Thursday, December 13, 2012

Trying Too Hard

This year has been a tough year.

I have chosen to let go of some bad habits (certain relationships, obsessive modes of thinking, etc.) that were only serving to bring me down.

I have also had to admit to myself that it's time to let go of certain unmet goals I've held onto for too long.

All of this soul-cleansing, as good for me as it may be, has left me feeling weightless, wandering through a void I have found increasingly more difficult to ignore.

With all this space opening up, I've been really worried I won't do the "right" thing next...follow the "right" path...write the "right" next book...develop the "right" new goals...find the "right" new the "right" new friends...strengthen the "right" existing relationships, and so on.

Today I nearly had to breathe into a paper bag I got so anxious about it.

And then, just when I felt on the verge of an emotional collapse, I had an epiphany. It was like a light-bulb came on over my head.

I realized that at just about every turning point in my life I can recall, I reached a moment where I...

#1) let go of the things that were no longer serving me, including the very thought of them


#2) I just stopped trying so hard to choose a direction.

And almost every time I did this, a perfect new phase of my life blossomed right around the corner. I was provided with new opportunities to live and learn and grow, many opportunities that literally came to me; I didn't have to madly pursue them. All I had to do was live each day as its own, in the present moment, and follow my intuition.

A silly but apt example of this is a time when I was in the 10th grade: I had to write a poem for an English assignment, and I didn't really want to do it, but I did it anyway, barely giving it 30 minutes of my time. I turned it in, and the teacher of my class submitted these poems to a contest. A few months later, I got word that I'd won first place out of all the high schools in the state. First Place! And I had barely even tried! I just wrote it, just spontaneously created what came to me in the moment.

When I was in college, I was taking a news writing class for my English major, and one day the professor approached me to ask if I wanted to be editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. I hadn't even known there was an opening. I didn't even know what the job entailed. But I was in the class, and the professor saw something in me he thought worth cultivating, so voila. I took the job, and it was one of the most fun and enlightening jobs I've had to date.

After breaking up with the guy I thought I was going to marry, I threw myself into the dating world. I stopped focusing on finding lasting love and instead chose to take each day and date as they came and simply get out there and meet guys and have fun. It wasn't too long after that I started dating someone I was so very comfortable with, someone who wanted to commit even before I did, and who eventually married me.

So I think I'm going to let go of the need to figure out my next step, and I'm going to let my next step come to me.


  1. What is C.J coming from? The initials, I mean...?
    Regarding your fears and frustrations, I suppose we all have our battles with ourselves in our attempt to improve ourselves...Because that's what I think you're doing, trying to improve yourself...which is amazing..Most of us don't even think about it.

    1. Thanks, Unikorna :) And C.J. stands for my real name "Carrie Jill."

  2. Well said, its amazing how things can happen when you least expect it. Its good to work hard for the things you want but sometimes you need to step back and breathe.

    1. Yes, breathing is good. Sometimes I forget how to simply exist.