A Note on Not Having Your Shit Together
Hands up if you’ve ever felt the invisible pressure that stresses that you must have every answer to each of life’s most pressing questions by a certain age.
The age can vary but the nature of the pressure goes something like this:
As a teenager, you better have a solid idea of what you’re going to study in college and the steps you’re immediately going to take after graduation.
As a young adult, it is in your best interest to have your IRA or 401(k) accounts in order along with a high-ranking position in sight.
And if you make it to 30, the clock is ticking. Next comes the mortgage payments and serious relationship before you have a minute to breathe and really take it all in.
So what happens when you find yourself in your thirties, or any age for that matter, pulling the covers over your head every morning when your alarm welcomes you back to reality?
The year is coming to an end and at a staggering speed which is par for the course as we enter the holiday season. Transition is in the air, although the hope and possibility can be accompanied by anxiety and apprehension of the first snow as much as what the new year will bring with it.
Truth be told, most of the people I am closest with have been in the midst of deep transformation for most of 2018, myself included. I’m talking major life changes like leaving decent jobs to pursue their dream careers, pivoting in their businesses and side projects, even ending and beginning relationships. It’s big shit, and it’s also scary as shit.
Before we go any further, you should know what I know to be true about these people. These women and one very special man are intelligent, brave, inspiring AF, and committed to their individual journeys. These people—my people—astonish me daily.
It may come as a surprise then to hear that these same people often feel like they don’t have their shit together. And I’ll be the first to echo this sentiment with a fervent, “Me too!”
NO ONE HAS THEIR SHIT TOGETHER. PERIOD.
But before I get ahead of myself, there’s one thing you should know or, better yet, remember. Life is a journey for each of us. Your people may be at different points along the way but one of the few things we all have in common is that we’re all simply trying to figure it out.
The sooner we can remind ourselves that every adventure will require awareness, curiosity, compassion, and vulnerability, the sooner we can breathe out that impossible idea of having control over every single aspect of our lives.
We learn, whether we like it or not, to trust these pressures placed on us by society and to believe that that path laid out for us is the one for us. That four-year degree, that soul-sucking 40+ hour a week job, even that expensive handbag or car payment is bullshit if you’re trying to appease others. A new position, new relationship, even a new couch or shiny new iPhone isn’t going to help you navigate the uncertainty that is inevitable.
Now that that’s settled we can get to work.
So, how exactly do we carry on in our journeys and continue to piece the bigger parts of this puzzle together when we just can’t seem to summon our A Game?
It sounds a little hippy-dippy but trust me. Actually, trust that there is a bigger picture. Trust that what is meant to find its way to you will in fact find a way. Release your need to know what’s coming at you and precisely when. Surrender to the unknown.
And as much as it is about surrender, it is also about meeting potential and possibility with effort. It’s your responsibility to play your part in the process. Don’t just sit there and sulk because things aren’t going your way. Collect yourself to the best of your ability so you can take one step, and then take another.
The quest to answer this question is worthy and deserving of your fight more so than anything else. This is your life we’re talking about after all.
If you are in the discovery stages of figuring out the work you want to devote your life to or the person you want to be, don’t rush it. The leading cause of quarter-, third-, and mid-life crises is blindly deciding and following suit rather than gradually and intentionally uncovering the answers to life’s looming questions. I get it if you’re feeling the pressure from your family or acquaintances, but I’m also sure you’d like to avoid the future emotional breakdown that will bring you back to square one.
One last thing: You are not any less worthy, brave, enough, or whole if you don’t have your shit together.
Repeat that again and again until it sticks and then leave a comment below telling me how you’re now going to spend all that time you used to worry about not having your shit together 😉