I am able to pinpoint the exact moment I knew it was time to say goodbye. A conclusive departure was the only way for me to be true to myself. Sometimes the most unsuspecting moments shake us awake. One’s awakening may begin with a gentle nudge, then a rattle and eventually, if one does not listen, it will begin to sound more like a roar from the belly of the jungle’s angriest beast. I believe the latter is often the place where people look up to the sky and scream, “Why is everything falling apart?” Well, perhaps, it’s because you’re being summoned to change. Your truth will never stop calling you home.
This is Your Invitation to Become Who You Are…
I had been working as a regional makeup artist for a major cosmetic brand for five consecutive years. It had been a fun job which carried me through college, providing me with a decent income and flexibility. Rather than focusing solely on writing opportunities which would allow me to put my new degree to use, I continued working as a traveling makeup artist after graduation. The truth is, the job had been a blessing in many aspects. I had met many precious people because of it. However, sometimes we curse ourselves by holding on to the blessings which are ready to become pieces of our past.
One morning, moments before beginning my work day, I pulled my makeup brushes from my car, which were contained in a plastic cup. Another artist, who had also become a friend, observed my obvious disorganization and, amused, teasingly said, “You need a brush belt.” Instantaneously, before he had a second to take a breath, my internal reaction was, Why would I spend one red penny on a brush belt? Apparently noticing my odd expression and, therefore, transparency, he said, “Well, they aren’t expensive. You can buy a high-quality knockoff on Ebay for literally nothing.” Still, my brain remained cemented in, Yeah, but why would I spend a single penny on a new brush belt? I’m not really a makeup artist; I’m a writer.
Looking back, I realize it didn’t matter then if owning a brush belt would have made my work days easier, for I would rather have spent my earnings on a pile of books, a writing workshop, a new journal or a plane ticket out of there. Subconsciously, I knew that buying a brush belt would have meant I was truly a makeup artist, and I couldn’t bring myself to face the truth that I was continuing to be someone I never really was.
There I stood, almost three years after having graduated from college, remaining stagnant inside of my creative bubble, all the while holding on to something which felt like wearing a shoe two sizes too small. Then, suddenly, like the first chilling breeze marking the end of summer, my truth rolled in and made the decision for me, ready or not. Suddenly, I was greeted with the notion of finality. I realized: Wait…So, if you’re not really something, then don’t be it. Ever. Not even today.
Ding, Ding, Diiing! Lightbulb.
I was like that carton of milk in the fridge after having long expired. Each time a client in my chair peered up at me, usually chomping on gum or swallowing a coffee burp, and said, “Ummm, I think I want to try a smokey eye,” I grew more agitated. Every suppressed eye roll was getting increasingly difficult to smile my way through. I’d grown allergic to those words, for they made my insides nearly go into spasm. It wasn’t the fault of the customers; it was because I had not allowed myself to progress and become who I was. I had become resentful of my own cowardice.
I still enjoyed makeup, but I no longer had any shred of desire to paint any face other than my own. Therefore, I knew my time spent was simply unfair to every party involved. Someone with a genuine passion and talent for makeup artistry deserved to be in my spot; I no longer did. I knew I needed to be honest with myself as well as come clean with my boss and tell her how I was feeling. I had been postponing the inevitable, and, for what? Just like that carton of milk, I was beginning to curdle and stink.
Don’t Be a Hostage to a Completed Purpose…
In life, we often become complacent. We find security in our immobility. Our emotions become heightened by the process of making our plans to move forward, yet we continue to hold on to those shreds of comfort. It’s as though we are telling life, “Okay, but not yet…” Sadly, some never stop saying “not yet” and, eventually, it feels as though their feet are implanted in a slab of cement.
In my situation, I imagined myself in a boat contemplating whether or not I should stop resisting, give my paddle a rest, and begin sailing downstream. I couldn’t see what lied before me, for the future is always a mystery. I could plan for it, I could anticipate it, but I could never be entirely sure. I was dressed and prepared for the future, or so I had told myself. I had researched and rehearsed for the future. I had fantasized and grown starry-eyed about what the unfolding of my story could bring, yet I held on to the false sense of comfort which made me a hostage to a completed purpose.
It was as though I was positioned perfectly and bravely in my boat, desiring to move forward, yet I had one hand hanging on to a tree branch, and although I could feel the vibration of the opposing currant under my boat, I could hear the gentle whisper of the water, I could feel it patiently waiting to guide me, I was still clinging to my familiar branch. The branch had already served its purpose, though. Therefore, it simply no longer had one. It had done a good job of being available to me when I needed it, but it was up to me to let it go. It was time to go where there was flow. I couldn’t fully exist in both worlds. I couldn’t progress by standing still, pacifying my appetite for growth by merely dreaming. I needed to take action. So, just like that, I released my grip. I let it go. I said goodbye, and made peace with it. It wasn’t dramatic. The heavens had not parted. There were no sound effects, no gunshots fired, no credits scrolling. It was not cinematic. It was just sweet release.
Writing is the most organic part of me, and no one knows this more than my family. My parents continue to find amusement when they stumble upon letters, poems and ramblings I wrote as a child. When I reflect upon my life, it is undeniable what I was meant to do. The answer always quietly resided within me, yet for some reason I spent my teenage and early twenties looking elsewhere. Even while in college, I chose to study journalism and media studies rather than pursue an actual writing degree. I knew I did not possess a passion for news writing, yet I made that decision because, as much as I longed to write creatively and tell stories, I feared I could never support myself or become successful doing something which came as naturally to me as breathing. In terms of a career and a future, it was as though I was a gypsy searching for every possible place to call home except for my most favorite place of all. Funny, isn’t it?
Your Life Is Waiting, Silly…
My purpose of sharing this is to encourage you, dear reader to let go of any branches which may be holding you back from whatever it is you would like to achieve in this magnificent life we have the luxury of experiencing. Negative thoughts and fears are often branches we cling to out of habit. Many of us view the notion of paving a new path and exploring new terrain as this great, terrifying unknown, as though it is some giant black hole capable of swallowing and consuming us, unapologetically ripping our dreams apart like vultures making us their prey.
The truth is, though, your complacency, your fears and your doubts are the ultimate thieves. You are robbing yourself of your own dreams. It’s time to grow up and be brave. The heavens are calling, requesting that you leave your thumbprint on this world. I’ve never met one person who didn’t possess a synergistic blend of talent and passion for something. Listen to your heart calling you home. Let all which is decaying, useless and completed go. You don’t slay it, curse it or hate it. It is your past, it is a part of you, so bless it and release it. It served its purpose, so be grateful for the lessons and say goodbye. Release your grip. Stop complaining about what you don’t like in your life and start living. Draw a line in the sand, silly. Your life is waiting.
I’m just being honest.
©TheDailyDoll.com/Lacey Johnson 2015