The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Well, I feel insane. Each day is wasted away in a couch-coma that I end up beating myself up for before calling it a day. And every night I lay awake thinking, “tomorrow will be different, it has to be different.” I wake up with good intentions, but typically end up in the same lazy routine.
I’ve decided to blame television (… that’s easier than blaming myself right?). It seems that if I start my day watching TV, I accomplish nothing, I feel like a zombie, and I end my day knowing I wasted it.
I can’t expect a different output if I don’t change the inputs, right? So that’s what I’ve decided to do. No more morning TV. Or any, really, unless it’s to spend time with others.
It hasn’t been a substantial amount of time since I started this. It’s been a week, actually. And trust me, it wasn’t a perfect cold-turkey cut-off. But let me tell you that the effort I have made has started to alter my mindset and my time.
First and foremost, I don’t feel insane. I am not necessarily accomplishing anything more than a TV day, but my mind is clear and my body is alive. I still begin the day with a cup of coffee, but instead of letting my brains melt in front of the moving pixels, I just sit in silence. I allow myself to feel, to think, to dream, and to breathe.
Mind if I take a rabbit trail for a minute? Do you ever pay attention to your breathing? I didn’t notice how shallow of a breather I was until my counselor asked me to focus on it for a few minutes. It’s amazing how much more alive and grounded you feel after a few truly full breaths.
Back to my head space…
The focus of my thinking and dreaming as of late is centered around transformation. I like to imagine that my life could be like a movie. More specifically, the part of the movie where the main character undergoes a life-change and they piece together clips of that character transforming. (Think Rocky, he goes running, eats raw eggs, does a few boxing moves in the gym, and sprints up the infamous stairs.) The character typically makes a choice to reach a goal, then there’s a 90-second clip-series of them making changes to accomplish those goals, and next thing you know the movie takes on a different tone with the new-and-improved character leading the way.
Enter Maggie’s 90-second reel, please!
Totally possible, of course. Just not in 90-seconds. Real, lasting changes in character and routine require time, effort, and consistency. This isn’t ground-breaking insight here, people… just a new understanding for me; a new desire to actually do something about it. And finally admitting that it’s completely up to me.
Dear Life, I am done taking your punches.
Dear Maggie, I am going to fight for you.
Breathe in, Breathe out, Repeat.
So, step one of this journey? Honesty. I have to be honest about who I am, what I think, what I believe, and what I need.
What comes after that? I don’t think I know for sure. But I imagine once I am honest with myself and with others, I will have the freedom to dream again; to understand my goals and my passions and to set out on the path of reaching them. I like to think that’s what awaits me, anyway. That’s what is giving me the hope I need to push through these walls.
It’s a scary thing… to not know what you are passionate about. Somehow it makes us question our purpose. (It makes me question mine. I can’t speak for everyone.) Although, I think deep down we all know, we just silence it over time. We start listening to what everyone else wants for us, we start doubting our own instincts. We get lost in a whirlwind of expectations and uncertainty, and the noise drowns out the longings of our own soul. But really, that’s the voice we should be listening to.
I’m choosing to live my life out loud. I’m choosing to welcome others into my process. Despite my insecurities, fears, doubts, and hesitations, I trust that there’s some benefit to being transparent. Intimacy in relationships is what we all long for. Yet, we put up walls. We walk on eggshells, unsure of letting our true selves show, for fear of being hurt by others. I get it… we have all been hurt in one way or another. But, is it a reason to not let anyone else in? To hide? To stifle our longings?
I know that not everyone will agree with me. I know that not everyone will appreciate my honesty. I want to say that I don’t care about what others think about me during this process, but that would be a lie. I am, however, stating that I am going to push forward, despite the judgements or praises of others. I know living out loud is risky. In a world where we project our “best selves” on social media, I’m looking to show all sides of me. I’m inviting you all into each moment, each success, and each failure. I know it will make people uncomfortable and it will open the door for others to state their opinions of my journey. But I also know it will inspire some to push through their own walls; to shatter the facades they have built to make others comfortable.
Welcome to transparency. Welcome to honesty. Welcome to struggle. Welcome to living uncomfortably. Welcome to small gains. Welcome to real life. Welcome to transformation.
Welcome to me.