How to Live a Million Lives (?)

I’m at a cross roads my friend. I’m finding that my main source of inspiration typically flows through my fingertips as I try and navigate the running thoughts in my own mind so here I am typing from the heart. For me … the thinking is a constant. The incessant stream of “what ifs” and “should haves” can sometimes get so loud and boisterous that I have a hard time figuring out what the heck I’m supposed to be listening to anyways. You find me in one of those moments.

This weekend I travelled to San Francisco, California. Man is that city beautiful. I caught up with old friends, I saw some cherished family members, and I made some wonderful memories. Even though I was only there for 3 days, we packed our days full of adventure and we saw as much as we could. On my last day, a solo journey, I walked from shop to shop along Embarcadero St and pondered. This entire weekend had a common theme, chatting about the future. Seeing old friends has a way of doing that doesn’t it? We bring ourselves back to the people we were and we see how far we have come. In that instant it is inevitable that we will wonder what will happen to us in the next 2 – 5 years. “Where will we go?” and “Who will we be?” Questions such as these bounced around our intimate group over a pitcher of tequila. In each passing moment another momentous thought about who I want to be flowed out of my mouth. I became a nurse saving lives all across the country. Than a nomad, with nothing but a pack of my belongings on my back and a journal I am traveling across the world soaking in beauty as far as the eye can see. Than I am an entrepreneur, sitting in my office in Los Angeles toasting my partners as our revolutionary idea takes off as a major success.  “Can I be all of these people?” I’m wondering out loud to you now, because truly I don’t know if I can. Can I live a million different stories? Can I create a life that bounces from one reality to the next because I’m capable of doing so? Or would that be reckless and foolish and is this the dream of a child like soul?

Being a waitress for the last several months has been challenging. I’m ready to move on from this stage in my life and make a decision about what my next career / educational move looks like. Do I go back to school without a clear path? Do I ease my way back into corporate America now that I have a better sense of the direction I long for? Or do I continue working through this job, saving up money and maintaining the freedom to be anywhere I please when the opportunity suites me? Jeez these are heavy thoughts for 9:57 am.

Maybe my inability to find clarity is the only sign I need. I’m currently reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and in chapter 4 he mentions a concept that is truly enlightening and relevant to my situation right now. I also just so happened to come across it sitting at Pier 14 in San Francisco. He tells us,

I usually congratulate people when they tell me, “I don’t know who I am anymore.” Then they look perplexed and ask, “Are you saying it is a good thing to be confused?”

One thing I love about this excerpt is that it reminds us that we are all unsure of our path at times … he goes on to say,

I ask them to investigate. What does it mean to be confused? “I don’t know” is not confusion. Confusion is: “I don’t know, but I should know” or “I don’t know, but I need to know.” Is it possible to let go of the belief that you should or need to know who you are? In other words, can you cease looking to conceptual definitions to give you a sense of self? Can you cease looking to thought for an identity? When you let go of the belief that you should or need to know who you are, what happens to confusion? Suddenly it is gone. When you fully accept that you don’t know, you actually enter a state of peace and clarity that is closer to who you truly are than thought could ever be.

Immediately after reading this I jotted down in my journal:

We are more than the 26 letters we can combine in thought to define and label ourselves. 

So I think I found my answer. Using my gut, some faith, and a few pointers from the universe I have come to the conclusion that I don’t need to know everything. I don’t need to try and figure out where my path is taking me so that I can be prepared in advance. I don’t need a label or a title to define what my success looks like in this moment. What feels good and comfortable now is what I should seek. All I need to do is to continue making decisions that feel right one step at a time, navigating the path that is directly in front of me, and trusting that my intuition will keep me on the path that will allow me to live a million lives in one short lifetime. Because that’s what we’re all striving for right? A chance to be all the people we dream to be? We get there by listening gratefully in the quiet moments to the only person who really knows, ourselves.

 

Thank you for today.


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