I started a post I never published called “I’m Breaking All the Rules” with these words.
Everyone says if you want to succeed, you need to focus. Focus your time. Focus your energy. Focus your goals. Focus your brand. And I get that, I really, really do. However, focus has been one thing I’ve struggled with because there’s so much I want to do. So much I love. So much I want to be.
A part of me has resisted choosing, and maybe that’s why I’m not “successful.” I don’t have a dozen books published, or half a dozen for that matter. Maybe I won’t be a best selling author, or sort after writing teacher, or ever win a dance competition because all of these things need dedicated focus, and that’s okay, though deep down I long to be successful at everything. But I also don’t want to have to choose what to focus on because if I did, I fear a piece of me would be lost. So I know I’m breaking all the rules on how to be successful in my chosen field, but then again, I’m also redefining what it means to be successful.
Today I don’t even recognize this hopeful, determined woman. I’m tired, down for the count, battered and bruised, but not defeated. Never defeated. I will get up. But right now, I need rest. I try to put up a good front on Facebook most of the time. I try and spin the positive when my life is spinning out of control. I try not to be the victim, though most days I just need encouragement and a reminder that I CAN do this. Whatever this is at any particular moment. Today this is just about everything.
This last week has really kicked my butt. I’m physically and emotionally weary. I single-handedly (with much guidance from a few friends) threw together a new investment vacation rental. I did it scared because I didn’t really know what I was doing. I wasn’t prepared for the time and work it took, and especially all the decisions that had to be made, and the last minute glitches over and over again. And the money that had to be spent and the things yet to be returned. But I’m so grateful I could do it. That I did it, and it’s already getting booked. Yet I can’t seem to stop and celebrate my “success.” Before allowing myself to breathe and bask in my accomplishment I started a new retail job for a big chain that is physically demanding. Before the first day was over, I wanted to quit. The second day was better, but I came home exhausted, went to bed early, and woke up sore. As a writer and someone with a desk job, I’m not used to this kind of work.
My home is in shambles, my frig is leaking , and we’re still catching mice. I’m dreading taxes and sorting through my receipts with my 5 jobs and there are still financial aid forms to fill out. I don’t write anymore or dance or even have time to socialize and I constantly feel guilty for not working my new travel business that I know is my ticket out of this 9-5 rut. Daily, I think to myself, really, this is life? And for most of us, it is. Which right now is a sad and sobering fact, but deep down I am grateful. I know I have it so much better than most people, I just think the weariness of living gets in the way of appreciating what I have. So does the purposelessness that I often feel. A teacher without students. I writer without writing. A dancer who doesn’t dance. A mother who doesn’t see her kids. It’s depressing and purposeless when I think of it that way.
Yesterday, was my second day at work. I went in with a new attitude. I started to focus on the people around me instead of wanting to be somewhere else building my career. Something inside of me shifted. I started to see my purpose was more to the people I work with, helping relieve their burden as I trained along side them. My purpose was not only to learn, but to give them a much needed break.
I know this job is only a path to where I want to go, but for most people this is their life. And if I can offer a little help and joy along the way, that can be my purpose for a while. Because truth be told, we all need people in our lives to help ease our burden, not pile on more crap for us to carry. Now enough writing, it’s back to real life living. And that’s as real as I get right now.