Yesterday morning I watched a video of a couple venturing boldly into the wilds of Patagonia toting backpacks and trailed by the voice of Don Quixote. Because my wanderlust has been fiercely rattling its little cage, the brain hamsters decided this was a fine time to make me feel like a failure of a human for not owning a backpack or having a nice Spanish man to narrate my life. Long story short, I got really upset. Since I'm a thought-based life form, my usual plan is to stifle upset and mull fruitlessly. For some reason, fruitless mulling never does me much good. So, in what I've decided to call a major step forward in the world of feeling your feelings, I let myself get really upset. Sometimes crying on a Wednesday morning when you should be doing your work really is an improvement.
When I got to Nicole's, she inquired about the suspicious redness of my nose. I had to flail for a few minutes before I could get a handle on what the hell was going through my head. Because Nicole is a genius at sifting through the Flotsam of Crazy, she asked two very helpful questions: "What do you want your life to be? What would help you get there?"
Turns out, I already knew exactly what I needed. It had been floating around my head like wrackspurts for months. I need to have more fun. There are Fun Things I've been meaning to do, but haven't taken any steps toward because More Important Things kept taking precedence. Guess what? When you spend a morning crying about something, it officially becomes the Most Important Thing.
(I mean, yeah. I was crying about not having enough fun. I fully recognize and appreciate my very first-world problems. Thanks, first world! You're pretty swell.)
So I scheduled a Fun Thing for this weekend. I scheduled a more involved Fun Thing for March. I've committed to do a Big Fun Thing, a Fun Thing I Have Been Pondering For a Long Damn Time, in April. I spent half an hour emailing people to coerce them into my plans, and then I felt better. Peaceful. Calm. Like the brain hamsters were snoozing happily in the back seat and all was right with the world again.
Realization That I Should Have Had a Long Damn Time Ago
Feelings have a purpose.
Another Realization I Should Have Had a Long Damn Time Ago. Or Not. Because These Things Appear At Their Own Pace and Trying To Rush Them Never Works.
Action toward that purpose is very soothing.
Identify your feelings, figure out where they're pointing you, head in that direction - and you feel better. Almost immediately.
Motion is fun. I was concerned for a long time about taking the wrong motion, but there's no such thing. Sometimes you just have to get up and start swinging wildly at the first pinata you find. Maybe you'll bash at it for awhile until you decide this is someone else's pinata and move on or maybe you'll get lucky and score a few mini-Snickers bars and a turquoise plastic dinosaur.
The idea that all my feelings exist for a reason still feels revolutionary to me. I really thought their sole purpose in life was to make me miserable. But, no. They just want to help. They want to direct me toward the action I need to take to feel better.
So fun things are afoot. Now when I watch the video, I just feel really happy. Excited. Because my own journey has been set in motion again. I like my story a whole lot better when I'm moving with it.