I was always the girl that knew exactly what her life was going to be. I was going to go to school and study theater, then move to New York. I would be on Broadway, then I’d meet the love of my life and then I would come back to LA and settle in my hometown and have babies and become all domestic and then of course I would book a sitcom and that was exactly what life was going to be. I mean it was planned, that meant it was supposed to happen, right? I was planning, planning, always planning. Everyone else around me felt like they were flailing, but nope, not me! I was planning and sure and if I had a plan, nothing could go wrong.
I know you all know the end of this story already. Of course my plan did not go to plan or I would currently be belting my face off on a stage somewhere in NYC and thankfully, because it didn’t all work out the way I thought it would I learned about the gift that is loving to reinvent myself.
I graduated college, I came back to LA…first alteration I needed to make in my plan. I started auditioning and I hated it…uhoh…that’s a problem if literally the life of an actor is auditioning, so, my plan needed to be edited further. I tried real estate and while I’ve stuck with it as a means to make money, I kept searching for what felt good to do every day in life. I thought about philanthropy, I mean what can be more giving, than running a non-profit organization? I planned all of two philanthropic events when I realized that was definitely not my cup of tea. Then I thought it would be a dream to own a performing arts complex. I worked for about a solid month on an in-depth business plan when I realized it was totally not meant to be my thing. Each time I decided I was going to try something new I threw myself head in. I told myself just go for it. I was sure it was going to be my thing and then when it wasn’t my thing I had to learn not to judge myself for not continuing. I had to learn to look at all the avenues I’d tried and refuse to see a graveyard of failures or think that I didn’t try hard enough and I had to remember to not beat myself up for wanting to find something that made me truly happy in a vocation.
I just kept reinventing myself and with every new me I learned something and I got closer to finding my calling. I don’t try something with the intention of stopping or with what other people refer to as “quitting,” I try something with the intention that it will succeed above all else and I dedicate myself to it for as long as it feels good and when it doesn’t feel good anymore, I stop. Dive in, not fun, get out of the water and dive in from a different angle. I have exhausted my family with new ideas, wanting them to go all in and believe whole-heartedly with me and bless them, they do every time. I told my friends about these plans as if they were sure things, because to me they were, until they weren’t anymore. This doesn’t mean that every time I hit a wall or something challenges me I stop, it means that when the not-so-fun things outweigh the fun things I reroute and reinvent.
Some people may call this a quarter life crisis…I call this almost every other Tuesday. There is no shame in finding that something you thought was supposed to be your be-all and end-all isn’t anymore. It doesn’t mean you’re giving up or that you’re a sell-out; it means you’re starting something new and what’s more fun than a fresh start?
People will want to put you in a box. They will want to say, “but what are you?” And I will say, “Today I am a writer. Today I am having fun and seeing what else seems fun.” And when something seems fun I dive in. I give it my all and hope that one of these times when I dive in I won’t want to get out of the water. It will feel so good. Sometimes it will feel like treading water, sometimes it will feel like the water is silk, but the water will be so enjoyable that even amidst the choppy waves it will still feel better to be in the water rather than out of the water. (Should I say water one more time? Okay…water.)
The first time the reroute is always the toughest. It was the hardest to justify to myself. I felt like I had to explain myself to others. Why wasn’t I going to continue? Was I going to try again in the future? Then I realized I didn’t have to answer these questions. I don’t have to explain. Maybe I will go back to it, maybe not, I’m not really sure. I just didn’t want to do it at this moment and for the foreseeable future. I wanted to try something else. And then something else and then something else and eventually I will find the Cinderella slipper that fits so beautifully I’ll never take it off. Or maybe I will continue to reinvent myself my entire life as things come and go and life changes. Life is wonky, not straightforward and it’s a lot easier if you take the pressure off of yourself. There is no one you were “supposed to be,” just who you are now and in this moment. Just who you wake up and want to be. There will be mistakes and missteps and confusion on this yellow brick road to Oz, but then you’re in Oz! And even then the Emerald City isn’t what you thought it would look like, but it’s beautiful in its very own way.
You are not stuck. You can do anything you feel like. Yes, packing up and leaving the life you thought you were “supposed to have” is a massive challenge. But after you’ve done it a few times around, it gets easier. You learn to travel lighter. To hold on to only the stuff that feels good. To carry the relationships with you that bring you joy and light. Be just like the little British lady inside the navigation system and give yourself permission to reroute (and if you’re like my google maps you’re doing it all the damn time). It doesn’t matter how many times you do it. It doesn’t matter what other peoples’ ideas regarding success are, what matters is that you wake up in the morning and the good stuff outweighs the negative stuff and on the days where that’s flip-flopped you know it’s temporary. You’re good honey. You’re all set. You have everything you need to reach inside and find what’s calling you and if it’s not what you thought you came out of the womb to be, how cool is that? You fooled us all.
Happy Tuesday friends! To things that serve you and make life enjoyable. Like cups of tea. Have a wonderful day xoxoxo