Since my last blog post, I moved away from Illinois (where I have spent my entire life), and I’m writing this post from the couch of my new apartment in Austin Texas. I left my prairie homeland, and in front of me await the opportunities of exploration and change and growth that come with that experience.
I start a new job at a clean energy nonprofit tomorrow, after two weeks in Austin where I haven’t been working. I felt two parts of me warring over how to spend this mini-vacation between jobs – a struggle between “Make The Absolute Most Of It, Tie Up Every Lose End, Get Your Driver’s License, Call Every Insurance Company…” and the softer wispier part of me who wanted to sleep in and walk to yoga class and stare out the window and cut myself a break.
Mostly, that softer side won. Sometimes I ate Pringles and chocolate for breakfast. One morning I did a cardio workout video on Youtube that I couldn’t keep up with, my heart fluttering in my chest as I sweated off the stagnant energy that has been building in my body.
I read every article on Brad and Angelina’s divorce that I could find. I bought a small used lime green car that feels so fun and abundant and high-vibe. I escaped for a secret family weekend away — I saw my cousin play softball, flipped my other cousin’s homecoming pictures, and spent time with family in the sunshine.
Today I feel happy, dewy, and relaxed… but also lost. I am happiest when I have a Big Creative Project to work on – a place to funnel my restless energy. No matter what jigsaw pieces are coming together (or falling apart) in my life, I love having a Big Creative Project churning in the background, coloring everything with its light.
And right now, I have no Big Creative Project tugging at my sleeve. Absolutely no inspiration for what could be next.
* * *
In college I worked to create and launch a new farmers market in Chicago. This is where I learned the rush of creating something from scratch, and I got hooked on devoting myself to a giant Project to define me.
Then I spent a few years in between projects – restless, kicking at the dirt, unsure of my purpose. On the surface my life was functioning (I was working full time, doing what I was “supposed” to do) but the gnawing sense of loss became unbearable. I started this blog and let that be my Project for a while. Then after a few aborted attempts to write book proposals… my next Project was to write and publish my first book.
Now my book (Robot Coconut Trees) is done. It is out in the world, out of my hands, making whatever imprints that it is bound to make. And here I am again, full circle, staring vacantly out my apartment window because I don’t have a new Project to inspire me.
I have thought about taking on life coaching / writing coaching clients, and I have thought about working on another book. I have thought about creating online classes about blogging and self-expression (I even hired coaches and wrote sales pages and planned my curriculum).
But my enthusiasm for these ideas has fallen apart. My passion deserted me in my sleep – slipped under the glowing crack in my bedroom door and found a home in someone else’s heart. Now I am left with a new city, a beautiful new life, and a healthy dose of the unknown looming before me.
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Can you hover in the hesitation?
Can you live with the uncertain pangs of an average day-to-day lifestyle? Can you accept the eb and flow of passion?
Can you still find the energy to smile and greet your day with poise? Can you find the space to believe that these downtimes are just as important as your big holy Projects?
You will spend some time languishing in the loneliness. You will spend some time looking at your phone too often, trying to escape your pain by compulsively scrolling through other people’s lives.
(Don’t numb out. Stay with us. Stay present. This in-between stage can be your fire of transformation.)
Can you keep showing up to your Life, even if you don’t know what happens next? Can you trust the unfolding?
You will need to make small talk with a lot of people. You will have to do something, make any small movement, even if you aren’t sure if it’s in the right direction. You will need to take a class + show up at an event + smile at a stranger + doodle in a notebook + go on aimless phone-less walks.
You will need to be patient. You will need to make the first move, and let the Universe come gushing forth to meet you. You decide how long or beautiful or miserable this period of your life will be.
You will need to remember that you have been here before, in this sticky aimless drifting period… and after you finally emerged from the darkness, gasping for air, what did you find?
A life beyond your wildest dreams.
Peace and Impatience and Transitional Blessings,