The state of limbo

New Year’s Day, it’s the day for resolutions. The day for change, the day we can attempt to become the person we set out to be for the year that follows. (Probably the day after if you were hungover.)

For me, I couldn’t have been further from that way of thinking. I woke up in a filthy mood, absolutely vile—the type of foul mood that would make a toddler blush. By the time I had fallen back to sleep and woken up again in an attempt to ‘redo the day’ I was lethargic and unmotivated, a feeling not all that uncommon from the last several months. 

I protested with myself as this was not how I envisioned going into the new year. So, I begrudgingly dusted off the yoga mat (literally dusted it) and began an online yoga class. In full transparency, this consisted of me sitting on the mat in pyjamas dunking biscuits into my tea and then crawling back into bed with a bucket, an actual commercial size bucket of mini gingerbread men.

‘Healthy eating starts Monday!’ I said to myself. (FYI, I wrote this sentence on that Monday and I can confirm that healthy eating did not begin.)  

Every year I spend a ridiculous amount of money on moleskin planners and journals and bespoke Redbubble stickers. I use it for a collective 28 days of an entire year, I plot out the way I want life to be going, the goals and resolutions I want to adhere to, and it never happens – It has literally been ten years. I have still not run the bay run. 

Upon reflection, though I did realise how different my goals look from last year, or even several years prior. I’ve grown up, and I’ve changed…a lot.  

I am not the same girl who sat in awe in my little corner desk at Cosmopolitan aspiring to be this generations Carrie Bradshaw. I am not even the girl who thought career satisfaction could come if I worked on the boundary of an AFL game. (I’ve done it, and you don’t have time to think of career satisfaction you’re too busy petrified you’re about to get knocked over by a player.) 

I have new goals, new aspirations (don’t get me wrong, some have stayed very consistent) and I was generally feeling like for the first time in a while I was practising what I was preaching. I had taken the pressure off and was enjoying the view, which was exactly what I wrote about doing in the last blog

The twenty-somethings pressure and how we are all walking different paths in life, and while the path I seem to be going on is by way of a Himalayan trek, I need to accept life for what it is.

I was on the cusp of launching a new part of my website (stay tuned, it’s’ happening and it’s very exciting!!!), dating wise I had well and truly left my comfort zone (and my heart was thankful for it) and career-wise things seemed to be heading in the right direction. 

However, everything and nothing has changed in that time, and it feels as I am stuck in quicksand that won’t swallow me whole nor let me free. My life is in a complete state of limbo, to the point I feel at times as if I am on a time loop in a movie.  

I realised as my life sits in this state of limbo, I’ve become increasingly demotivated and disappointed with everything. 

Those new goals, aspirations or resolutions (whatever you want to call them) that I had set for myself just became non-existent over-night. I think this is quite a familiar feeling among a lot of people considering the circumstances. 

The problem is, I am a grown adult, but I do not handle life’s disappointments or changes like one. Anything that involves a part of my heart being let down or comprised is taken so personally, that it really affects me. This includes things both in and out of my control. 

I have tried to understand why it does hurt me so deeply and why I react the way I do. I think it’s because when you are disappointed or let down, it taps into your vulnerability. When this happens, it can feel as if you have exposed your heart which can be absolutely terrifying because sometimes what follows in the aftermath when that same heart is let down or disappointed is an indescribable type of hurt.

Whether its career, love or anything in between when you hand that heart over, and it’s dropped or mishandled it sometimes feels as if you have fallen to your knees screaming, but all that is coming out is silence as you frantically try to salvage what’s left of the shattered pieces. 

Don’t get me wrong not all life’s disappointments, require that level of extreme reaction. Sometimes bed and an eye roll will suffice.

So, I’ve needed to come up with a coping mechanism. I needed to find a way to muddle through this next period of my life and come out on the other side confident I have not sat miserable waiting on the world to change (lol.)

After all, I can’t let myself sit on pause as I wait for the borders to open, for all I know by the time they do, my circumstances may have changed entirely. 

That brings me to Jen Atkin, one of my role models. (If you don’t know about her, google her- the definition of a boss) For years I have followed her on social media as she documents her intentions and her habits. I have been envious because a bit like my past fears in dating, I have commitment issues, and it seems these issues are also with adopting new habits or committing to intentions. 

At the start of each year, she writes on a piece of paper: 

 ‘What would I do if there were no way to fail?’ 

So, I did it. I wrote my intentions out and then encouraged anyone I spoke to, to do the same, so I didn’t feel alone– Ha!

I then realised as I saw the black ink scribbled on the paper in front of me that for the most part these intentions that I would do ‘if I couldn’t fail’ actually were not all that impossible, neither were the habits that I had written down in the habit tracker– (it’s like a gold star chat for adults.)

I quickly realised for the vast majority of things written it wouldn’t matter what state I was living in or visiting or what way my career was heading these were things I could be achieving while my life sat in this awkward layover. 

I guess I had it in my mind that because my life was in a stand-still that meant that everything else had to be. I couldn’t do anything because I couldn’t plan ahead. 

It does always amaze me how powerful the brain is. That when you get demotivated or host yourself that pity party, how easy it can be to put blinders on and not see outside of that space you create.

As for the habit tracker, that’s another blog on its own. I am having a salt and pepper experience with it. I think it is because when you’re not ‘good’ at something, e.g. Setting time aside to listen to podcasts, do a yoga or Pilates class or even finding the motivation to go jogging; we inherently shy away from doing it. That’s why habits are so hard to get into sometimes- It is a work in progress.  

So, if like myself you had got yourself onto a path and now, you’re walking in slow motion, on the spot, or you have set yourself goals or intentions for a life that seems so close but too far and you feel like your stuck in one of those mirror rooms that you just can’t break out of. You are not alone.

I am sorry I don’t have the answers. What I can say is that for the time being adjust the plan just a little bit, that path I was talking about in the last blog where you are enjoying the view – find new ways and things to help you enjoy that view from the spot you are in. 

I haven’t cracked it yet; I am trying, and I am still having glum days. However, sitting down and writing down things has seemed to help quite a bit. It has given my day to day a bit more purpose and organisation. The habit tracker sort of puts together small goals that I try to get through each day and really focus on. 

I do still get a bit annoyed at myself when I don’t tick off certain things on the tracker or put the work in for those intentions I know I can achieve… BUT it’s a start. A really good one and sometimes you need to see things sitting on paper to go:

‘Okay, you know what, I am going to be bad at this to start with, but the small goals can keep me busy while i work towards the bigger ones, those bigger plans I’ve got for myself. In the end, everything will work out how it is meant to.’

As always never be a stranger.

-M xx 

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