I feel a little like the junk lady from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.
You know, the one who lives in the junk yard and carries all of her most prized possessions on her back? The main character, Sarah, falls into Junk land after realizing the beautiful ball she’d been dancing in was really a cage and there were more important things she needed to do. Once the dream bubble was popped, the Junk lady started piling on thing after thing onto a confused Sarah, trying to make her forget her purpose.
That, right there, is where I am now. Freshly fallen from dream land and straight into the jarring reality that my cage couldn’t contain me anymore. I feel the need to grab up my most comforting things to armor myself in the harsh world. I make a blanket fort and stay perfectly still so the monsters won’t find me. Childhood toys, favorite books, art supplies, movies, clothes and jackets and make up…all weight distracting me from the main issue, which is…
WHAT DO I REALLY WANT?
One by one I have to slough off the non-essentials and pare down my life to what is only the most important basics. I have to decide what that is, firstly. Once I do this, I’ll be able to move lightly and freely in any direction I desire.
It’s a lot harder than you’d think to pick a thing among all the other things and say, “That. I want that and I’m going to run the gauntlet trying to get it.”
But when can we have it? And what is it supposed to be?
Life has demands you must meet first and then maybe your God has some demands too as well as your boss and family and friends. When is there time left over for you? How, in the midst of all the junk and chaos, are you supposed to figure it out?
Do you want to know a secret I discovered?
Probably not so secret actually but something I’ve figured out in my study of life.
Adults are really just tall children who have to fake they know what they’re doing for the littler children. But because we’re taught to “be adult” through various levels of schooling and getting a job, we’re supposed to suddenly be all-knowing and responsible while still maintaining some childhood magic so we don’t become too serious.
Add in the fact that a lot of people have to deal with catastrophic situations we’re in no way prepared for like, birth, death, divorce, natural disasters, illness, marriage, and war and we still have to hold our heads up high like a bawss.
No wonder people medicate themselves against this kind of crap.
So what do you do when the world falls down around you? When your delicate cage shatters and you’re standing bare as a newborn babe in the middle of your life? I’ll tell you what you don’t do first because it’ll be the first things you desire. Anything to take away this hungry and glaring monstrosity called Life. I know this because it’s something I did (and continually do) when my world fell down.
DON’T pile on the junk. Whether it be shopping sprees (my biggest vice), food binges, travel (aka running away), sexual affairs, drugs/alcohol, excessive volunteering (also something I’m guilty of), work out mania, over time at work or anything else with potentially harmful repercussions. You’ll get shopper’s remorse, hang overs, even more lost, an STI, a pulled muscle, no sleep and burn out. I mean, worst case scenario, of course. It could be these types of things help you a little to find a direction. It didn’t really work for me but kudos to you if you got something out of it.
What I found worked for me is…..I haven’t found it yet.
Yeah, I know. Anti-climactic. Sorry. I’m not one of those wise, all-knowing adult persons. But I think I’m a special case, you see, because my mind is like a flock of brightly colored humming birds buzzing from flower to flower and never retaining anything for more than a few days before burning it up and repeating the process. A paint splatter Rain Man. Short term memory loss? I’ve never been diagnosed with it but it certainly feels that way. I come up with a plan and it’s promptly forgotten when I see another pretty flower.
So what do I do in the mean time? Here’s a suggestion that I believe to be a step in the right direction. A step away from the junk pile on your back toward something real.
Pick ONE thing to do every day. Nothing big. Something you can do while you watch TV, like stretch your muscles. Or at work on your break, write for 5 minutes about stuff you love to do or want to do or stuff bothering you. Get it all out in a rush. Or pick something you don’t do every day, like brush your teeth for instance, and make it a mini goal. Put it in your personal planner and give yourself a sticker when you complete that goal. (Kids love stickers after all!)
In this new world of uncertainty, you need to create an anchor for yourself that comes from YOU, not from THINGS and it has to be something you WIN at. A small victory you can celebrate with yourself. If it’s midnight and you realize you’ve forgotten to do your mini goal, make sure you can do it right there before you go to bed. Really, it can be that small!
Do you want to know what I do? What my small victory is? I pick three or for positive affirmations for the day and I repeat them in my head every chance I remember them. I AM WORTHY. I AM BEAUTIFUL. I AM GRATEFUL. I AM LOVED. I AM CREATIVE. I AM INTELLIGENT. I CAN DO THIS. I AM A WRITER.
Not “could be”. I AM. I CAN. I’ll even say it in the mirror to myself while going through my morning routine if I don’t quite believe it’s true that day.
Fake it till you make it, right?
It’s working too, you know. Out of this mini goal came an idea that I can’t believe I didn’t have earlier. It’s an expansion of my affirmations, my hopes, goals and flaws. Yes, even flaws (so I can work on them steadily).
I’m going to make myself a Jessica Bible. Or as it’s commonly known, a Bullet Journal. In it will go my affirmations, on the front page, so I will see them every day, first thing. The next thing I feel needs to be in it, second page, is my Dream to become a Published Author. And I’m going to list the whys below it so when my motivation starts to fizzle out, I can re-read it again and again. It’s easy to give up on big dreams like that because responsibility and practicality beat it out of you. But I believe these dreams and desires stay with you even after you believe you’ve given up.
Don’t be satisfied with giving up.
Also going into it are achievable goals that I can put stickers next to when they’re complete like finding another job, getting my own car, learning Archery, calling my family more, trying a new recipe every month, blogging for a week/month/quarter year/half-year etc.
Cuz stickers, right?
I don’t know what else is going to go in the Jessica Bible but it will be filled with things that are important to me that I need to remind myself ARE important. And like any Bible, I’ll read it every day until the words are rote for me.
This is my plan to walk across the remainders of my safety bubble. Mom always said I was weird for being able to walk, read and chew gum at the same time without running into anything. Having my nose in a book is one of my favorite things, after all. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂