For fellow dreamers, idealists, the ones with huge plans and massive expectations, the ones feeling stuck in the way life is going. This is for you.
Part One || The Wakeup Call
One day, caught up in the exhaustion, all of the living off of espresso, throwing around the words busy and tired like job descriptions and important titles, never having enough time, and being unable to create when the chance exists; in the midst of the schedule stress, screen escaping, semester-induced daze, the weight of everything hits you. Or at least it did for me.
Your soul, forever feeling behind, desperate for true space, for slower moments, couldn’t carry on this way forever. And you realize you can no longer do this.
This- this spinning whirlwind of a life. Where lost hopes and paralyzing doubts collect in a corner and your polarizing tendency to do what you hate instead of what you love has hit an massive high. This mountain rises high and grand and impossible to climb. So many missed opportunities, so many plans that empty hands have yet to begin.
Fear of missing out has driven you. Every day you get up with ambition burning bright like fireworks and smoking out just as quickly. There is no fancy magic, the kind that you hoped for all those years playing pretend and building future careers about, that sprinkles its effects over everything. Instead, things are surprisingly normal. Yet as your soul so often has been trying to express (We’ll Tell The Stories.) these are the days where the beauty of a normal, moment-by-moment, mess-after-mess, richly filled in unexpected ways present exists. So why are you waiting to arrive, waiting for that magic moment when you grow up and it all clicks?
You’re in your college years. That adult, twenties stage. And you’d dreamed it would be so different than this. Envisioned pictures of your growth. But they dangle in the distance, dance through the corners of your mind, playing the run and hide.
So, girl with the ever growing list of goals and dreams that is still sparkling even as the sun sets on them, what will you do?
You sit on the edge of your ocean swirled comforter, and recognize that you got yourself here. To this point so far from the story you want to tell. But you can still live it well. So the real work begins, the cultivating this right now life, to find that life may not always be stunning, but it is precious and turning you to gold.
Part Two || How to Begin
Armed with the all-important, haunting question, you start. If you could rebuild your life right now, completely tear everything down and change anything possible, what would that look like? Both the reaching for the stars aspirations, and the small lifestyle details and changes. Even as I wrestled – and still am wrestling – with this, the following process has helped me through the swirling storm of thoughts.
- List all the areas where you hope to grow. Write down everything that comes to mind. The way you wish life could be and the way it is right now. What would it take to get there? No rights or wrongs here : the crazy, the simple, include it all.
- Group categories together. This allows you to see where things fall, whether underhealthier living, creative growth, personal growth, professional growth, or any other number of things.
- Pick main areas of focus, things that you really want to work on. It can be daunting to make this list. But if you identify what is most needing change, then you have somewhere to begin.
- Look at your schedule, and see where and how you can start making these changes. For me, this meant writing out every single hour, looking at my free times, the items that were flexible, and writing the new goals and routines in where they best fit.
- Review your long term goals. Keeping perspective and seeing how all of these things can play into working towards those goals and into realizing your dreams is essential. Otherwise, it’s easy to burn out.
- Start small and build consistently. As much as we all wish we could change our habits and transform our lives overnight Cinderella style, there isn’t enough magic in the world for that. Instead make it realistic enough that you are motivated to do it.
- Celebrate progress, but don’t forget to live life and enjoy the moments. Seize each day and all that it is. Ultimately, that is what is most important.
Keep growing, appreciating, and changing friends,