For quite some time, I’ve done extensive research on how to put my life together. My life has always been quite scattered, my attention darting from one task to the next, the path before me never a straight line but a zig-zagging loop that descends into the deep unknown. While I always knew I wanted to be a writer, the type of writer has always been a mystery. Basically, I’ve been a messy person all my life, yet I find that I try to stuff my mess into a single box, forcing all the aspects of me into one place, even though they don’t always fit or make sense together. And after years of squishing all that I am into a seemingly clean, neat, and organized box, I’ve realized that letting go and allowing the mess is the proper way to live.
My friends can assure you that I’ve remained an organized person. My nose is constantly buried in my bullet journal, where I track habits, gratitude, jot down various tasks I need to do, and loosely schedule out my day. Work from 10-3. Workout at 4 pm. Creative writing club from 6-8. Dinner: pasta. But, if I later decide I no longer want pasta, I don’t eat pasta and move that to the next day. I plan my day, but I don’t like to be strict.
Anyway. I think there’s a difference between planning out your day and planning out your entire life, down to when you’ll get married, where you’ll move to, and what you’ll do for work for the rest of your life. Which, since I had been trying to do for so long, I forgot how to simply live in the moment.
I do think it’s important to have a direction. A goal in mind. A visual of who you'll be in five or even ten years. But, I also think it’s important to allow life to happen for you.
The truth is, we don’t know where we’ll end up. We can try to find our purpose, find our path, carve our life into what we want it to be. Yet perhaps, you don’t need to find one purpose, nor one path, and maybe you don’t know what you want life to look like, and this is okay.
I’ve learned a lot by allowing my life to simply… be. Allowing myself to work hard at all of the things I love, focusing on whichever one intrigues me the most in that point in time. Not forcing myself to balance everything in perfect harmony, polishing my life to be this peaceful and simple bubble. Because life isn’t simple, at least not for me. If my writing is going well, my relationship needs mending, and if I’m on track on my weight loss journey, I have three exams to take in one day. Unexpected things happen, yet we don’t need to always prepare for them, either. Instead, we can learn to accept change, lean into the unknown, and take things as they come.
I know I’m sort of rambling, as I most often do. But for so long, I lived life how I thought I should live it. I don’t know why I did that. Not really. This year has been interesting for all of us, and I think we’re all growing in ways we didn’t imagine we would, or could. For me, that’s been carefully emerging from this cocoon I’ve created for myself, reaching up and feeling the light on my skin. Following the bliss.
Now that I’ve glossed over the meat of this post, let me share three ways in which you can work to embrace the mess, and finally allow life as it is.
1. Stop asking others to make decisions for you; what do you want?
Decision-making is challenging for me. Whether it’s deciding between which pair of shoes to buy, or wondering if I should go out with a friend on Saturday or stay indoors to read, I usually end up asking others what I should do.
The truth is, most of the time we already know what we want. We know which shoe to buy, we already know we’d rather read that socialize because we’re stressed with work and school. Asking yourself what you really, truly want will not only help you stop living life in the way others think you should, but will also build your confidence and independence.
It may feel weird to follow your own instinct, it might even feel messy, choosing something without asking around or journaling about it. But, by doing so, you’re one step closer to tuning into yourself and allowing more freedom in your life.
2. Bring more quiet into your day
Oftentimes, it’s hard to make time for meditation or even stillness. But, whenever you have the free time, I highly recommend turning off the music, putting away the phone, and simply, being. Observing. Listening to your thoughts and rising feelings.
When we’re constantly distracted by all of the noise and clutter of life, we lose touch with ourselves and desires. So, take some time, whether it’s for one minute or an hour, to be with yourself. Be with your scattered mine and don’t try to control it. Instead, allow it.
Read more about this topic in my recent post: The importance of silence.
3. Follow your bliss
I mentioned this earlier in the post. I heard it somewhere, from someone, although I’ve forgotten both. All I know is this simple statement, “Follow your bliss”, feels like home to me.
It’s hard for me to decipher between what brings me joy and what I think brings me joy. That is, until I spend a few moments with myself. This is why silence is so important, in my opinion. For so long, I wrote because I thought I should be writing, I talked about minimalism because it was popular at the time, I joined clubs because I felt inclined to live a great college experience. But, I came to realize that none of these things were my blisses.
Blisses change. Passions change, morph into new things every week, every day. And change is weird. Letting go of old projects, old titles, can be frightening. But when you finally release the pressure, tune into what you want, and follow your ever-changing yet illuminating desires, you’ll surely find happiness. You may even find security and safety among the mess.
I hope this post has inspired you, in some way, to live the life you want, even if you’re not sure what that looks like quite yet. Life is meant to be messy, unknown, uncertain. At least, this is an idea that has been weighing heavy on my mind these past few months. An idea that has opened new doors, and allowed old stories to finally rest. Also, my life is no longer being stuffed in boxes. Instead, it’s out there, all over the walls, stacked high in unorganized piles, dazzling and bright, ready for me to seek it.