be still,” “be quiet,” “’it’ will come to you,” this “calling,” and then it will all be clear. Only, I feel like these flashes of enlightenment—when you’re awash with clarity and there’s no questioning the direction of your life—come upon us again and again. Usually, I’ll admit, they come when we’re suffering, with our lives in turmoil and our skin a mess, forcing us to face our instincts and fears. It’s acting on this “deep knowing” that can take a lifetime, especially when fear is involved—which is almost always.
Then I bargain, asking the universe to throw me a bone. Come on, I think, if the light turns green by the time I count to five, it’s a sign. But a sign of what? That the universe is listening, is here. It’s got my back. Then I drive past a stable, and I get it. There’s some strange fascination here. The universe is leading me to this. What though? I know nothing of horses, other than their stink and the whole “hung like a horse” thing. So when is it a true sign and when is it just flat out desperation?
I really don’t think fear or self-doubt are factors in my current blah.
Am I hiding out?
Ducking the harder work in favor of dinner plans and interiors?
What am I avoiding?
Is it laziness?
Is it a vacation and break, a chance to reflect?
Or is it a sign that my life’s purpose can be so much more?
Major changes are like births and deaths. Goodbye to what you knew and what felt safe, and hello mess, tears, and tantrums. Let go and get ready to fall and fail as you give it your ass and then some.
But, here’s my problem: I used to know, deeply, what I wanted. To be a writer was my dream since fourth grade, and along the way, if there was ever a doubt, I’d sometimes be overwhelmed by this sense of *knowing* that it would happen, that I would absolutely be a writer. I can actually count the times this deep insight has come upon me, and I can remember each moment in remarkable detail. I felt it deep inside, so I know exactly how that “calling” should feel—like giddiness and an overwhelming feeling of yes! Except, I haven’t been feeling it anymore.
Maybe my “calling,” the purpose of my life, is changing on me. I need a new vision board project or something. I just don’t know. I’m in some kind of sorting phase. I’d like to borrow the kids’ sandbox tools and hold my daily life up to the sifter. It’s not that I want a neat compartmentalized life. I know a slopped up life full of just that—life!—suits me. I just want to know in my bones that I’m living the life I’m meant to. I want to go confidently in the direction of my dreams, only I’ve stopped knowing what those dreams are. I don’t know what to reach for. It’s really not some fear or unworthiness at play here. I just don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I swear, it’s not in there somewhere curled up with a blanket, afraid to speak up. It’s just… lost.
This lost feeling seems like a kissing cousin to restlessness but in a new way, because, for the first time in a long time I don’t know what I want. I’m waiting for “it” to come upon me, driving in silence, talking to myself aloud, wanting so much to know again.
My takeaway in all of this, at least for today, is that I need to work most on my imagination. As a memoirist, I enjoy observing, but I rarely have to rely on my imagination. It’s a part of my brain I want to develop. How can I envision the life I want if my imagination skills are stuck on the corner of suck and suck? I’m guessing (hoping) that if I’m still, quiet inside, for long enough, something will have to come in and take over. In the meanwhile, I want to focus on imagining and learning to let go and dream. Big. But I’ll still be planning fabulous menus, because if the best of all possible worlds were a reality, that’s what I’d somehow do for a living. Pair movies and food and wine, living in a world of themes and gentle touches. Now that’s dreamy.