Today was stressful.
Today, like many days in my 9-to-5/HA-you-didn’t-actually-expect-to-sleep-tonight-did-you? life, I couldn’t take a breath before another email came in, before someone else needed something “ASAP,” before another text or Skype came through. Human beings have evolved to be adaptable and, generally speaking, I’m pretty sure I fit that description, so I’m not entirely sure why the norm is still so disruptively stressful at times. But, alas:
Today was stressful.
So I started to do that thing you do (corporate America, I know you feel me) where you click forward in your calendar and try to figure out ways to plan every upcoming moment of your upcoming days to try and get through everything “ASAP.”
But, not surprisingly, Monday is already packed. Tuesday, too!
Sounds like a weekend date with Outlook.
It started to make me sad but in a bigger way (I think) than the frustration we all probably feel when work bleeds into everything else. I started to feel a different kind of sad. Like I’d…lost something.
So, productively, I started thinking. Because that’s what I do! It’s kind of my thing. I even have a blog dedicated to it 😉
So, I started thinking, trying to figure out why. Why was this sadder than what seemed appropriate? Especially considering I’m an evolved, adaptable human being, and this stuff happens all the time?
Then I realized: I was trying to figure out when I’d have time to write this weekend.
Because I have to write this weekend (and, generally speaking, daily). I have a blog. I have a new book I’m working on. I’m a contributor and a freelancer. So I, quite literally, must write.
Because I’m a writer.
That was the moment when I looked up from Outlook, when the sun poured in my open window, when a white dove flew by.
(HA. Jk to the FULLEST. More like I turned down the Bravo background noise on my TV, paused my pretzel munching, and that dove that flew by was for sure a ratty pigeon but ANYWAYS)
In that moment, I realized that I am a writer. In New York City! Like I always wanted to be. Like I always said I would be.
It’s kind of completely crazy to say that.
But that’s why the time is so precious to me. That’s why the loss of time feels stupid big to me. Because it’s taking away from the little bit of time that I actually have to be who I am.
I don’t like to use cliches but I do believe in the lessons they teach and so I will say that perspective is a really, really big deal thing. It changes stuff. It took my stressed-out work moment and reminded me that I was so busy worrying about “ASAP” that I neglected to notice I’d checked one of my dream boxes.
I think people need north stars. Actually (because stars are beautiful) and metaphorically (because they remind you where you’re going).
So I challenge you: what do you want to do? What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to have, and who do you want to have there with you? Spend every moment you can possibly spare figuring that out. And, once you know, layer that perspective onto everything. Protect the moments that get your closer. Live in the moments when you realize you’re there.
Course-correct the second you realize you’re veering off track.
Your realization about who you are and what you want doesn’t have to be so big as being a writer, an actor, a doctor, a neurophysicist (legit I don’t even know what that is).
It doesn’t have to be that big.
Maybe you’ll just realize that you want to be happy.
Use it, still, as your north star. Manifest it and fight for it and think about it in the moments that cause you stress. In the big scheme of things, is it just a bump on the road that’s right for you?
Or did you accidentally make a wrong turn?
If you did, that’s ok! If you realize it, that’s even better. Because then you can start to fix it.
It’s never too late and there’s never too little time to fix it.
So, I hope you’ll use your time wisely.
And, with that, I’m off to write a book ❤️