Right now I have “What’s next?” on my brain. Evaluating current state and thinking about my next move. Thinking about my future.
I haven’t been future-focused since I graduated from college. That was 20 years ago. And that is probably the last time possibilities were endless for me. I experienced each day with the future in mind. Hopes and dreams were alive.
Once I got married and had kids, everyday turned into survival mode. I was lucky to get the kids stuffed in the car for drop off, and make it to work on time. I lived to pay bills and possibly plan a vacation or do some big home project. Vacations never happened. Home projects were rare. I’m not blaming marriage for my life woes, but acknowledging that I let myself get in a rut and never got out of it until I was forced to.
After my divorce, losing my job, and being forced to sell my house quickly (only to live with my parents for the next year and a half), I found myself in the bottomless pit of survival. It was a challenge to feed my kids and wash my hair. I saw other people with their families out in public, talking about their jobs or plans. And I couldn’t fathom planning anything past the end of each day. I didn’t have a job, didn’t have cohesive family, didn’t have my own home, and didn’t have a purpose other than to survive for my kids.
After about 10 years of constant challenge, I have risen up considerably despite my weaknesses. I have achieved the unthinkable for me since just a few years ago: Stability.
This is my danger zone.
There are no big problems in my life right now (knock on wood). I’m caring for my kids, doing work in a career and company I like, making money, and happily keeping busy with daily life stuff. Minor challenges are merely temporary annoyances these days.
I felt like I was drowning for so many years, so this is a new territory for me. I’ve come up for a very long, much-needed breathe of fresh air. Everything is, dare I say it, Good?
It’s all very good. BUT, I’ve been conditioned to prepare for the worst – and I’m trying to shake that habit. Adjusting my mindset for the next great thing, not the next bad thing.
I say this is my danger zone because I’m capable of doing just about anything when I want to do something. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing. I can execute to make things happen, but it doesn’t mean what I choose is the best way forward. I stopped listening to others. Started listening to myself. My biggest threats include dating toxic med, career boredom, spending too much money, and quite simply not trusting my gut.
Right now I’m calm and quiet. Wide awake, but quiet. There are no loud voices in my head leading me in one direction or another. No noise. I’ve worked so hard to clear out all of the noise and distractions. All is quiet. Almost too quiet.
My mind keeps spinning with these words: Whatever you do next, choose carefully. Choose very carefully. This is what freedom looks like. I am free to do whatever I like, but choosing wisely is key to avoid losing my hard-earned stability and freedom.
Right now there is nothing to choose except to trust myself when the time comes to take the next step forward.
Stifle Me Not