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Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

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goals

Existential Crisis

So let me tell you about my existential crisis.

I’ve been tossing and turning the “Why am I here, what is the actual point of all this” question in my head for longer than I could remember. I’ve explored theories, entertained fantasies, looked to reason, theology, spiritual texts,  philosophy, science, but nothing really satisfied my query.

Existential bullshit aside, I’m also carrying around the weight of the reality I am currently in.

I am at a point where I am trying to figure out what truly matters to me.
Which is such an annoying task because I’m always changing! If I could only stick to one goddam idea and emotion, that’d be grand. But I’m constantly being pulled in different directions by my moods, desires, feelings, thoughts, and ideas.

One day I wake up feeling confident about a particular decision, set on doing particular things, while the next day I don’t want that same thing at all. My mood is completely different. My desires completely shift. 180.  Example: I am considering moving to Texas or Florida, even though I JUST moved to California (but more on that some other time).

I am currently giving myself a reality check.
Taking inventory.
Like: You’re 30 years old, you’re making this amount of money, you’re working this type of job, you’re waking up this time in the day, you’re eating these types of food, you’re talking to these types of people, you’re spending these many dollars, you’re doing x y z, a b c…. and if you keep going in this direction you’re likely going to be experiencing these particular results  in your future (whatever they may be).

I wish some genius could take stock of everything I’ve done and am doing, enter it into some kind of excel formula and come up with my future trajectory.

Which is what I’m trying to do now… with my average intelligence… and without an excel formula.

Other factors of reality that are hitting me in the face.
I’m aging.
It sucks.
My body isn’t as energized as it used to be.
I can tell my skin is different. My face is more mature. My hair texture is different.

I know on a fundamental level the best thing I can do is to accept myself as I age. The best thing I can do is be kind to myself. To be able to gracefully let go of what was and embrace what is. I know the best thing I can do is to make peace with the new identity I am growing into while having the maturity to release the attachment to the old image of me.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

I know. I get it. Anything outside of unconditional self-regard, self-love, self-acceptance is a recipe for suffering…

BUT – I’m still gonna complain about it. I’m still going to acknowledge how shitty it is. I’m still going to say I would rather not lose my health, beauty, strength, energy, memory, etc. A girl’s gotta vent, ya know?

Anyway…I don’t intend for this post to be about me complaining. You can hear me complain some other time…

My intention is more to share on my struggle towards understanding the real meaning and purpose of life. But given that I don’t have an actual answer yet, and maybe never will, I am trying to create purpose through living a life that feels meaningful to me. I’m trying to figure out right now, in this pivotal point in my life, what is actually going to fulfill me so that I wake up excited to be alive, rather than dreading what I do in the body that I do it in.

There are a lot of details that go into creating a meaningful, fulfilling life – and I am currently trying to figure out what those details exactly look like for me, while also accounting for the fact that I constantly change my mind/feelings/moods.

So in other words, how can I create a life that is fulfilling, meaningful and flexible.

Something like that….

Turns out I didn’t really talk too much about the existential crisis in itself… which often trumps all the day to day “What am I going to do with my life” type questions and goes deeper to ask “What even is life, and why was it given to me and what am I really supposed to be doing with it, if there is even such a thing as ‘supposed’ to, and if there’s not, how do I know that to be true — and who the hell am I anyway, and why does it matter or not matter?”

….

Sometimes I wish I could just be a normal person who didn’t even care or who didn’t even wonder.

 

 

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Don’t Give Up

I wish you could see how strong you really are.
How capable.

How everything you’ve ever wanted is but a choice away.

That if you believed and saw the light within you’d be unstoppable.

I am learning that in order to make life happen you gotta really want it. You could have your dreams or you can have your excuses but you can’t have both.

It doesn’t even have to be difficult. There are ways to break down big goals into smaller bite size goals that can be easily accomplished. 

What do you want?
Really. 
What do you truly want?

Are you afraid to dream big?

Or are you able to dream but tell yourself it just isn’t possible?

Well. 
I’m here to tell you that you CAN dream big and you CAN make it happen.

The thing is, that BIG dreams require BIG action.

Are you up for the work?
Because nothing comes without energy. 
Energy will be needed to bring about that vision into reality.

It can be done in easy, small steps.

Are you willing to be patient?

Great accomplishments take time.

Are you willing to enjoy the process and be happy in the here and now as you move towards the climax of your life?

Are you willing to remain present? Remain joyful every step of the way?

Are you willing to stay committed? Encouraged even when there are unexpected setbacks?

Life is unpredictable. We gotta learn to adapt. Adjust. Be flexible.

Play. Dance. Move with the flow.

Know that you have everything it takes, keep at it, and don’t give up.

 

Just Venting… Out Loud

You ever just play old songs you’d listen to back in your teenage years and get bombarded by memories of your upbringing?

I’m reliving the past in the present through music.

My heart grows heavy. 

I remember being little always wanting to get away. Grow up. Be on my own.

Well, here I am…

I do love my freedom.

But what have I done with it?

I am building more clarity as each day unfolds. 
My biggest issue is around my angst to already be where I want to be.
Things are not happening fast enough. Not happening in my timing. 

It feels like I am sitting in dead stop traffic, occasionally being able to move forward at about 5 miles per hour. 

*Breathes*

I know I just have to be patient. 

It’s a time of learning to wait.

[crosses arms and throws tantrum]

Yes. I’m going to complain about it.
But only for a little bit. 

To get it out. 
Because I need to acknowledge my feelings.
I need to say “I feel FRUSTRATED…. and it’s okay.”
 

I also know that my feelings aren’t necessarily accurate. I just sometimes grow extreme and get in my head becoming blinded by emotions that block my better reason.  It FEELS like I am getting nowhere, but in reality I’ve accomplished so much. I’ve come so far. This is what I need to acknowledge so that I don’t dig myself into a hole that FEELS otherwise. Just because something feels a certain way doesn’t mean it’s true.  Feelings come and go. 

Right now I need more: Patience. Trust. Faith.

Trust is another big lesson for me. 

*Breathes*

Letting go of control.

*Breathes*

Doing what I can do. Letting go of the rest.

I know it’ll get better. 
I just wish better was today.

*BREATHES*
*SIGHS*

Okay. I’ve complained. I’ve pouted. I threw my little tantrum.

Now I’m gonna roll up my sleeves and get back to it.

[turns old sappy music off] 

*image credit to me.me

Change The Facts

Realizing it is half the battle.

At one point or another you stand before yourself facing the reality you’re currently in. You see that what you’re doing is not working. You notice that the choices  you’ve been making and the habits you’ve formed are not compatible with the version of life you want to experience.

You’ve been saying yes when you mean no.
You’ve been overly nice.
You’ve been giving more than you’ve been receiving.
You’ve been laughing at jokes you don’t even find funny, only to keep the peace and eliminate how awkward it would be if  you were to dare to hurt anyone’s feelings.
You’ve been playing small. Asking what everyone else thinks before asking yourself what you think.
You’ve been scared to voice your opinion. To stand alone if no one else agrees.
You’ve been downplaying your value. Not trusting your own self for fear of getting it wrong, as if it’s possible to get EVERYTHING right ALL THE TIME. 

Coming to realize yourself in your patterns is the first step. Good job. You know now. You’re aware now. 

But here is where it gets tricky.
“What the fuck do I do about this new found knowledge of who I am, who I’ve been, where I am and more important where the heck am I going and who do I need to be to get there?” 

I’ll tell you what you’re gonna have to do. You’re going to look at the FACTS and then you’re going to CHANGE THE FACTS.

Fact is: I say yes when I mean no. New fact is: I say no when I mean no.
Fact is: I am overly nice. New fact is: I’m kind, not stupid.
Fact is: I give more than I receive. New fact is: I’m fair – take it or leave it.
Fact is: I hide what I really feel. New fact is: I tell it like it is.
Fact is: I’m afraid to speak my opinion. New fact is: I speak and stand behind my opinions without fear, even if it means standing alone.
Fact is: I don’t trust myself. New fact is: I trust myself.

See, knowing that there is something about yourself or your life that isn’t quite in resonance is only step one. Without step 2, which is to turn the current facts into new facts by LITERALLY and PHYSICALLY causing a REAL change in both thought and behavior you’re only left with realizations. And simply realizing it is not enough. There needs to be an added element of FUCK THIS SHIT, I’M UPGRADING MY THOUGHTS AND MY BEHAVIORS TO MATCH THE EXPERIENCE OF LIFE I TRULY WANT. 

Will it be easy? Fuck no.
Will there be challenges. Heck yeah. 

But let me tell you dear friend, it is better to fight for the life you do want then to live in defeat stuck in a miserable reality you hate. 

What have you been realizing lately? What are the facts? And tell me, what are the new facts? Get clear on it and get to work. I’ll be fighting for the same over here on my end. Let’s make it happen. 

Victory be upon us.

Grace.

Don’t Waste Time. Get CLEAR On Your Vision

Don’t be like me.

It took me 2 years, $22,000, and 700 hours of unpaid internship hours to complete a graduate program in Mental Health counseling only to realize – “Oh, just kidding. I actually don’t want to pursue this path.”

I knew within the first few months into the program that I didn’t do enough research and signed up for a program that didn’t quite resonate with me. Yet despite this realization I convinced myself that I should just stick with it anyway, because having a Master’s is better than not.

And sure, my rationale made sense – any more pretty stripes you have on your belt only make you a more appealing candidate to employers — assuming you can even secure employment, that is.  This meme couldn’t be more real right now:

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The path to becoming a Mental Health Counselor is pretty long and actually pretty painful if you’re not 100% sure this is exactly what you want to do. Finishing school is not enough. There are several and I mean SEVERAL hoops you have to jump through, and it’s a never ending process because Psychology is a living and constantly developing field. 

Not to mention the fact that after graduating some employers want to pay you crumbs for your service. I’ve had employers offer me $12.00 an hour for counseling services. $12.00!!!! It’s insanity.

My current issue with this path is that it totally stifles my spirit. The clinical path has a tremendous bureaucratic system that involves so much control over how therapists should operate and how counseling should be done, and it literally suffocates me. When I look at the paperwork and the demands that are being put on me to perform under particular standards as well as regulations, along with the types of populations that clinical counselors generally deal with, I clearly see big RED LIGHTS and SIRENS that tell me to look the other way and RUN! 

And I get it – this system is indeed helpful and is supported by years of research and studies that I respect and believe has its use and purpose. However, it’s just not for me.

And why am I whining and complaining about it to you?

Well, my friend, it’s because I wish I would have stepped on the breaks 2 years ago when I realized this wasn’t my actual calling and invested my time, energy, efforts and CASH on what I TRULY, TRULY want. 

I’ve wasted so much time trying to prove to myself that I’m disciplined enough to complete higher education and formal training only to come out of it feeling like I am 2 years behind on my actual goals.

I’ve been playing it safe, 
I’ve been trying to do what everyone else is doing.
I’ve been ignoring my intuition and pushing myself to do what I thought I needed to do rather than what I truly wanted to do.

DON’T BE LIKE ME.

Get LASER clear on your vision and act in alignment to that TRUE vision.

What do you REALLY WANT.
Not what your parents want. Not what society wants. Not what you think you need to do because you have to prove something to yourself or the world.

Don’t waste time trying to prove yourself to anybody.
Don’t waste time trying to please family, friends, society, facebook.

Really and truly ask yourself:
WHAT DO I KNOW IN MY HEART I REALLY WANT?

And then move in that direction.

Walk.

In a world that is moving faster and filled with constant demands and pressures, it can be easy to forget how awesome you already are.

We get lost in trying to get to the next goal. The next semester. The next title. The next iPhone (Boy, who can keep up with these things!). The next promotion. The next party. The next trip. The next whatever it is.
Yet there is so much to marvel in what you’ve already accomplished. So much to appreciate in the here and now. So much to enjoy in this experience today.

When we’re running frantic trying to keep our lives together in order to build something for ourselves we tend to forget to enjoy the process. To savor the unfolding.

This is your life – right here and right now.
There really is no place to run to because once you get to wherever you’re running off to there will be a new destination set for you then too.

So stop running.
Walk.
Breathe.
Enjoy today.

Take it easy on yourself. You’re doing great! Just enough for today.

*image credit to google images

Trust and Persevere

You don’t always have to know all the answers in order to move forward. It’s tempting to want to figure it all out at once; after all, who doesn’t like the safety of the known? You don’t have to know the exact “how,” you just have to trust that with each step you take the next step will be revealed to you. It is like driving a car in the night whose headlights reveal only the necessary distance forward. The more you proceed, the more of the road is shown.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things you need to do in order to get to where you want to be, start by just breathing and taking one step at a time. What is one thing you can do that will get you closer to your goal? Once that one thing is done, what is a second thing you can do that will get you closer? What is the third, fourth, fifth action?

Take your time. One day at a time. Trust and persevere.

*Image credit to google images.

 

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