It is that time of year again! Yes, the time of year when I am not sure who I am or what I am supposed to be doing. Like a college student trying to pick a major or a preschooler trying to decide what toy to take for show and tell I am floundering. Have any of you ever felt this way?
I used to say I felt lost. I felt like I was wondering about in the dark with no real purpose. Now, I think of this time of year as a temporary misplacement of myself.
I know the direction I want to go, but I have taken a wrong turn. I just have to back track and find my road. Easier said than done. Especially, when the doubts are screaming directions in your ear, “You can’t go that way!”, “are you crazy! How are you going to make a living doing that!” The ever present doubt of “What are you going to do when you fail?” Finally, the kick in the stomach, “Maybe it would be better if you tried something else.”
Those doubting voices are all too familiar. They come and go through out the year, but this time of year those voices take up residence in my soul. The unwanted guests make me question every choice I have ever made. The result is a feeling of being lost and alone.
I could blame a great number of events or a handful of people for these voices. I could, it would be so very simple to blame outside factors for the doubts that run through my head and my heart. In truth, these people and events are contributors but they are not responsible for my actions. Only I am responsible for my actions.
In the past I have let these doubts control my every thought and action. I let them harass me and tear me down. Not anymore, things have changed, I have changed. I am no longer lost. I am simply temporarily misplaced. I invite the doubts in for a conversation. They are welcome to stay for a little while. They fire their concerns at me and I answer each one as thoughtfully as possible.
“You can’t go that way!”
Why? Why can’t I go that way? If there is a barrier maybe I can bypass it somehow. Why shouldn’t I at least give that way a try? What’s the worse that could happen?
“Are you crazy! How are you going to make a living doing that?”
I don’t know if I can make a living at this, but I currently have a small amount of means and a whole lot of determination. Why shouldn’t I try?
“What are you going to do when you fail?”
Failure isn’t something to be feared. If I never fail how am I going to learn what won’t work? Failure is a very good teacher. I am 39 years old, by now failure is a familiar acquaintance. In fact, failure and I have had many good conversations.
“Maybe it would be better if you tried something else.”
You might be right. My feelings could get hurt, I might put more money into this than I should. Life just might be easier if I did something a little safer, more solid with a guaranteed income. There are many things I can do that will be “better” for me than writing books. I know, I’ve tried a few. Life is often too short to continue waiting for the right moment. The amount of time, the right amount of financial stability. I have learned that the right time is always now, because tomorrow may not come.
I have my answers and my direction. I just need to find my road again. It’s not that far away. Along the way I drop off each doubt, give a little wave and a see you next year .
I’m not lost. I’m temporarily misplaced.