Right now, I feel like I am leading a double (maybe even a triple) life. I am bouncing between projects and groups and I’m struggling to find balance, but I don’t actually want to settle on one thing. Maybe we are all searching for balance, but I thought that by age 32 that I would have found it. Don’t get me wrong… I love being able to be a part of such rewarding experiences and projects and things that are unique, challenging and different every week, but it also gets exhausting emotionally. I want to do it all, even though I know deep down that I can’t. In a perfect world, I would be able to do it all though… Working for Keith Urban making enough money to support myself completely (if I absolutely had to), making a difference in my community in different ways, married to Wes, traveling the world with our well-rounded 2 kids who have his easy-going nature and my empathy, our beautiful home with amazing meals that I cooked myself for my husband to come home to every day and feeling really, really good about myself inside and out. All of my friends and family would be taken care of and I would never feel like I was anything less than the best version of myself that I could possibly be. But, in reality, I wake up, go to the gym once a week (at best) only to tell myself that being “so close” to my gym goals isn’t good enough, I have 3 dogs, an unpredictable schedule and even more unpredictable anxiety, and a house that never stays clean for more than 3 days at a time (even on weeks where it feels like we are never home to mess it up). In an ideal world, I definitely wouldn’t be feeling like I am failing at every single point of my life. Being a perfectionist seems like a great thing, but it really isn’t. It causes me wayyyy more stress… and no matter what, I can never seem to stay happy with my current circumstances, no matter how close they seem to get to being exactly what I envisioned. I want to be there for my friends who are falling apart. I want to spend more time with family that doesn’t revolve around some project I’m working on that no one except me cares about or some holiday that requires too much traveling. I want to seriously sit down and get focused on the next stages of writing a book. At the same time, I LOVE that I am getting a chance to experience so many unique things that I wouldn’t have experienced if I lived a ‘normal’ life with a ‘normal’ 9-5 job. I love that I get the chance to continue evolving on different levels. I can’t settle on just one thing and I wouldn’t want to. Normal is boring. I don’t want to sound like I think my life is better than anyone else’s or that I’m ungrateful for the life that I have. I’m just saying that right now, I am overwhelmed and sometimes it is exhausting not even knowing HOW to only be involved with one thing at a time. Every day that I do allow myself to take a personal day and just stay home and relax, I feel incredibly guilty. I feel like I should be sending e-mails, checking on ALLLL of my friends, being a better wife, cleaning, playing with my dogs, finding ways to make actual real money, finding new artists that I’m excited about for ShineOnMusicCity.com, and doing nice things for other people. I can’t stop. I literally don’t even think it is possible for me to slow down without the immediate feeling of failure setting in. I know that my definition of “success” looks very different from most people’s, and I am grateful for that.. but sometimes I think, “Man… it would be so much easier to just go get a ‘real job’ and help us get more financially stable.” It’s not that we’re ACTUALLY struggling financially. I just always feel like no matter what I do, it is never enough. It’s a self-imposed mindset that I have managed to create in my own head after years and years of literally EVERYONE saying that I am “so spoiled” because my husband does these amazing and awesome things to support me and my dreams. I know that those comments are because everyone really wishes that they had the opportunity to do what they love to do, but it’s hard sometimes when it affects my mindset and puts doubts in my head about accomplishing certain things that have some emotional currency to me as a person. Let me be clear… NONE of my passions have helped me pay a single bill… yet… That is the literal price I have paid (or not been able to pay) because I have refused to settle for doing anything less than what is emotionally fulfilling, because I know that doing that will only lead to a whole different set of frustrations… and at this point, we’re fine financially (and believe me, I would NEVER let us get to a place where we were struggling and I wasn’t doing something to contribute in a real way.) I’m sad that it feels like sometimes my level of “currency” or my contributions don’t actually count to people who live “normal” lives. Why is my way wrong just because it isn’t ‘typical’? Why can’t I keep doing what makes me feel happy and emotionally fulfilled just because it doesn’t make money? Who am I harming? Why do people feel the need to talk down to people just because they’re unhappy with the path that they’re taking in their own lives? No matter what path you take, you are risking giving up taking another path, so why not take the path you genuinely believe will make you the happiest? You can always stop, turn and take a different path.
I fully believe that we should never stop evolving, growing and challenging ourselves. As much as I like having a set schedule for parts of my life to provide some sense of normalcy, there really is something rewarding in just following your heart and seeing what’s on the other side when you get there, especially when you can look back on your experiences and say “Wow! That was way better than anything I could have ever predicted!” There has to be a way to find balance though, right? Well… we all seem to be chasing “balance”… but yet, I still don’t know a single person who has found it AND is living the type of life that they always dreamed of. We should never stop creating something better and greater for ourselves and the world around us, but we also need to take time to appreciate the moments we’re in presently before moving on to the next. I think that has been the piece I’ve been missing lately. My friends always say that I am always “too busy”… and maybe to them, I am… but to me, I don’t have time to stop. I don’t want to stop. When I stop (like I have the past few days), that’s when I start getting into my own head about what I think I SHOULD be doing, rather than giving myself credit for what I HAVE accomplished and telling myself that I deserve a break every now and then.
Sometimes, I have to physically list off what I’ve accomplished and then process it before I’ll even give myself some credit. In the past 3 months, I have had almost 20 speaking engagements, had a friend who ended up in the hospital because of his drinking, which was very scary to deal with… then, had another friend who was reaching out to people for help and has a history of substance abuse and was contemplating suicide and I did my best to convince him that he definitely should go get help/treatment, I met with the Mayor, been introduced to 100’s of new people, sent more emails than I could even count, had the holidays, got accepted on to the Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, I planned an entire fundraiser that was pretty successful and I had some other things going on in my personal life that I can’t even mention here. I also had a doctor’s appointment and a thyroid medication change and a whole bunch of anxiety related to pretty much everything I’ve mentioned above. It’s a lot to take in. They are burdens that I carry and they are very heavy. I can’t do it alone. I shouldn’t have to.
I guess I should be happy that I am in a place in my life where I have the ability to give back and help others and I have the luxury of having the option to slow down (which I rarely ever take). I am really grateful that I have a list of endless possibilities for my life, but I am exhausted. Sometimes, I just need someone to remind me that I am doing a good job… Sometimes I really just need someone to be my cheerleader too.
Hopefully, anyone reading this right now realizes that eventually everything will fall into place. If something doesn’t, then maybe that’s God’s way of reminding you that maybe that particular thing isn’t something that is MEANT TO BE in your life. Your job is to just pay attention to those signs.
As I write all of this, I know that I’m probably not the only one who feels like they fall short on certain aspects of their life… If you’re out there and connect with this, please just know that you are doing better than you think. You are loved. People do care. The best thing you can do is just keep trying to be the best version of yourself that you possibly can… and (if possible)… cut yourself some slack.