Today, or at least right now, rather than writing something new I am compelled to go through old journals and old writings to re-inspire myself. I found the following objective list at the end of a journal post from May 15th, 2014.
- To be a published author
- To make writing (creatively) a primary source of income
- To provide for myself; financial security resulting from MY OWN endeavors
- To run a lovely, successful, local cafe
- To contribute monetarily to my family via writing and my cafe
I remember so clearly sitting at the cafe in Pimlico writing these, I can’t believe that’s almost two years ago now. These objectives are still so relevant and very much still reflect my desires. I will build on these and am pleased that I documented them. I wrote them down once for myself and now I write the out again for the world to read. This is my affirmation, this is my intention put forward. THIS is what I want from the world, of course along with many other things, but these 5 bullets provide me a lot of direction.
I have recently been feeling that I lack objectives and this is leaving me bored and unfulfilled. In becoming a full-time mother and relocating for my husband’s job to a country where I cannot work legally I have been left needing to be very creative with my time. In one sense I have every opportunity to do anything and everything I have every wanted to. I could use this time to study something, to get fit, to learn a language – whatever. But instead of feeling motivated and charged by this opportunity, this chance to truly not HAVE to work (a wonderful and rare occurrence for many), I have become crippled by my own lack of motivation. Until very recently I felt I had lost my buzz, non of the things that used to inspire me gave me pleasure any more, even socializing started to feel more like a chore than a joy. My mind has been so busy, reeling all the time, full of insecurity and judgement. Such an ugly place to be. Since kicking this blog off and beginning to write daily the wind is back in my sails and skies are blue and sunny.
What most people don’t understand is that passion is the result of action not the cause of it. Discovering what you’re passionate about in life and what matters to you is a full-contact sport, a trial-and-error process. None of us know exactly how we feel about an activity until we actually do the activity.
Throughout these darker days I thought I had to FIND my passion, some singular passion that would inspire me and give me purpose and that I could spend my life mastering. I was spending my time searching my brain (of all places) for what I might love to do, for what excites me and somehow everything came up blank.
While it might seem the dream life, (we literally live in a place called ‘Paradise Island’), not being able to work is both a blessing and a burden. Investing one’s self in work is any easy way to be given objectives, tasks, deadlines, goals and continuously be achieving those. This continuous (though often monotonous) cycle of objective setting and completion is part of what makes life interesting, it is a catalyst for passion. Work is not the only way to achieve this fulfillment of course, but its an easy way that we all take for granted because most of us ‘have to do it.’ Even if you hate your job, or your boss or think its boring or you are underpaid, whatever the complaint – there are aspects within it that charge you even just a little and most likely this goes unnoticed but when you take that away, remove that external charge and boom…suddenly you have to charge yourself. Setting out to achieve something and then doing so is what makes each new day exciting. Even if your achievement is just finishing a boring report or task, you have completed something you set out to and that gets noted somewhere in your psyche as a success. While one should be able to find this sort of stimulation from within, that takes a lot of work and ultimately the external world is a great motivator. Most of my life I have been trying to come up with creative ways to not ‘have’ to work, and now that I don’t I see the valuable role work plays in our lives.
When your time is hyper-segmented, when you are constantly multi-tasking, when your only ‘free-time’ is when you are sleeping, pooping, or your child is napping it can feel difficult to fight through catharsis and seek this sort of innervation. I often find myself scrolling endlessly through Facebook while my daughter sleeps. I’m thinking she will wake up any minute and not wanting to get disturbed while I’m heavily invested in something interesting I try to distract myself with meaningless mind-fill. This practice becomes a habit, its like TV or drinking, it fills space and time but it doesn’t contribute positively to my life in any way.
Finding things to keep you ‘feeling-alive’, when you don’t have free rein to do what you want when you want or a set job defining your purpose and objectives can be difficult. Sure, if I didn’t have a one-year old, I would spend my days exercising, wake surfing, exploring, writing, studying, so many things – but my time is shared and I must find ways to keep myself stimulated, and motivated without a lot of personal time. I have not yet fully figured out how to do this, but seeing the objectives I had while still pregnant, while the world still seemed full of only possibilities and opportunities rather than barriers and obstacles reminds me that I DO have dreams and I DO have passions beyond mothering. There is a me that wants things for herself, and that is exciting to remember!
BOOM! I wrote something new after all.