Last week I went to hear Elizabeth Gilbert discuss her book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – a life I’ve been yearning to live yet not fully believing I could have. See, I have great ideas for everyone else and believe wholeheartedly that they can attain the life they want. I even help them to create a plan. However, believing for myself is a totally different beast.
I’ve been doing a series of “Ideal Life” features, where I feature someone considered to be living their ideal life – a life defined by them. It’s been great interviewing them and reading the responses. Actually it was my selfish way of hearing their stories so that I could learn their secrets and maybe one day I could say I was living my ideal life too. So Khira, this is why I have not featured myself for “Ideal Life”.
Yes, I know that my life could be considered “Ideal” with a husband, kid, and “good job” but for most of my life I’ve felt out of place. As the cliché goes, it’s as if I’m trying to force a square peg into a round hole and it doesn’t fit. I am the square peg and the hole is the life others have chosen for me.
- Go to college and major in something that will give me a job immediately upon completing college
- I majored in Computer Science and minored in Math just in time for Y2K
- Get a job with benefits
- I got a job with the government and have changed jobs 6 times since then (jumping from place to place hoping it would be different each time)
- Get married and have kids
- Married at 29, daughter at 34
- Get a Master’s degree
- Master’s Degree in Professional Development in Counseling completed in 2015 (still don’t know what I’ll do with it besides pay off astronomical student loans)
- Move up the corporate ladder
- Moved into management in 2013
All of these are great accomplishments but most of them were done because “I was supposed to”. I’m sure you maybe thinking, “She’s so ungrateful! There are people who can only dream of having that life.” I’ve heard it time and time again. “What’s wrong with you?” “I don’t understand you.” Being a pleaser, I’ve internalized those negative thoughts and have allowed them to become blockers in me pursuing the life I really want. For the longest, I thought that there was something actually wrong with me. However, I can no longer allow those negative thoughts and beliefs to hinder true happiness and my “Ideal Life”.
What life do I want?
Fortunately, married life and being a mother have been fulfilling (for the most part…marriage is hard but it’s worth it) so no issues on that front. For the problem area in my life, it took me a long time to come to the realization and even be able to vocalize it confidently. Matter of fact, I spoke it confidently for the first time tonight. “I want to be a writer and a speaker that will allow me to travel the world and connect with people!” Yes, you may already see writer/speaker in my bio but I wrote it not really believing it. It’s crazy because I have written and been a speaker several times yet never believed I was or could be good at it. Oddly enough, whenever I would write or speak, I felt as if it was where I was supposed to be.
What am I going to do about it?
While listening to Elizabeth Gilbert last week, she recommended the book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron, for those who have decided that, “My life doesn’t have to be this way.” It’s a 12-week “spiritual path, initiated and practiced through creativity “ (a passage from the book). I am excited about the path and the book is already speaking to my soul.
Why am I telling you?
For accountability, I decided that I would share my journey with my readers and fellow “Becomers”. I will allow you to see the good, bad, ups and downs as I follow this path to creativity. That’s huge for a painfully private introvert. However, I honestly believe there are others out there that share in my struggles and could possibly benefit from my transparency. Maybe while on the path some of you will join me and share your stories as well.
Let me know your thoughts about living and creating your “Ideal Life”!