I finished my workday feeling fine. It had been a relatively productive day and ultimately I knew what was expected of me and what I needed to accomplish the next day to stay on top of everything. I’d recently realized that I had more free time on my hands than I’ve had in a while and I was more in line with my vision for a successful life than I have ever been before. I walked in the door, put my bag in it’s usual home on the floor and buried my head into the chest of my partner. I could feel my shoulders turned in, the heaviness of my eye lids, the exhaustion behind my forehead and the slight frown on my face. He asked how my day was and I responded, “It was fine, I got a lot done.”
That moment in time will forever remain as a reminder in my life. A life compiled of long days that end with me feeling weighed down and weary is not the life I want to live. I don’t want to finish my life saying, “It was fine, I got a lot done.” I want to finish my life and look back saying, “Man, I lived!”
It was in that moment that I realized I had to get back to myself. My whole self.
You see, there’s this whole other side of me that I don’t let out to play very often. She’s impulsive and a tiny bit reckless. She disregards responsibilities for spontaneous adventures. She laughs so loud that it’s a bit jarring and she makes a point to say ‘hi’ to everyone and ask how they’re doing. She watches the sunrise and gets a bit too drunk sometimes. She spends money on fancy dinners and plays like it’s her job. She turns off her phone and spends full days without ever touching a computer. She says, “yes!” a lot. Especially to the things that sound fun and strange and challenging.
I took the time to look back at my life and chart the happiest moments so far. What I found was that at all of the happiest points in my existence, she held the reigns. She was the one in charge of my decisions.
At this stage of my life, I can’t pretend like she’s not financially irresponsible, that she doesn’t lack the structure to make real dreams come true and that she often misses out on the joy of accomplishing goals and doing things well.
I’m currently very disciplined, I’m organized, I get shit done, and I’m finally in tune with my wisest self. However, I’ve pushed this part of me that lives life the most fully, deeper and deeper down in attempts to maintain some illusion of control over my own story. I’ve limited her to a memory and done my best to believe that was ok.
Today, I’m learning that choosing to leave her out of the discussion when it comes to making plans for my future or how I spend my time is a grave mistake. She is after all the part of me that truly knows how to live. She deserves a place at the table in the decisions of my life. She may not be the most responsible, she may not be the most successful in terms of career, but, she is happy and fun and playful and that is it’s own special kind of wisdom.
Today, as I close my eyes and imagine a world filled with inspiration and excitement and a work life built from a place of joy, I can almost hear her exclaim, “I’ve missed you too.”