I still remember how I felt when I made a list of goals for 2019 on the last page of my journal in December 2018: pleased with myself for reaching for the ~*starz*~, but like there was something missing.
I made a list of things that would feel good to accomplish and show the world I’m moving forward. This included finishing a draft of my book, hitting 3000 Instagram followers or running the SeaWheeze half marathon to name a few. But there was something out there that I was being called up and out to do, not on my list, and I could feel it.
I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
So I didn’t.
It wasn’t until midway through Jan. 2019 when I was painting the trim of a house in New Orleans, volunteering with an organization called lowernine.org, that it occurred to me.
I needed to search for clarity and genuine connection.
During my volunteer work and that entire vacation, I felt calm and happy. It wasn’t a feeling that had resided in my body in a long time, and I wondered why I couldn’t feel it all the time. Why did I only feel clear on vacation? I didn’t sign up to live a life where I only felt good when I wasn’t at home!!!!
Maybe it struck me then because I needed the vacation and volunteer work to remember what it felt like to feel that good, and maybe because my head was basically in a bucket of wine in December when I wrote the list and I was still somewhat newly single.
I know now that list of goals that I could brag about on social media once completed hadn’t gotten me very far so far, as far as actual healing was concerned.
Deep down I knew chasing clarity and connection would be harder, require more of me and take longer, than everything on that list put together. This was the year I was being called to the challenge.
On the plane back, I was left wondering what I could do that would get me one step closer to where I wanted to be. The little voice in the back of my head finally let me admit to myself that maybe drinking was holding me back and I wouldn’t know how much until I stopped. The holidays had been rough, and alcohol didn’t make them easier even though that’s what we’re told.
So instead of chasing all the other goals, I came back home from that trip and haven’t touched alcohol since. I quit drinking because it intuitively felt like the first thing I could eliminate that would get me closer to clarity and connection. I didn’t choose to ignore my original list, but it naturally fell to the wayside.
As I’ve said before, drinking took away the gauzy veneer that had been allowing me to ignore my complete lack of healing. Talk about clarity – there’s nothing more f*cking terrifying than realizing that YOU’RE the one robbing yourself of inner peace because you refuse to do the work and haul the rotting issues out from under your soul porch.
I ended up doing the craziest things I’ve ever done in my life in 2019, and none of them were on that list. I am inching toward clarity and genuine connection as I continue to excavate my way through my own bullshit.
2019 taught me that the vision of my life I wouldn’t dare put into words is the very thing I needed to vow to do for myself. I didn’t have an entire roadmap, I just took a brave little baby step in a direction that my intuition guided me towards and had to have blind hope the rest would come.
Especially in the low moments, because trust me THERE WERE MANY, the hope got me through. You’ve gotta crack a few eggs if you wanna make an omelet.
Easier said than done, I know.
I don’t feel bad for giving up on my original goals. Write a list or don’t. Think on it. Pledge to do the thing you don’t want to admit to yourself you need most. Do the thing that gives you the most hope for future you.
Sometimes it’s not something that can be broken down into a to-do list.