The words more than stung when they reached my ears. They hit my heart with flattening force. It turned to fury. Then pure rage.
I had to admit, he'd said, that I didn't really seem to know what I was doing with my life. What with first leaving my job, then the travelling, the acting course, the coaching, the writing. I was just hopping from one thing to another. Wasn't there anything I wanted to do?
Actually, rage doesn't even begin to cover the way those words cut into me.
There was something I wanted to do. And, I was already DOING it. I was running my business, which included all of those things that looked so random and ridiculous from where he was standing. Not playing at it. Not pretending at it. Not make believe. Actually DOING it. I was writing and coaching and creating and running play workshops. And I was using every skill I'd learned over the course of the last few years from everything I'd experienced.
So I did what I always do when it hurts. When life hurts. When my heart hurts. When I'm angry. When I can't process what I'm feeling.
I wrote through the pain and the confusion and the hurt until it hurt less and until, eventually, it didn't hurt much at all, but just became another piece of material. This material.
Anyone who's ever veered even marginally off the conventional path will understand how messy it can get. You start at A and end at Z but what happens in the middle is not at all a neat alphabetical sequence from B to Y.
But what looks to others like random stabs in the dark or desperate clawing at anything to find your "thing" is actually chaos with intent. Or, as I heard someone describe it beautifully recently, meandering with purpose.
It's you doing the exploring you didn't do earlier in your life. It's you making up for the years of following the "path". It's you breaking free. It's you finding your place in the world. It's you finding where your power lies. It's you getting to know who YOU is. It's you finding your way to your greatest strengths, your deepest power and the way in which you'll be able to most make a difference in your unique way.
It might look chaotic, insane, even WORRYING to others, but in reality, it's the most sane thing you've ever done. Because it's about, finally, you saying yes to YOU and NO to doing whatever it is the rest of the world thinks you ought to be doing.
So when they tell you you ought to have it figured out by now.
When they tell you you're not living in the real world.
When they tell you they're worried about your sanity.
When it hurts that they don't get it.
When the words sting like crazy.
When you start to question yourself because you begin to wonder whether maybe they're right.
Please, remember this:
You're allowed to explore. And in entrepreneurship, you better get used to it. Because you'll be exploring and figuring it all out until your heart stops beating and they turn your flesh and bones to ash.
Go. Explore. Live. Cast aside the doubts and fears. Your dreams may well be crazy. And many people may never understand. But you don't need them to. This is your life. And you get to do it your way. Today, tomorrow, forever.
Love and courage,