Letters, Soul Love

Finding Clarity

Life is overwhelming.

To me, in this moment, at least.

There is simply no other way to put it. 

For a very long time, I’ve felt uninspired and drained. Not just creatively, but in almost every aspect of life. Always busy, always tired. And yet despite being so busy and tired, I can’t help but feel an itch. For a time, I got to bury myself in motherhood and focus on raising my child. But as he gets older and now that I have returned to work, I feel more and more restless.

So many things are happening all at once. I have the privilege of having stable work with a good income, a roof over my head, a beautiful family, and so many other things to be grateful for. And I am, I am so grateful that some days I feel racked with guilt that we are so privileged while people we know are struggling. Struggling because of COVID, struggling because of extreme weather events, struggling because of loss of loved ones, struggling because of financial issues. I remind myself every day to be grateful, and I remind myself that we worked really, really hard to earn what we have.

And that hard work came at immense costs. We are burnt out and exhausted.

I grew up extremely ambitious. For as long as I could remember, I had very clear goals and dreams. Vivid dreams, too. It drove me and kept me on track with a purpose. When life got very dark, it was the light at the end of the tunnel that I desperately clung to. I threw myself into work and studies, I lost sleep and sacrificed much of my social life, mental- and physical health, to achieve my goals. And I achieved many of them, one after the other. I believe that if you work hard enough and you’re a little lucky, the universe will reward you with opportunity. It is our responsibility to recognize and seize the opportunities when they arise. 

But sometimes, the universe also has other plans. It throws us curve balls.

Sometimes it’s just a fork in the road, sometimes it’s a big crossroads. Taking on a side quest is great for life experience, but it makes it so easy to get totally off-track and lost. And that’s what I did. Except at the time, it felt less like choosing a path and more like being pushed onto a particular path. It was my choice to accept that push, thinking that it would be a scenic route to the same destination. 

But it wasn’t.

Followed by years of uncertainty, unbearable impostor syndrome, instability, and declining health, this path I felt pushed onto sent me in a direction I never dreamed possible. I spiraled into a deep depression, I lost all self-esteem, and I completely lost sense of direction. Simultaneously I achieved so much, experienced so much, and met so many incredible people. I made lifelong friendships and built a successful career I never anticipated. But I felt unfulfilled and unhappy, and no matter how hard I tried to forge my way back to the main road I was always faced with an obstacle that felt insurmountable. Over time, my once vivid dreams faded to a muddier palette, until the colors became indistinguishable from each other. Eventually I came to believe that perhaps I was never meant to achieve the things I so desperately wanted. Maybe I wasn’t good enough, and maybe I never would be. The canvas I am looking at now feels murky and anxious. In this murky obscurity there are dim shapes, barely visible, swirling and trying to take form. Each one is intriguing, but hard to discern or understand. Over the last few weeks, however, it feels a little like I can see those shapes emerging more and more on the surface and take form. Do I go with it and hope I don’t get sent on another tangent?

Tangents are my specialty. I am a serial hobbyist, I always have many projects on the go. I will throw myself at a project completely and live and breathe it, and then I get distracted by another shiny new thing and abandon all that work I had put in. Revisiting that project in the future feels like facing a mountain – and sometimes I have the motivation to continue, but mostly it gathers dust in storage until I find it years later and throw it out. It aggravates me to no end! When I am struck with an idea, it fills me with such hope and such creativity and such inspiration that I want to abandon my responsibilities and just live in that project forever… But there are so many of them that it becomes a tangled mess that jumbles up my brain and leaves me reeling. It’s not a new problem, but it certainly seems to have gotten worse over the last few years. I started doubting my career choice, I started doubting my interests and lifelong hobbies. I was (and still am) constantly on guard for something to come along and wipe away all doubt and fulfill me. Suddenly it felt like I was wasting precious time not doing something with meaning.

I agonize over doing something meaningful with everything I do. Somehow, it’s become an obsession. And it’s exhausting. Especially when there is so much I wish to do before I kick the bucket, time feels short and everything feels so urgent. I am only thirty three years old, what’s the rush?

I hate feeling confined to one thing, especially if that one thing takes up a significant portion of my time. I wish to travel and draw and paint and write and photograph and create and design and and and… But where is the time? I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to achieve that lifestyle is to take a leap of faith and chase the calling I hear in my heart. It’s a soft call, beckoning me to reach into those hazy, swirling shapes. To steel my nerves and pull up my bootstraps and do the things I am so afraid of doing, because the more I listen to that call the more I can hear my old ambitious self returning.

It’s time to get shit done, and end this constant feeling of stagnation. Potential and freedom awaits! It will take time and a lot of hard work, but the stars are aligning for Mudlane Workshop to be more than just a dream.

Watch me fail, watch me get back up and probably fail again. Either way something’s gotta give, and I’m ready to push it the hell out of the way.

Wish me luck! Go chase your dreams!

Love you,

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