Finding my way and creating my best life
It's kind of funny how we all just plop onto this earth with no real knowledge of who we are or what we're supposed to do - we can't even feed or change ourselves until we're taught. Most of us believe that God, or some other higher power put us here for a specific reason so we spend most of our lives searching for our 'purpose', trying to figure out how we're meant to exist in the world and where we fit in.
If you're anything like me, you've likely always struggled to find where you 'fit in'. You may have jumped from group to group, job to job, or even relationship to relationship with the hopes that you'd find your perfect match - only to discover that there was no such thing. So eventually, you decide to settle down in a friend group, job, or relationship where you feel mostly fulfilled - that's as good as it gets, right? I mean, there's no possible way that I could have it all . . . right?
Well, this is what I believed until I got an unexpected visit from the Universe one day. And if you know me, you know that I do not like unexpected anything - phone calls, Facetimes, let alone actual in person interactions. Anyway, the visit went something like this:
The Universe: Knock knock!
Me: Who's there?
The Universe: Your destiny.
Me: Haha - your destiny, who?
The Universe: No, really - it's your destiny. You gonna let me in, orrr?
*Spoiler Alert* I let them in.
This interaction changed my entire life. I decided that I could have it all - anything I wanted, and I decided to chase fearlessly after a life where I could experience complete joy and fulfillment in all areas of life. I usually refer to this as my spiritual awakening, but really, it's just life as I now know it.
The Background | I Can Have It All!
So before I just dive right in, I want to share some background. There are many different ways to define a spiritual awakening. For me, its been a journey to a state of higher consciousness fueled by the realization that we are all deeply, energetically connected on a spiritual level that transcends our physical 3D lives. I can already picture how many people are going to be triggered by that sentence and are headed to close the tab out lmao But before you do that, just hear me out.
As I reflect on the months, even years, leading up to my awakening, there were definitely some nudges from the universe that I completely ignored. I saw and felt those nudges, but consciously disregarded them because they clearly conflicted with what I thought to be true. Like the rest of the world, COVID-19 had a major effect on me, but if I'm being completely honest, it was actually beneficial for where I was in life. I know how privileged I am to say that, but it's the truth of my reality. When COVID hit, I was 8 months pregnant so working from home was a change that I welcomed with wide open arms. I gave birth, went on maternity leave, and ended up looking for a new job shortly after returning. Quarantine allowed me to comfortably recover from giving birth without the added pressure to 'snap back'. It also allowed me to binge watch Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix, to which I felt a strange connection considering it wasn't my usual genre - that was one of the first nudges.
So by the time June/July 2021 rolled around, people were headed back outside and I was incredibly stir crazy. I found out I was pregnant in the summer of 2019 and had been quarantining for over a year, so by this point, two years had passed since I last went to happy hour and everyone knows that I am a happy hour queen in the realest sense of the title. As I started getting back into a rhythm of interacting with people, places and things, I became obsessed with just wanting to have fun - I took advantage of any and every opportunity to get out of the house. But as fall rolled around and the days grew colder and darker, the idea of wanting to have fun slowly started turning into thoughts of resentment towards any and everything that was holding me back from having said fun, or at least things that I perceived as holding me back.
I was growing resentful of my job, relationship, friends, my son, my dogs, and even myself. And although these thoughts of resentment plagued my mind constantly, I shut them down every time. I felt terrible for questioning my relationship when people would kill to be with someone who cared for me in the way that my partner did. I felt guilty for mourning my life before motherhood when there were so many women out there who would do anything to have a baby. I felt like a hypocrite for hating a job where I was supposed to be uplifting and supporting people from underserved communities. How could I be so ungrateful when I lived a life that many people would dream of . . . right? Wrong. I wish I would have listened to those thoughts. I wish I would've allowed them to sit right there in my head for as long as they needed to. I wish I would've had the courage to give myself a hug and acknowledge that nothing about what I felt was wrong. My intuition was literally begging me to wake up and see that I needed to make changes, but I ignored every nudge. Oh well, though - shoulda, coulda, woulda. And since I chose to ignore those nudges, the Universe decided to take a more direct approach and literally pushed me over the edge of the metaphorical cliff. By November 2021, life as I knew it was over..dead..done..gone..finito - any way you want to put it, I would never be the same.
Regaining Control & Finding My Way
Well, let's fast forward to the present day - spring of 2023. I can now confirm that life as I knew it was indeed, over. I feel like I should address the fact that just because I believe I can experience complete joy and fulfillment, doesn't mean that I've made it there. Honestly, I'm not even close. But what I am close to doing, is accepting the person I was, the person I am now, and where I'm at in the present moment. Again, I'm close but this will probably always be a work in progress for me.
When I first started down the pathway of searching for fulfillment and finding my purpose, it was euphoric (I now know that a destructive episode of mania was to blame for that, but that's another story for another day). I felt a sense of freedom that I'd never felt in my life. But as time has passed, that same sense of freedom has often left me feeling confused, lonely, and even hopeless at times. Digging myself out of that metaphorical hole has been the hardest thing I've ever done, but - I'm doing it. And I use the word "doing" very intentionally because it's an ongoing process that I'm learning more about every single day.
Lately, I've been really focused on regaining control of my life. I won't lie, I was out of control for a hot minute, and some of the damage I've done is irreversible. I've made some incredibly stupid decisions, hurt some good people, and let myself down repeatedly. But I've also made some really brave decisions, connected with some amazing people, and shocked myself with my resilience. I've learned to give myself grace.
So, what does it look like to regain control? First and foremost, I've gotten incredibly serious about calling my personal power back from all of the people, places, situations, thoughts - anything or anyone that I had given it away to. Reclaiming my personal power means that I can no longer blame external forces for who I’ve become or where I'm at in life. It means that I have to fully acknowledge the fact that I am literally the only one with the power to tangibly influence the direction that my life is headed.
I've also had to learn to trust myself again. That means developing an unwavering confidence in myself and my abilities. I know that I am capable of doing quite literally anything when I genuinely trust myself both consciously and subconsciously. The subconscious part is tricky but it's the most important.
I've really started living in my purpose. Living in my purpose means first uncovering the things that set my soul on fire - the things that make me want to create. I am living my soul’s purpose when I am aligned with the people, places and things that bring me joy at any given moment. This was so hard at first because it requires being present without hyperfocusing on the past or the future. And if you have ADHD like me, you know that hyperfocus is a super power that can be difficult to turn off.
But just like me as a person, my purpose is constantly changing. This has been an incredibly difficult concept for me to grasp. But part of finding my way has been about learning this lesson - over and over again until it sticks. I can never be confined to any one box, and this journey has taught me to accept and love this about myself.
Life As I Now Know It
Life as I now know it is different. It's slower. It's boring sometimes. It's a hell of a lot less predictable - and if I'm being honest, it's incredibly uncomfortable. I'm not where I want to be in any aspect of my life and I've yet to experience the complete joy and fulfillment that I set out for back in 2021. But what I'm uncovering along the way is invaluable.
I'm learning that maybe there is some joy in living a slow life. Maybe boredom is actually an opportunity to rest. And maybe a lack of predictability is really just an invitation to find fulfillment in the present moment. Life as I now know it is about taking personal responsibility for intentionally creating the life I want - one day at a time.