I’m not going to lie – it’s taken me a few days to bang out this piece. My brain feels rusty. Sitting in front of my laptop, I can’t remember the last time I was in this position – coffee shop music in the background while my fingers fly furiously across the keyboard. Chuckling to myself when I find something that I’ve written to be particularly funny, smirking to myself when I find something that someone at the next table said to be particularly funny (don’t judge me, we all eavesdrop!), chatting with strangers, and getting lost in my own world. That is my happy place. When I’m writing, things just seem to make sense. My thoughts fall into place, I can see the world (or at least my world) clearly and gain perspective when I need it most. Writing is my therapy, my passion, and my purpose rolled into one.
I rarely know what I’m going to write about until the moment that my fingers hit the keyboard and then BAM. All of a sudden my thoughts, ideas and feelings are falling out of my head at a speed that sometimes leaves me spinning. There is no time to plan or prepare, to develop a concept of what the final product is supposed to look like, or even to worry about what people may think. These are simply my thoughts – raw, organic and real.
The crazy thing is, it always comes together. Each time I finish a piece, I’m continuously amazed at the journey that naturally unfolds from one paragraph to the next and even more so by where the final sentence leaves me. Oftentimes I step back and think to myself, “damn, even I didn’t see that one coming.” I sit down, I let it flow and am never disappointed by what I’m able to shake out of my brain and onto the page. That’s not to say that every piece I write is sheer brilliance. Instead, it means is that everything I write has a little something unique in it and that something is my most honest self. When I sit down in front of my laptop, I let go of the need to methodically calculate or control every move I make. I don’t allow the opinions of others to influence or shape the message that I want to share. I stop thinking about what the end goal should look like and immerse myself in the moment.
I trust myself and just let it flow.
What’s interesting is that what comes naturally to me through my writing, I’m adverse to in my everyday life. While my thoughts flow freely on the page, I constantly try to structure, organize and analyze them on a daily basis. While I’m confident in my writing and unconcerned about what others may think of my words, I sometimes find myself crippled by the thought of being judged by others in real time. Through my writing, I allow myself to be vulnerable and to trust that the journey will get me to where I need to be. Yet, in my day-to-day life I find myself second guessing whether each step is the right step. Back-pedalling and careful examination have unknowingly become my state of mind. Unable to take a step in any direction without countless hours of analysis. Frozen by the fear of failure, yet all the while feeling like I’m failing because of my constant stationary position. Waiting for others to make a change, but knowing that true change can only come from within. Allowing the pressures of what I “should do” overshadow what I know in my heart to be what I’m meant to do. Experiencing brief moments of clarity before being sucked back into the tornado of chaos that exists when you allow uncertainty, doubt and fear to call the shots.
Taking two steps forward and then six million steps back.
They say that an unexamined life is not worth living, but what if somewhere along the line the examining becomes your entire life? At what point do we tell our brains to shut the f$%k up and let our hearts lead the way?
As I sit in this coffee shop surrounded by the buzz that is life, I’ve come to a realization. It’s time to let the faith that I find in my writing jump off the page and into my life. It’s time to let my crazy, ambitious, passionate ideas run freely and trust that they will bring me exactly where I need to be. It’s time to just let life flow.
Life can’t be figured out lying awake at night paralyzed by the fear of all of the “shoulds” that you have yet to cross off life’s proverbial to-do list. In fact, I don’t think that life is supposed to be figured out all. Time spent painfully scrutinizing the past or living in fear of the future will only cause you to miss out on your entire life, which is happening right now. Put down the rulebook and follow the path that your heart leads you down.
Open yourself up to the unlimited possibilities that exist in this life, because at the end of the day if you’re crazy enough to believe in yourself, you never know what might happen.
And maybe that’s the point.