What would I do if I could do anything I wanted? How do I even know what I want? I used to wonder a lot about this and get really upset because I never felt like I had answers. I got overwhelmed trying to find my true passion or purpose in life. I read so many books and took tests and classes in an effort to figure it all out.
I remember literally crying when I took a class that included exploring finding our passion. During a quiet reflective writing period, I remember staring at one of the questions on the paper: “When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?” I just cried and wanted to scream “I don’t KNOW. I don’t remember EVER knowing this!!!” I remember feeling broken, like I was doing it wrong. I mean, what was wrong with me that I didn’t know? What was I missing?
I gave up on even looking at those stupid questions because I realized that there might not BE a lifelong passion for me to figure out. That might be something for other people, but not me.
But a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to reflect in a new way about my desires for the future. I found myself wondering again what I would do if I could do anything I wanted. This time around I didn’t feel any huge pressure to get it right or think only about work. I was just quiet and open and curious.
Wanna know what occurred to me?
“I would sleep. Oh my god, I would sleep.”
This came as a huge relief to me. I stay up late often for no other reason than I think that I have a lot to do. I had a deep knowing in that moment that I would sleep. You see, I know when I am tired and my whole being is ready for sleep, but I often override it and power through. I cried when I realized the simplicity of knowing that I could go to sleep when that’s what is needed. I don’t have to know anything more than that.
Let’s just say that what I found boiled down to this wisdom bomb from Steve Jobs:
“… you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
I do trust in that.
A lot of other things came to my mind in this beautiful, gentle unfolding after the sleep revelation. And I am tempted to tell you about them, right now. But instead I am going to tell you that I have been allowing myself to sleep a lot more in the past two weeks, and it has been delicious.
Now I’m looking in the direction of my gut and seeing more clearly when I am trying to think my way out of something that I absolutely know, in my bones, in my soul, to do. I have seen the beauty and simplicity of taking one step at a time. That’s all life really is, one step, one dot, one moment at a time.