It’s okay not to know. I didn’t always believe this.
I was tortured by not knowing what my ‘thing’ was. What I was here to do. Tortured is a strong word – so let’s call it a consistent, low-grade fever. I thought that since I was asking the question, an answer ought to be forthcoming.
Watching TV I would kick myself for never getting those head shots. I would watch ER and think maybe I should be a doctor or a nurse and when the credits would roll, I’d think I just wasn’t applying myself. I was working in TV production but I wasn’t an Executive or Senior anything!
If I went to a street fair I’d walk by the crafts and question if I was supposed to be making custom window boxes? Decoupaged light plate covers? Hanging beaded candle-holders?
It was exhausting.
I had two successful careers. To the outside world it looked like I was doing great. But there was something missing. I hadn’t felt like I could really go the distance in either of them because, truthfully, I didn’t care enough. And it made me uncomfortable. Was I being lazy? Not giving it my all in a puritan work ethic kind of way? The answer was always, “No.” So then what was the problem?
I bought the books. “I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What Is Was” – “Live The Life You Love” – “What Color Is Your Parachute?”…you get the picture.
But I never read them.
I would start but it just felt too overwhelming. It nearly always involved index cards. I was supposed to start with something I felt passionate about but didn’t have the guts to go after. Or didn’t think going after was a viable option.
I was screwed.
I didn’t know what my passion was.
I was trying to get pregnant but starting to think that might not happen. So now even motherhood wasn’t going to get me off the hook.
And I was so tired of the question, “What do you love to do?” I didn’t know how to answer. It felt like the question I was asking myself went so much deeper than that. What was I wanting to connect to?
Yet another book was recommended. “The Passion Test”
One of the first exercises was to make a list of things that would be present when I was living my ideal life… Aha! I didn’t have to know what I was going to be doing in this ‘ideal life,’ just how I would feel and what my life would be like. I could do this!
So I made my list and it felt great. I didn’t have to know what my job was but I did know that I wanted to work with people I liked, laugh a lot and be well compensated. I was able to describe my ideal life in even deeper detail without know how I was going to get there! Freedom.
There was something magical about imagining and resonating and finally connecting with my ideal life. I made my list, ranked them in order of importance, and forgot about it. I didn’t finish any other exercises.
Many answers have been revealed since then. I had a baby. And still I was searching for my thing.
It almost feels like an accident that I found my calling. A crazy set of coincidences and series of events the universe used to get my attention (details on that in a post soon…).
I’m not sure how it happened. But I do know that the questioning was an important part of the finding out. And the seeking and not knowing, while painful at times, was a crucial component of the answer.
What are you not knowing?