Ever have a song stuck in your head like an ear worm. Right now for me it is ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go” from The Clash. I have spent the past 20+ years running away from my home, thinking life would be better outside of the small rural town I grew up in. Sure, it’s been amazing. I have built a life, a career, made great friends across the country, found and lost the love of my life, and worked my way to success in NYC, the toughest and most competitive city in the country, yet, something is missing. I guess I’ve known it all along, but have been closed off to it. That’s how we go through life isn’t it? Seeing what we want to see, until we’re ready to open ourselves up to the truth.
The journey of self reflection is never easy but it is rewarding. I’ve done a lot of thinking recently and I’ve found that I’ve been waiting for things to choose me in life, not me choosing them. Sure, I’ve had to make the decision to go with what’s been thrown at me, but I’ve never sought out something I really wanted.
The more I think about that one question, the more I realize I have never really known what I want, except to be in love, but women aren’t supposed to say that. It’s weak and simple minded, we are supposed to be independent, self sufficient and equal to a man, put our career first and worry about the rest later. But when is later? After the next promotion? The next job? The next move? Before long you’re looking in the mirror wondering where your 30’s and half of your 40’s went and how you’re going to find love before the wrinkles really set in!
I fell into my career and it was a great fit. I threw myself into the job constantly pushing myself to grow, change, evolve and be the best I could be and it worked. I was in my early 30’s and on top of the world, I won an Emmy, I had a great boyfriend this was it! It was finally my time!! Then the bottom dropped out. The man I had fallen in love with died, and I felt the only thing I had to lean on was the job. Once again, I threw myself into it because it’s what I knew. It was a safe place. I could hide from the pain of my broken heart for a few hours a day, and before long I was numb. I had lost my passion for the job, living life, and finding love again.
5 years later I would move to NYC and learn to embrace life again, in the greatest city in the world, but once again I’m throwing myself into work, and once again I’m not happy. It seems pretty obvious when you write it out, but it has been eluding me for a decade.
In life, you meet people along the way that change your perspective. Some are acquaintances, others know you better than you know yourself, but all of them bring something interesting to the table, if you listen and pay attention.
I recently met up with a college sorority sister and she said something that stuck with me. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was essentially ‘isn’t it time you put something else first?’ She’s right! I don’t have a fighting chance at finding love if I can’t make it a priority and I can’t make it a priority when I’m burned out, overworked and stressed out.
So I sit here mapping out the next phase, creating the second half, trying to determine what I want and how I’m going to get it, while maintaining my independence and integrity. What do I want to do with my life! Say that out loud. It’s liberating and terrifying at the same time!! And once you figure it out, how do you do it?!
Lucky for me I have some great friends, like Oprah! Super Soul Sunday has become my Sunday Funday; the books ‘Do What You Are’ and ‘The Pathfinder’ are my roadmap and I’ve got Sharpies and a sketch pad to highlight my goals on this journey to the ultimate destination…. happiness and love!
I believe both start at home, the place I never thought I’d return, yet somehow it seems to be calling me back. Like an old friend, warm and familiar, where I can be myself and people ‘get’ me. Who knows? The next song that may be playing over and over in my head could be John Mellencamp ‘Small Town’.
Bring it on universe!!! I’m ready!!!