“What do you want to do with your life?” “I don’t know.” “But what would you like to do?” “I said I don’t know.”
Most of the conversations I have with my friends go like this. I tell them I don’t want to be a teacher anymore, so naturally they want to know what my plans or alternatives are. And I have none to give them.
When I think about it, that is a conversation I enter knowing that nothing is going to come out of it. What could they possibly say? How could they help me? And they try to help me, because they are people who love me and who would like to see me happy and fulfilled.
But when they ask me these questions, they don’t realise that they are the same questions that I ask myself. At the beginning of this process, and this beginning lasted several years, I jut felt a deep discomfort when I thought I had to teach, or plan my classes. I started feeling a painful oppression in my chest everytime I thought about it, I sometimes even cried in the mornings. It was not waking up early what bothered me, but having to do this job which leaves me more and more disatisfied literally hurt me.
I got up and went to work because that’s what I do, what my father taught me: show up to work, no matter what. Your have a responsibility, and impeccable work ethics. And so I show up, because that’s who I am, and because I need to eat and a place to live. And I do my work well, because that is what you should do. You get paid to do a job, so you do it well, to the best of your ability, because that’s who you are and there is no other way.
So, while I have suffered bouts of depression, while I have been consumed by anger and frustration, I have kept my job, I have kept learning about my work, and I’ve kept working really hard.
But this hard work and dedication have not helped me find the path that is truly mine, what my soul calls me to do, and in many ways, these ridiculous, circular conversations I have with people around me about what I would like to do with my life are only an excuse I give myself not to act. I tell myself that as soon as I find out what I want to do, I’ll do it. But the truth is that I was just expecting to one day wake up to the realisation of what it is I am meant to do in this life.
Gradually I started to realise that the only realisation I would have one sad morning, was the fact that I has wasted my life waiting for a “revelation”. I realised I was, again, waiting for someone to tell me what to do. (Goddess? Divine Messenger?)
And this has been very evident to me, now that I am trying to do the different tasks from The Artist’s Way. Trying to come up with ideas for the Artist’s Date has been nothing short of impossible, as has been one of the tasks for week 2. Think of 20 things you enjoy doing but haven’t done in a long time. Nothing, I can think of nothing.
And I say to myself: “Really?” Is there nothing you enjoy doing? Is there nothing you would like to be able to do again? Or something you’d like to try for the first time? A habit (or a hobby) you’d like to take up? I answer to myself: no, I can’t think of anything.
I think I have hidden these things from myself, along with many other things that would hurt me if I lost, or dreams, big or little, that I’d rather see dead than tried and defeated. Where did I acquire this voice? When did I start punishing myself for every little mistake by taking away from me the things I love the most?
What are 20 things that I would like to do? That would feed my soul and would help me get in touch again with who I am, but also who I used to be? What can I bring to light in this day?
I am tired of saying to myself: I don’t know. If not me, WHO? I am tired of saying to myself: One day I will know. If not now, WHEN?
- Write a poem every week.
- Take singing classes, or at the very least, sing alone at home.
- Go back to pole dancing classes.
- Bake a cake.
- See animals (other than my dogs and cats).
- Look at nature. Be in nature.
- Go to the cinema alone.
- Go to bookstores.
- Visit an art gallery or museum.
- Ride my bicycle in the city.
- GO TO LONDON. (or at least, plan a future trip)
- Take a train trip.
- Review my German or Russian.
- Get a Tarot reading.
- Learn a new spell and do it.
- Make a bag or pencil case.
- Talk to a friend.
- Draw some mandalas.
- Take care of some plants, or plant my baobab seeds.
- A mini-spa session at home, with masks and aromatherapy.
Oh God. That was hard, but I feel happy, and moved, and excited. Of course, due to the quarantine, I couldn’t do all of them right now, but some at least are possible.