I’ve got it all figured out. Don’t you?
My bank account is overflowing. My body is never creaky. Not a speck of dust in my home. I floss daily. And oh, the sex. My happiness arches like a rainbow over my perfect, polished life.
Take your problems walking. None to be found on this side of the grass, where it’s a glistening emerald green 24-7.
I can hardly continue this with a straight face. But I do have a larger point.
Am I the only one who gets the feeling there are way more people living on the financial and/or emotional edge than we even imagine? I’m one who generally assumes people are doing great when I’m thinking collectively, but the more one-on-one conversations I have with people lately the more I realize it just isn’t true. At least not as consistently as I thought (or hoped). Utopia, not so much.
This is not about generating a downer conversation. It’s an observation about the front so many of us feel we have to put up. There are an awful lot of entrepreneurs in my acquaintance and while many are thriving in terms of pursuing their passion and enjoying making their own schedules, it doesn’t mean they’re not also experiencing great bouts of anxiety. In addition, those who are in jobs that bring them no satisfaction outside of a check often reach a breaking point and wind up wondering if this is all there is.
We’re all trying to make it work, people. And what works for you isn’t necessarily going to work for me or the guy next door. While I embrace the exhilaration of figuring out my next thing, there’s no way for that to happen without also embracing the uncertainty of it all. I have been a resource for many and I continue to seek out resources for myself. Being on both sides of that has been, and continues to be, pivotal for my growth.
For example, yesterday I had a conversation with a writer and bestselling author who was kind enough to give me his time. I figure the more I learn about the current media landscape, the more my world opens up. I came away from that chat with two very solid ideas for moving forward in my freelance writing. On the flip side, I have a call scheduled for later in the week with an aspiring writer who’s unsure of her next steps and would like my thoughts.
I don’t mean to make this all about writing. That’s my world. But I do have this sense that so many people think I have it all figured out and I, in turn, think another whole group of people has it all figured out. But you know what? Nobody does. How’s that for the ultimate clarification? Nobody freakin’ does.
And, incidentally, if you hire a life coach who pretends she does, run for the hills before you sign that contract. That’s a big, fat red flag that you’re signing on with a smiley face instead of a human who is trained to help you take your life to another level but acknowledges that sometimes you’ll struggle and that her cookie cutter tests/exercises/rah-rahs don’t work for everyone.
Man, this feels good.
This is such a different world than the one I prepared to work and live in when I was in school in the 80s. I couldn’t have known what was around the bend and I mostly feel dazzled by social awareness, technological advances beyond my comprehension, and the challenges brought by world events in the last decade. Keeping up is kind of heady for a 51-year-old.
I suppose it’s my big picture optimism that propels me in ways others tell me they admire. I don’t know how else to be. I’ve learned that if someone walks away from me feeling inspired it’s because I gave them genuine Nancy. The fake stuff doesn’t cut it. Maybe that should be my tagline.
I love the life I have created for myself. That is true. I know what my priorities are. But people close to me know I often torture myself when making choices within those priorities. I question. I wonder.
And yet, I rarely waver on my big picture. I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing. My gifts are being tapped. My purpose is clear. My passion for helping others see theirs is strong.
Living meaningfully. That much I’ve got figured out.
The rest I’ll relish, anxiety and all.