“I stopped explaining myself, because I learned that making decisions is never about doing the right thing or the wrong thing. It’s about doing the precise thing. The precise thing is always incredibly personal and often makes no sense to anyone else.” – Glennon Doyle
I recently rediscovered a facebook note I wrote in 2011. I was 21, about to graduate college, and in the middle of a full-blown quarterlife crisis.
I had studied environmental sustainability in college, but in my heart I knew I was an artist and spiritual teacher. I had nothing to show for it – no published writing, no students, no idea how to make money. Just me and my little fledgling desire that I couldn’t shake away.
Everyone assured me that I could nurture these other passions outside of my environmental job – that my writing and teaching could be my hobbies. I couldn’t get excited about this concept. I tried to bend and mush myself into someone who could smile and say “Yes, of course – my hobbies will be what bring me joy for the rest of my life!” I tried every day to make that statement work for me, and sometimes I still try. But my fakeness was always palpable. I could never bring myself to believe it.
This creative tension resulted in this panicking facebook note in 2011 where I scrawled:
“Why am I so unsatisfied with the “environmental work can be your career, the rest can be your hobbies” answer?!”
Now I understand why, and it really is simple:
That wasn’t the right answer for me. Period.
And I had never asked myself what I truly wanted.
* * *
Let’s say you’re frazzled and not sure what to do with your life. You feel disconnected, you sleepwalk through the motions, and you spend your time restlessly pacing in circles.
Ask yourself the question: What do I really need right now?
Sometimes the answer is: Maybe you need to slow down and press pause. You need to cancel plans and stop saying “yes” to the busyness and invitations that have frittered your life away. You need to snuggle on the couch, smell the roses, stop complaining, be humble, and tune into what a miracle your life truly is. How incredibly blessed you are. You need to stare at your own reflection and play mindless games and zone out and do nothing for a while.
But sometimes the answer to the same exact question is:
Maybe you need to speed up and decide to LIVE again. You need to channel your jittery creative energy into something bigger than yourself. You’re a creative person who isn’t creating anything right now, so your spark is running haywire. You need to reach out to people and make appointments to see them, connect with them, and know them – even if it’s scary. You need to be more active and show up for this one jewel of a life that you have in front of you.
Same question, different paths forward – and only you can know which is precise for you.
* * *
What do you really need right now?
Set aside the books and mentors for a moment. Pay no mind to the inspirational quotes and images that float by on your social media pages. All those things can help you, all those things can lighten the load of life… but none are a substitute for your innate compass that knows the way.
What do YOU need right now to feel more vibrant and alive?
Not what your family says you need. Not what your partner thinks you need. Not what your friends agree that you need.
Not what you used to need. Not what everyone in your orbit expects you to need.
What do you need? Let this be both a question and an answer, spoken to and from yourself, tapping into the light of your fiery spirit. Let it be a prayer. Let it be an opportunity to speak from your gut.
There is a deeper part of you that knows every answer. She knows what you want. She knows your gifts. She knows what you were brought into this world to do. And once you create a conversation with that brilliant intuitive part of you – her voice will get louder. She will answer when you call.
You have the capacity to discover your own answers. May you be courageous. May you boldly step into the answers that you find, especially in your fragile moments.
And once you have an inkling of your next steps – may you stand your ground. May you have your own back. May you make the next precise choice for your own life, whether or not anyone else understands it.
Peace and Fierce Daily Questions,