Because I’ve stopped having blog ideas.
Because looking at my bloated Twitter stream makes me want to delete my entire online presence and forget it ever existed.
Because the emails never end.
Because I’ve owed one girl a blog review since November and still can’t find the time to make it happen.
Because I’ve cancelled with every friend I have at least 5 times in the past couple months.
Because I sometimes long to be back in the 9-5 just so I can have official “off” time.
Because I’ve forgotten what to do with myself when not attacking my to-do list.
Because losing an hour of time to Daylight Savings on Sunday nearly launched me into a meltdown.
Because I don’t think I’ve lived “in the moment” since I was 10.
Because I always feel guilty, inadequate and behind, like no matter what I do or how hard I do it, I will forever have more I should be doing and people I will be letting down.
Because I no longer know which way is up.
Because I got sick for a week and it feels like the rest of my 2014 will be spent trying to catch back up.
Because my body is screaming at me to treat it better.
Because in spite of approaching every minute according to its billable worth, murdering my social life and sanity and passion in the process, we are still in debt, and will continue to be until my husband is approved for disability benefits.
Because I hate approaching every minute by its billable worth.
Because I’m sick of reading everyone else’s thoughts and never allowing myself the space to have any of my own.
Because life is meant to be lived, not bookmarked and hashtagged and spun into a personal traffic-generating PR campaign. (Tweet!)
Because I’m sick of feeling like a brand that needs to be monetized instead of a living, breathing human creature.
Because I used to feel the sunset, and now I just feel tapped out.
Because reading people’s highlights and lowlights on Facebook gives you no idea what’s actually going on in their lives.
Because I’m overwhelmed by trivial data and underwhelmed by the experience of living.
Because I have a stack of 17 books waiting to be read.
Because I treat my clients better than I treat myself.
Because I have officially hit a wall that sheer determination and moxy can’t get me through.
Because it’s time to call it.
Because I’m supposed to be designing this lifestyle, not running madly after it in a forever reactionary state.
CCIQ Is Taking a Turn
For all these reasons above-mentioned, and oh so many more, I am officially announcing my resignation from busy-ness, 24/7 hustle and always being plugged in and ushering in a new, singular purpose for this year and this blog.
It is time to Slow the Fuck Down and remember what it means to be a living, breathing, feeling, dreaming human. The slashing and burning begins now.
This blog is on the way to its next evolution, and it’s going to be Quit-tastic.
Wanna join in? Join the Slow the Fuck Down campaign by tweeting your declaration with the hashtag #SlowTheFDown
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Hi! I’m a Gemini. We are known for effective communication (we like to talk), practicality and are mutable (very flexible). Essentially, we’re a mix of Yin and Yang. Oh, and we also tend to be indecisive.
I wish I could say that I don’t agree, but for most of my life, I’ve had this “issue.” From deciding what food to order to choosing a career path, I’ve always asked for the opinions of others. Wow, that sounds like I don’t have a mind of my own! In almost everything I’ve done, I’ve always tried to be agreeable and, well, go with the flow.
The most troubling of all of my indecisiveness has centered on my career. Ever since I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I enjoyed writing poetry and free verse in my spare time. This passion evolved into a bachelor’s degree in English. But what success can one have with that degree? Perhaps it was shame or uncertainty of feelings for my own success, but I allowed other peoples’ opinions to sway me from my goals.
Now, I can’t blame others for my choices. After all, we are free to make up our own minds, aren’t we? Something has always held me back -– fear. Fear of failing, fear of trying. For so long, I let what others thought about my future sway me away from my own goals. The sad thing is, I thought my dream was just that: a dream, an unattainable goal. That I should have more “serious” goals — whatever that means.
I listened to others’ opinions and even pursued their “suggested” goals, but when these things didn’t work, I felt even worse. Not only did I let myself down, but those people who “saw” this career path for me were saddened.
It just wasn’t my path; it was theirs.
Who I Am…
At the start of 2014, I decided to let this go and quit this trait. To start, I boldly quit something I didn’t enjoy. Most people would frown upon my choice without having a secure backup plan; perhaps it’s why I didn’t shout from the rooftops that I was free. I released myself from a disgruntled boss where nothing was ever good enough. It was my choice, and I feel liberated.
What’s more, I’m also working on quitting worrying about what others think of me. Everyone has an opinion. Some people are going to root for you and be your biggest fan no matter what, and others will just be naysayers. There’s always going to be those who are older, “wiser” and think they know what’s best for you, but they don’t. You’re the only you. At the end of the day, month or year, you’re the one who has be happy with yourself. (Tweet!)
This is why I have to take this leap into the unknown. Yes, it’s scary to not know the entire path. When I tell others, they want to know all the steps I’m taking to get to my goals, but sometimes I can only see the first few steps, and I think that’s okay. It takes guts and hard work to figure out what makes me happy and actually do it, especially against the odds! It has taken me longer than expected to get into this mindset, but I can’t give up now. Since my “break,” I’m writing much more, continue to be published and am taking valuable steps toward my dream career.
Believe in yourself and what you want to do — no matter what others think. Break free from perception and live your own life — you won’t regret it!
Lauren Root is a freelance writer with publications in The Jewish Times of Baltimore. She has a master’s degree in teaching and enjoys writing poetry. In her spare time, she blogs on all things food and is an origami enthusiast. Visit her Twitter @RootieFoodie for some food finds!
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A recent comment on this old post of mine made me realize I haven’t discussed my craziness on here for a while, and new readers might not even know the story.
The reason for this is simple: I am much, much better now, and on a daily basis, I totally forget that I am bipolar. I take my crazy meds, I keep an eye on my moods in case anything starts to get into the warning zone, but for the most part, I hardly even think about it anymore. Being in control of my life, my health and my time has erased any remnants of badness that still plagued me.
I’m not “cured”; I will never be cured. Every now and then, I’ll still flare up. But I also finally feel like I’m not “dealing” with my BP on a daily basis. It’s a program that runs in the background, like my lactose intolerance, and as long as I treat it properly, I only remember it’s there when I pop my pills in the morning.
The reason for this post is also simple. Since I rarely talk about my BP on this blog, I thought it was time to bring it back up as a quick public service reminder of a couple things:
1. Crazy People Are Perfectly Normal
This blog is not a blog about my craziness, because my craziness doesn’t define me. Of all the things that are going on in my life, I’d say it has the least to do with who I am and what I’m up to.
That’s not to downplay how serious BP is, or to make it sound like it’s been all rainbows and unicorns for me. It hasn’t. It’s just to point out that there’s nothing inherently untouchable about being crazy. Society treats it like a scary foreign object, but it’s not, if we’re willing to talk about it.
Us crazies aren’t all that much different from you. Everyone is dealing with something. This just happens to be our “something.” It doesn’t make us weaker. It doesn’t make us a hazard. You don’t have to treat us with kid gloves or worry about us breaking at a moment’s notice.
Society’s ideas of craziness are, sadly, extreme: Sylvia Plath, head in the oven. Charlie Sheen, ranting about winning and tiger blood. Being crazy does not mean you become like this – and thinking it does is why so many people are ashamed or embarrassed to admit what they’re going through.
It doesn’t have to be isolating. It doesn’t have to be a skeleton in the closet. Craziness is an illness. It’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about, and it shouldn’t carry anymore of a stigma than admitting you’re diabetic or have a peanut allergy. That’s the main reason I decide to come out about my own BP years ago, and why I thought it was time for a reminder – because I wanted people to realize we’re actually shockingly average. We’re just people, dealing with things. You don’t need to treat us any differently for that.
2. It Can Be Better
My college years were a living hell. My life after graduation wasn’t much better. For years, I loathed myself and the world I’d destroyed around me. I can’t think of that period without my stomach plummeting, because it was a dark, dark place I am so grateful I got out of.
But now? Now, things are better. And that is such an important thing to acknowledge.
Because when I was first diagnosed, I thought it was an end-of-life sentence. With only Sylvia Plath imagery in my head, I thought being BP meant I was doomed to descend into madness, never to live a “normal” life or know whether my emotions were mine or my condition’s. That’s part of the reason I waited so long to get help; I knew something was wrong, but I thought claiming my craziness would end any chances I had for a happy existence. I wanted to pretend it wasn’t true, because I had a horrible picture in my head of what it would mean if it were.
I was mercifully, ridiculously wrong. A mental illness diagnosis doesn’t have to be a be-all and end-all. Modern medicine is amazing, and there are so many ways to regulate and counterbalance these things that a “normal” life is totally possible. Your illness doesn’t have to define you. In fact, accepting it and addressing it strips it of its power. It becomes something you can handle instead of something that controls your world.
There is another side, and it’s possible get there. If you’re keeping your struggles to yourself, get help. If you haven’t found the right mix of meds and counseling yet, stick with it. You can defeat this thing, and you don’t have to go it alone.
I may not write about this subject again for months or even years. Because I don’t think I need to. That simple statement, in and of itself, speaks volumes.
Image: Chelsea Gomez