data + design in Austin, TX
“Wisdom means choosing now what will make sense later. I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be, to inspire me and not terrify me.” - Tracee Ellis Ross
Where am I?
So, bootcamp is over. I finished my projects, I shared my work, I did a victory dance, I rested. Now it’s time for the next chapter, and I know that for me, this is where the challenge begins.
Because here’s the thing. I don’t have to do anything right now. I could literally have woken up, rolled back over for another two hours, binge watched season 2 of Veep, played a little guitar, ordered takeout, taken a bath, and called it a day.
And honestly writing that just now makes me want to get a cab home and pretend I never opened my computer. BUT. I’m not going to, because I know better.
Days like that are a symptom of defeat, but they are also fuel for a defeat. I know, because I spent the first two weeks of my month leading up to bootcamp in that pattern. I let myself do that because I had just quit a job that was high stress, gave my life very little meaning, and made me feel like a prisoner to my own choices. I wanted to be free, so I untethered myself from structure.
I learned this about myself: untethered does not equal free. Free is different. Free means getting to do things that make you happy, or give your life meaning.
At this moment, I am untethered.
So where do I want to be?
I did bootcamp in the first place because I need that kind of freedom. I want to feel like I have used my time and resources to help someone to have what I believe is a better, more full life. That is my meaning need. I also have a need for resources, money to pay my rent and food, and I don’t have an income right now to meet those needs.
I want to be in a place where those needs are met.
The Space Between Them
The space is where the magic happens. This is where you get to decide whether you want to be afraid, or inspired. What is terrifying about the space is you have to decide whether you will be able to meet your own expectations of where you were want to be. There are two routes to this.
Option A: Be afraid. Decide that there is an answer. You are either enough, or not enough to achieve you goals. If you are, you probably would have achieved them by now. So you probably aren’t. So you might as well give up. At least now you know!
Option B: Be inspired. Accept that there is no answer, because the universe is constantly changing, you are constantly growing, and you have constant opportunities to make decisions that will put you in the right place at the right time, meet someone that will help you out, or learn something you will be called on to put into practice later.
If you want any chance at success, in my case, freedom, there’s only one option. But for a control freak like me, it is the harder one.
I attended a Creative Mornings meet up a few weeks where a young woman spoke about her struggle with the Space, and how it nearly drove her insane. “How might I let go of my need for fixed answers in favor of aliveness?” This nearly drove me insane because she had the question I needed the answer too, but answer was “because I had to”. It didn’t feel like an answer. I didn’t understand why I had to.
But I’ve come to realize that to have fixed answers means to trust the evidence that you have, and if you have no evidence that you will succeed, or be free, you just trust that you won’t.
So I think I get it now. It’s option B, because option A is not an option. You let go of your need for fixed answers because you have to, if you want to be succeed in your version of freeing yourself.
It’s trust. It’s blind. It’s crazy. But it is how you reach the next level.