Life sometimes feels like it escapes me. I become so stuck in a whirlwind of thoughts about the past and the possible future that I find myself lost in the moment – unsure of what I actually want to experience. What would actually make me happy right now? In this moment? Begs the question …
What do you want to do?
I ask myself this question often. What is it that I want?
I truly thought I finally had that figured out – after-all, I have fallen into a vocation in the past few years that has ticked all my boxes. I get to be creative, expressive, and share some of the many lessons I have learnt growing up with an unappreciated anxiety disorder.
As life has moved me forwards, urging me to create children’s books, then to blog about my experiences with selective mutism and even to write my memoir, I have found a deep sense of satisfaction in what I have been able to achieve. Unfortunately though there has been a huge part of the puzzle that has been missing for me.
My two-legged stool
Creatively and expressively I have been able to fulfil dreams that have laid dormant inside of me for many years, but if I am to complete this triangle of achievement, then I need to feel successful in another way too. It makes me sad that it always seems to come down to this, but the reality of the world we live in is that we can only get so far on fulfilled dreams when it creates just a trickle of income.
If you will imagine a three legged stool, with one of its legs representing creativity, the second expression and the third is money. My poor stool keeps on toppling over, and unfortunately – just like so many other creative folk out there – it is getting more and more difficult for me to balance on those two legs. My ability to create and express myself in a way that continues to fulfil me has felt quite stagnant lately, and I believe it is because of this third leg.
And so I return to that oft-asked question, What do I want to do?
I have adored creating my books for the past few years, and if I could go back I wouldn’t change a thing, but as for my next step – I’m not sure what the answer is.
Inside of me I am crying out for recognition, and my understanding of this is that I need to make more of a financial contribution to my family life. I work so hard, but at the end of the day, I bring home very little. Our monthly expenses seem so huge and I just don’t know how to play my part in easing the financial pressure for us. I thought if I followed my dreams then the money would follow – but honestly, I am beginning to doubt this school of thought.
I feel like the need to meet our financial needs is draining my soul of its creative urges. I feel flat and uninspired. I want to write more and create more books (among other things), but I feel like I am missing the resources to do it. The spark inside of my Heart has been giving and giving and giving, and now it is needing to be fed. It feels stuck and insecure. It hesitates to put its next foot forward. It longs to create, and has so much to say that it feels fit to burst in an explosion of anxiety and emotional pain.
I’m feeling vulnerable here …
Since writing my book about selective mutism, I have gone from feeling free and aligned with my voice, to feeling lost and unsure of my next move. Where there once was a plan, today I feel frozen. I feel like I have taken several steps backward and find myself once again as the small child I once was, scared of sharing my expression with the world.
All I have created to date has been an accumulation of old wants, needs and desires. My books gave voice to the long-suppressed words and expressions that I had held inside of me as I grew up. I let it out, and then the gates closed on my expression once more. Must I always have to look to my past for inspiration? I want to take a step that has no thought or long-held desire about it. A step that feels the freedom of this present moment and dances in the joy of what I am able to create right here and now.
I am barely able to write this I am crying so hard, and I have no idea what will follow it. I only know that I need to express myself more than I have been lately, and the pain of this back-log of creative expression is something I no longer want to feel in my life. Two-legged stool or not, I am in this world to create, and without this creation I hurt. What I want to do is, well, whatever works right now. At this moment, I want to collapse in a heap on the floor and let go of all the pressures of this world that I’m allowing to hold me back.
The pressure of finances, the assumption that being busy is good, the idea that life is hard, and difficult and we all have to struggle our way to the top. It doesn’t sit well with me.
What do I really want to do?
Only the freedom to be myself. Moment to moment. This is all.