Everyone has got something they've given up to get where they are. Maybe it's soccer, or art, or dance, or macrame, or scrapbooking, or a degree you don't use because you chose to stay home with your kids. Many times its something that’s not in your control. Maybe you didn't have the support to pursue the things you wanted to do. Maybe the resources weren't there and you needed to remain practical in order to survive.
Sometimes you’ve had to give up the biggest things. Sometimes it's people, or your home. Sometimes the world has dealt you something horrible. That seems to happen a lot these days. Rest assured, everyone has something.
Even if your life is amazing, it’s easy to get stuck on and pine over your “give-ups.” It’s easy to stagnate where you are and look at all of the “what-ifs” in your life and feel the sting of those losses. It’s also easy to bury many of the things you gave up and assume that they are gone forever, that you are past them or that you are too old or too practical to fit them into your life anymore.
You might be in a position where you are perfectly and completely inspired and fulfilled. If that is the case – that is amazing! But you might be in a position where you have been so busy doing everything for everyone else that you don't remember what feeds your soul anymore and your "give-ups" are unproductively eating away at you.
My life is amazing, but I was there not too long ago. I had buried the things I have always loved in the interest of practicality for so long that I honestly got to a point where I couldn't remember the things that brought me joy. It's a weird feeling when you ask yourself what it is that truly moves you in the world and you don't have an answer.
For me, I found my joy again in a couple of ways. I forced myself out of my comfort zone and signed up for a dance class at the age of 37. It was awkward. I felt fat, and old, and stupid - but I did it every week until I became a stronger dancer than I have ever been in my life. Then a friend invited me to a concert. I went and I danced and I sang and I remembered why I truly love music. Then one day I picked up a pen and started to doodle and all of these things came pouring out. Little by little I remembered the things that feed my soul. Little by little I found purpose again and I started to redefine myself – for myself. (Notice I did not say "reinvent". I didn't create anything new about myself. Everything had always been there, "I" was just buried under layers and layers of practical and doing for everyone else for so long that I had to do some digging to bring "me" back to the surface).
I'm still always mom. I'm still daughter and wife and friend... but I am also me again now. Somehow, I let myself go by the wayside until I wasn't sure who that was anymore. I had been missing for a good number of years.
So I've been in the process of putting everything that I gave up back into my life. Even in the midst of the chaotic and sometimes ugly world, and in the midst of raising a family and working and existing, I am choosing to allow myself to love what I love and fit it all in. I am choosing to be inspired by everything that I care about. I am choosing to put it ALL back in my life.
Life is a creative adventure if you choose it to be. So I choose to look at my life as a creative, inspiring story that I get to create every day.
I choose to be authentic. I choose to be inspired by my own life. And if my life isn't inspiring me, I do everything possible to fix it.
So, if you are caught in a spiral of your "give-ups" and you can't remember anymore what it is that you love... find a quiet moment and look back. Remember who you were at your happiest and most inspired. Look back and see if there is some tiny spark of that left that you can seize on and incorporate into the you that you are now.
If you can't find the spark, you might just have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and be uncomfortable for a while. You can do it. You will need to do some work and find what it is that inspires you so that you can find that joy again, but I promise you, it's worth it.
The loud, dark and overwhelming world may be telling you that there isn't room for you and your "selfish" needs. It might be telling you it's an ugly, scary place and that you shouldn't bother with finding your joy. But the world is a mess. The world needs some serious help right now. The world in it's current state is not the best thing to be dictating to you how you should choose to exist.
Right now the world needs you and me and everyone else to live our best lives and be our best, most fulfilled, creative and fantastic selves so that we can spread the joy. Otherwise - what's the point of any of this???
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."
I take this quote very seriously and I think of it every day on my adventure.
So go live YOUR creative adventure.
It starts right now.
© 2017 Krysta Bernhardt. All Rights Reserved.