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9.13.2011

on figuring out what to do in this life.

i get an idea. something to write about. and i let it gestate. move it around a bit. allow it to breathe.  think about it. don't. expose it to light. and then, when the the need of it becomes so immediate, when the pocket of space in which it lives, calls out, i answer. pen to paper. and through me it moves.

the thing is, that sliver of time--that sliver in which the moment is right, well, it doesn't often last long. and it certainly doesn't wait. doesn't allow me time to move through my own pockets of apathy or sadness.

and so sometimes the ideas--the very things that once lined my skin--move up and out. and i am left. alone. that's when loneliness really settles in. not when the words fail, but when they pass through unacknowledged. when i fail the words.

the terrain is shifting. the terrain of my life is shifting. and it's terrifying. terrifying because it's suddenly upon me and terrifying because it's been so long in coming. but mostly terrifying because there's a sense that if i'm not careful i'll miss this moment--this glorious sliver of time--and the ground will settle and i'll be left. standing still. same spot. my feet tethered to a place i can no longer call my own.

i've never been able to lie to myself. that's one thing i've just not been able to do.

i have spent the three years since juilliard searching for meaning. trying to figure out why i went to a school for four years to study a thing i couldn't bring myself to do after graduation. looking for a reason as to why others went on to success when i could barely get out of bed in the morning.

i have wasted hours upon hours trying to connect unconnectable dots. reading the morse code of the moles on my arms and hands. attempting meaning in a void. i have stood in restaurants and department stores and wondered when was it--when was the exact moment that i veered off course. where was the first hint of failure. at what point did i fail the expectations of others? of myself?

why was i given a talent, a gift and then unable to use it?

i am not a terribly religious person. well, that's not entirely true of course, but my religion is no longer that of my childhood. the manner in which i pray has changed, it is more impromptu, off the cuff, in the middle and on the move.

and the most consistent prayer, the most demanding wish i have arced up to the heavens these three years has been this: show me the path. please, just illuminate the way.

and now as i sit here and write this (write) i can laugh and say of course it was unfolding! and of course it continues! how silly was i to doubt.  but, you see, i am human.

it took illumination after illumination for me to stop and listen. i can trace the first one back two years. but it is only now, in the past few months, that it seem so clear, the message so abundant--little pieces of it abutting each other.  so crystallized.

now i can almost look back and pin-point, oh yes, that makes sense and oh, yes, that had to happen that way, and oh, well, that'll be terribly helpful.

the thing is, this thing that i feel i'm meant to do--this thing pressing up against my gut, i've never done it before and i'm quite certain, there's a good chance, i won't know how to do it. and this push and pull between absolute certainty and absolute doubt has me standing still, afraid to dive into the sliver. afraid the sliver will pass.

but the push and pull is also the belief in the divine versus my own, small and pitying self-doubt.

and who am i do deny that something larger is at play? and i use that verb--play--carefully, because isn't that much of what this life is--what it's meant to be? aren't we meant to play and explore and do the very things we think we cannot?

32 comments:

katie said...

does anyone ever really figure this out early in life? i think the few that do are incredibly lucky. i've been out of school 6 years now, just became a licensed architect, and still have no clue if this is really what i want to do with the rest of my life. but i just cannot find the time to really figure it all out.

best of luck though - i'm sure we'll both figure it [as in life] all out sooner or later.

Vanessa said...

I know what you mean. Oh, Lord, do I ever know what you mean... I left my job in Sweden in June to move to New York. At the time, everything seemed possible. Now I'm here and feel paralyzed with doubt.

I don't regret my move, because I love this place and the man who is the biggest reason for me coming here, but the doubt is eating me up.

We'll clear the hurdle. The hurdle is only us, after all.

emilia. said...

you're doing gorgeous things. you might love this

happy tuesday.

look a little closer said...

oh meg. i love this post, so much that i had to share it with my roommate. we often have these conversations..

what are we doing?

it's crazy how much weight appears to be on decisions.

i hope i make the right choice!

but when i do yoga, i think of how wonderful "choice" is. and i suppose we can choose to be afraid that we're not making the right choices...or we can choose to just, well - BE with them.

not sure if any of this made sense. i've had too much coffee this morning.

but you're writing is lovely and i guess i'm just saying that i feel the same way :)

xoxo

Jacob said...

I get you. It's really hard. I just hope the path is illuminated for you, and you find your way!

Jeneric Generation said...

I completely understand these thoughts. I started commenting but it was getting way too long....I hope it is okay that I emailed you instead :).

Jenny

Erin said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and just wanted to say thanks. I have never found a voice that seemed to mirror my own so much. It is really comforting to read your words. Your courage and authenticity are really admirable. :)

Jessica said...

Thanks for posting this.
This entry has so much meaning.
Lately, I've been contemplating my career path and what I really want to do with it and it's not easy to change it.
I think you should find and stick to the path that will make you the happiest even if there are bumps and challenges along the way. Will you be happier in your future because of the change you've made?

These are the things I think about...

Allie said...

You are meant to do wonderful things. Whatever that may be. God always has a plan and that path will be clear in no time at all. Keep the faith. :)

all is on said...

I feel you, and am in the exact same position. This was beautifully written, and the saying "We'll clear the hurdle. The hurdle is only us, after all" is so true.

Deviled Megs said...

I feel the exact same way. Hoping for some clarity sooner rather than later!

laurrdunn said...

your words and thoughts are beautiful. never stop writing, please.

Monica820 said...

wow!! so many people feel this way! i know my husband and i are going through it too. thank you for writing this.

madison said...

you are an incredible writer. I love your blog because I feel like a lot of the times you can say the things I wish I could. Pure inspiration. And I couldn't agree more.

jorjiapeach said...

o man. i can't get enough of your authenticity. thank you.

Danielle said...

beautiful! isn't that the number one question in life? "what am i doing?"

communikate. said...

i hope your path includes more journalism and books. you're a a talented writer and the world needs more of your words!

as for figuring life out, i'm nearly a year from thirty (eek) and i'm still feeling L O S T. i hope at some point in this life it clicks.

Anait said...

Whenever I am faced with something I am scared to take on, I always ask myself: is my fear bigger than any possible regret i may have if I DON'T do it? And the answer is always no.

Because life is too short for regret. And because though it may take us a while to realize what we are meant to do, when we are given that chance, we MUST take it. Because opportunities, like moments of clarity, are fleeting.

Ashley and Patrick said...

"i have stood in restaurants and department stores and wondered when was it--when was the exact moment that i veered off course. where was the first hint of failure. at what point did i fail the expectations of others? of myself?"

THIS. This right here made me want to cry. Because it's exactly where I am, and I cannot for the life of me figure out where things went so incredibly wrong. I long for the days of looking back and understanding, because right now it is a sea of overwhelming confusion.

But thank you for showing me that I am not alone.

Keiko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keiko said...

your time is coming, Meg. Have patience. That which you wait for the longest, you cherish the most

Toni said...

Beautifully written. You can do it!!! Following your heart can be unbelievably scary sometimes, but it's always worth it. Otherwise you're just cheating yourself. Stay strong... You got this :)

Kate said...

This post is so much of my life right now. You can feel that something big is going to happen, is happening, in your life and it's incredibly frightening. Sometimes it's overwhelming. Especially when you don't know where your life is heading and where it'll take you.

Anonymous said...

you said....pretty much what I've been feeling. for a long time. I get it. I do. I feel so alone in it sometimes. but I'm not, I see...

beautiful writer you are

Anonymous said...

dear meg, you wrote about missing "this glorious sliver of time." look out missy, your LIFE is going to be that glorious sliver. and the best changes, the best landings, the best occurences aren't really slivers at all. the things that are meant to fill our lives with love and joy and hope are simply going to make themselves present despite even the best tries at pushing them away. i don't know if this is what you're getting at, but right before/as i was falling in love (for real, not teenage) i pushed everything away so terrified i'd mess it up, so terrified that a life i'd worked so hard at would no longer be recognizable to me. and then someone wise told me that while life is about balance, falling in love is supposed to be about the unbalance, the realizing you can do this. the courage to let someone love you back takes a whole lot, but i promise you, it's more worth it than anything in the world. i also promise you that you won't miss it. if it's supposed to be there - you can push and run and hide and teeter - but it will find you. if it's meant to, it will find you no matter where you land your ground.

Lottie said...

This post is perfectly timed, and once again I feel like we are living the same emotions.

Maybe we just have to have faith in the future, in our path, our decisions and most importantly in ourselves.

I just wish this came naturally so I didn't have to fight myself nearly every day.

Does that make sense? Hopefully...

Meg you will get there...just make sure you enjoy the journey.

xxx

Paula said...

I love this!

Rebecca Simmonds said...

I can relate to this post I trained as an actor, now I write. Like you. Your posts are wonderful. I like your blog, I look at it and think: oh why is my blog not this successful, good, bla... bla.
Anyway, I think what's wonderful is your honesty.
You were talking about ideas and it brought to mind my 'idea boxes': artists noteboxes, a place to scribble & store your ideas in...
Am I allowed to leave you my blog address or is that counted as spam.
http://www.rebeccasimmonds.co.uk/
Take a look at the shop, I'd like to give you a box that I've made, it's the first product in my shop. I'd like you to have it, to give it to you as a gift. Then maybe you could do a post about it...
Let me know,

Rebecca.

Amanda Blair said...

Story of my life!!! I know exactly how you feel and I just want someone to give me answers because searching for them on my own is hard. It feels like I will never know the things I seek but maybe, we aren't supposed to. Maybe the journey is what we are meant to do and this useless worrying is just that, useless. I think you are doing famously in this life, even if you don't think so.

Ramona said...

Know exactly how you feel. It is that point in time when you know that all you need is courage. Courage to take a step not knowing how it will all turn out but trusting that God's plans are ultimately greater than ours. I have recently discovered for my life that in order to fulfill dreams and visions I have to take a step and courageously just do it or move towards that direction knowing that I will never fall deeper than into God's arm.

Rach said...

I just got the chills reading this.
Thank you, thank you for the reminder that everything makes sense down the road! I know that, but I still have to constantly remind myself of it. Like every thirty seconds, sometimes. Haha :)
You are wonderful, and I love reading what you have to say. Thank you :) Good luck!!! I know you'll do great things, you've got some mad crazy potential you know.

Alex said...

Love this. Your writing always resonates well with me.