Getting My Sh*t Together
Inspired by You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
“Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs.”
Until they wake up.
Well that’s what happened to me. And damn, did shit hit the ceiling.
I had woken up from a life that I had so dutifully followed.
A life crafted by my parents’ beliefs that were crafted through societal beliefs that inevitably become my beliefs.
Belief-free and completely overwhelmed with the endless abyss of possibilities—which yes I’ll admit was exciting—felt so disorienting and completely out of my depth that I was consumed by my own insecurities, doubts, worries, anxieties (basically overpowering negativity) that all muddled into an existential crisis.
Once I realized I was living out someone else’s idea of my life, what actual remained was a whole lot of nothing and that scared the living sh*t out of me.
I was left with a whole lot of nothing because while living what people (meaning to call a “having my shit together” lifestyle, I never stopped to ask myself “Do you like it? Are you enjoying it? What would you like to do?” So I never figured out all the things that are usually addressed on a first-date—my likes and dislikes, my hobbies, my dreams and aspirations—so instead of having a defined sense-of-self [which I believe is the absolute #1 myth and complete bullshit of the “having your shit together” lifestyle], I felt like a stranger.
There was a strong disconnect between my Old Self and my New Self. My Old Self wasn’t gone, she just felt unfamiliar and my New Self just felt empty.
So there I was between the unfamiliar and feelings of emptiness. So what did I do?
Well first I cried [because sometimes you need to].
Then, I underwent a very extensive first-date with myself and asked all the introspective questions over every little thing I did—work, school, personal life—nothing was excluded and almost everything became black and white once the questions started.
I didn’t like my work. I wasn’t that interested in my major—some aspects I liked, majority I didn’t. And there were some aspects of my personal life that I didn’t agree with and more importantly, didn’t bring me happiness.
So okay, we get it, I had an epiphany. But what hell was I supposed to do with it?
Is this when our subconscious finally screams loud enough so we can hear it, and we actually do what we always wanted to do?
I started by stopping. I stopped doing the things that brought no extra happiness or enjoyment to my life. The materialistic aspect of money, while I admit important, was not the reason I wanted to stay in a job that felt unfulfilling.
I stopped spending more time studying then sleeping or feeding myself something other than fried food and implemented the “quality over quantity” approach. Which left me studying about 80% less than I used to. I stopped being in relationships that felt more draining and negative over time [this one was the hardest but more to come on that later]
And did this all magically fix my life? Of course not.
But it was the beginning of doing things I genuinely wanted to do by letting go of the things that I felt held me back from doing it.
I cut away the negatives and replaced it with positives and most of all, I gave myself time.
Time to find out what I enjoy.
Time to find out what makes me happy.
Time to find out how I can revive the passion I used to have for my life.
Fast-forward about 10 months later and what am I doing now? Still figuring it out is the best answer I could give you.
Still figuring it out by reaching and working towards the things that I think I might be, will be, am interested in so I can figure out what lights my heart on fire, what get’s me excited in the morning, what gives me a reason to not just trudge through this gift of life but to feel as if I’m doing something that matters each day.
Doing something that matters doesn’t mean you have to save the world by being in non-profits, being a part of Greenpeace, or volunteering for the Peace Corps. If you do or have done any of these things, hats off to you! You’re amazing!
But for the rest of us, doing something that matters is important just in the fact that it matters to you.
For me it changes every day from writing another entry for my blog, to reading an amazing self-help book, to cleaning the house for my mom.
I realized that when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom everything becomes amazing and everything begins to matter.
It’s just a matter of how you choose to look at your life.
I chose to redefine myself through redefining what matters to me through months, of asking myself if I simply enjoyed what I was doing.
And if I didn’t, I asked myself what could I change so I could enjoy the life I currently have the gift of living?
So, I have to ask, what type of life are you living?
Disclaimer: I’m not claiming to have all the answers. I’m not claiming to live in a la-la-land of happiness or that I live a worry-free life. I am 110% not here to judge anyone. I’m just trying to figure it all out like the rest of you, and I wanted to share my journey.