... and the willingness to make it anyway
I identify with this in multiple ways. I’m facing a choice that is unlike one I’ve ever made in my 57 years. The choice to leave a relationship I’ve been in for almost 30 years. The grief I float in and out of is uncomfortable. The not knowing my way forward is scary. The staying is also uncomfortable.
I keep receiving this message. I don’t have to always know what the outcome looks like. I just have to keep moving towards it.
It’s excruciating for a girl who loves the comfort of knowing.
I adore this, Lisa. And so relate. I think it's easy for us to be pigeonholed by our outward personalities and titles, and it's much harder to embrace our inner knowing and just be without all those labels. I'm definitely on a similar path of looking more inward and doing what feels right vs what I think looks good to the outside. I feel so much more fulfilled that way. When you said, "There is an embracing of the path less known, knowing it is serving me now and perhaps that’s enough." that completely spoke to me and you worded it perfectly. I hope I can also have courage enough to continue pursuing the path less known, too. Thank you for sharing.
Lisa, thank you so much for sharing. We so often see the "before and after" moments where there appears to be some level of identifiable outcome in the "after" (especially in our social media world... the algorithm loves a clear-cut, inspirational story, doesn't it?). I always wish there was more said on the in-between space and the process. Yet, I also recognize how this in-between space is the most difficult part to share, and it takes a tremendous amount of self-trust to share about the not-knowing.
Yet, is there really truly ever a clear destination? As much as I always want clarity, I recognize that the journey truly never ends. There may be moments that look very clear, only for the path to appear murky again when the next segment of the journey begins.
My great friend, a physicist and writer just recommended the Rick Rubin book to me! She says: As a writer/creator, I often struggle to understand how to fit/not to fit in, and how to deal with borrowed expectations about my output. His thoughts on creation are both crushingly obvious, but also very nuanced. He both brings up the expectations to a cosmological level and at the same time strips out all pre assumptions. It’s hard to describe… I know he can also rub people the wrong way in his bro-turned-zen energy
That last paragraph hit me so hard ~ I’m at a professional crossroads right now and it’s just so damn hard and scary. This was what I needed today ❤️
I love this post with my whole heart. I'm there, too. In the in-between. Trying to be OK with where I'm at and positive about where I'm going.
"I was grateful to be reaching so many people in a supportive, helpful way, but my soul was dying. I was honored to have the privilege of a large platform, but my humanity was crumbling."
I would just like to say that you are a brave person, Lisa, and my soul sees yours. What even is success if it is not authentic? You see it play out all the time- the burnout and illness of the most outwardly successful people, and yet you still cannot help but get sucked in because of societal conditioning. I have to practice telling myself over and over that true success for me is the feeling that I have not had to betray myself and also being a well-rounded person who values time and people over things and money. I made the personal decision not to use Instagram because I do not believe in it, particularly what it does to the mental health of teenage girls (I wouldn't have stood a chance if it was around when I was that age!) but I have missed out on things because of this decision. I also know that plenty of people rely on it for their business or feeling connected, and I am not judging them for that. It is a messed up world we live in when you have to choose between surviving or maintaining mental health and integrity. We are the lucky ones who have other options. I hope society will make progress on this. I am grateful you are able to share what feels right and more true for you because it still does help so many people on a very human level (I think I just understood the title of your newsletters Human Stuff on a different level as well ☺️). Thank you.
We so often feel stuck and trapped by our own choices, as if we aren’t the ones making them. Or maybe I should only speak for myself — I so often feel stuck and trapped by my own choices, as if I’m not the one making them.
Oh how this resonates. I don't think I felt this so intensely as after one of my suicide attempts, the one that was followed by being hospitalized for a few days. I felt so detached from reality that I thought I'd landed myself in hell, literally, not metaphorically. After a more impulsive attempt, I really did feel so so trapped in my choices and it became quite paralyzing to make a choice about anything, because I was afraid that any choice I made would have a domino effect to another attempt. After trying to kill myself, I became bitter with the concept of choice. Choice is so incredibly nuanced. Choosing to stay does feel like a trap; choosing to kill myself... may set me free but it is rooted in feeling trapped and I know that is an illusion and I know deep down that life might not always feel like a trap.
The following line you wrote, "The truth is that I didn't trust myself." And that is exactly it... choices feel incredibly dangerous when we don't trust ourselves, when we don't know ourselves. Maybe, choices can feel like a trap because we forget we can choose differently even after we've made the initial choice; we can change our minds... but changing my mind somehow feels like I am doing something wrong, like I am failing somehow. Weird. We put such harsh standards and expectations on ourselves.
As always, thanks for sharing your internal experience.
This resonates deeply, thank you. It has touched the part of me that knows that as I grow and learn and am changed by life, so do my longings/how I wish to spend my precious time and energy. And sometimes it makes little 'logical' sense (my ego does not enjoy that!). Thank you for following your own longings and allowing us to see you on that journey. It gives others permission to do the same in their own ways :)
Thank you so much for sharing Lisa. I feel my heart soften and my body wants to collapse within... just to rest here for a little bit.
I had also made a very difficult right choice in the past to leave a job in community child protection that I was deeply passionate about for the sake of my body’s health. There was grief definitely. 2 years later now we have our 3 mth old son.
Thanks for inspiring me to share the in between moments in my postpartum journey as well.
I love you and I adore you. Thank you for reminding me to be more me, simply by your presence through your words.
Thanks for your observations and your candor.
"sometimes, we need to make the right choice before we know where it will lead."
A lot of truth and wisdom in that sentence alone. A lifetime.
I am so glad that you answered the call. That you are here now. Here now as Lisa first and foremost. Thank goodness. What a gift to us all who get to know you, see you, feel you in this way!
A beautiful reminder that bravery is the most important thing in art - thank you.
In addition to today’s letter being such a comfort, all of these comments of people resonating with it are also bringing comfort! I, too, am at a professional (and personal, given my profession in many ways *is* my personhood) crossroads, also in a profession that has brought with it a lot of public visibility (from which I tried to hide for *years*) + have been doing the same thing for 22 years, so facing the grief that’s arising is... intense. I’m realizing it’s okay to deal with it in morsels, not to try to Bruce Bogtrotter this grief cake. Thank you again for the humanness. ❤️
This speaks to me so much in this given moment as I am embarking on my own version of the unknown path. The truth is I've been so ready to go on this journey for so long but it is only recently that something has shifted deep within me that's given me the nudge to leap when I'm not quite sure where I'm leaping to. Thank you for being that beautiful mirror that I am not alone in this, that there are others walking their own version of this journey of treading an untrodden path.
Somehow, your writing always hits the right note when I need it the most! Beautiful words. 💕