Yesterday I woke up feeling absolutely…different, and I wrote about it. Here it is: I’m tired. Soul tired and ragged. I’m done carrying the weight. My work speaks for itself and I am no longer comfortable being the target of other people’s assumptions. I’m very open and I am very sensitive to people’s needs and perceptions. And I am done carrying that weight—my arms won’t lift it anymore. My heart and my soul and my mind are tired. Years of building anticipation, hoping my time for wild success would come only to never focus on it. Trying to find more time in the day to do what I want to do, scared of losing it all, doing all I could to keep the illusion afloat. All the while the effort spent was futile, running around the mountain yelling directions again. I’m not sure what I want to do next yet, so I sit. And try not to fall to the crushing depths of this…whatever this is.
I have no control. Control was always the illusion. So I start with doing less. Less of what others expect of me. less of what I simply don’t want to do. less anger over…everything. I wrote about finding my joy and I’ve gotten two reminders in 13 hours to do just that, find the joy. I’m so aware of the clock running out in my life that I haven’t been living. People have been kind and unkind to me and I’ve let those behaviors dictate my days whether they were strangers on the street, employees, or family. But my soul has something to say and it’s time to listen: say YES when I want to and no when I want to. Eliminate the chaos, just live. I can still be happy—I am called to be happy as we all are.
In the midst of all of this, a mentor told me that I “really have it all together.” I almost laughed because that is sheer will and stubbornness. It can fall apart at any second. Plus I’m an emotional mess (I am really working on that) so any appearance of having it together feels tenuous at best anyway. But if I am projecting an image of having it together, I need to be grateful and remember my advantages and that I may be further along than it feels. So maybe I just need to have a little more fun and appreciate even more. I can get in sync by truly, finally, and completely LETTING GO. Then I went to work.
So at work, I made some different decisions. I didn’t wait for permission for a damn thing. I addressed the issues I needed to on my clock and in my way and it wasn’t about control: it was about the timing and needing to level set with myself and my teams. I focused on what I COULD do rather than what I was being told I couldn’t do. It felt good to feel like I had some say in the day and to see things getting done. It legitimately felt productive—and I knew that is what I had been missing. I’ve been waiting for permission on certain things and I’ve been frustrated because some of the things I’ve been moving forward with have been discounted and ignored or I’ve been allowed to move forward with it and then told to stop so it ALL felt like wasted effort. But yesterday felt good.
At the same time I was dealing with a situation with my siblings over Christmas and it was normally something I wouldn’t want to deal with. In fact, I had even told them to speak with each other. Nonetheless, I ended up talking to both of them and any frustration I had went away. I could hear instantly what they were really feeling…and I could FEEL it too. I could feel the anger and the fear. We talked through it—we didn’t get everything resolved but we had conversations we haven’t had before.
Between that and the work situation, it felt really good to approach things head on. I realized I’ve been wanting to avoid responsibility for things I didn’t want to do for a long time. I don’t want to carry the burden of other people’s decisions any longer. That’s how I martyred myself for years—and then resented everyone because I took on things I didn’t want to. But tackling things head on felt amazing. It was so productive and more honest. Even when things were said that I didn’t like, I didn’t yell, I took it in and we talked. It reminded me that sometimes the things we don’t want to do teach us a lesson we didn’t expect. So focus on what you can do and take it as it comes. All will work out as it’s meant to—even if it feels like it’s falling apart, we might have it more together than we think.