"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Plank Pullin': I'm a Mess

It’s Plank Pullin’ time! The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style.

Sometimes people ask me for advice.

I like giving advice when I'm asked. There's just something... satisfying... something that feels *right* about being able to look at a situation from the outside, see it clearly, and be able to say, "This is what I see. This is what I think. This is what I've experienced." To believe even for a second that something you said HELPED someone, that something you said MATTERED to someone.

Now, keep in mind that I have no idea if I actually give good advice. Most of the time I don't hear back from the person asking, so for all I know they could be out there thinking, "This chica is waaay off her rocker." (That's a direct quote from my all-time favorite piece of "fan" mail, and the one that handed me the biggest laugh.) But I do get asked from time to time, and I do enjoy giving it.

The scary thing is:

I am the worst person EVER to be giving anyone advice. I'm sort of a mess.

I never sleep. I'm addicted to caffeine. I've had ongoing issues with both anxiety and depression. My husband is always on standby to talk me down from whatever my current freak-out may be, whether it's the anticipation of seeing people that I find stressful, or how we're going to be able to afford t-ball registration, or simply our current state of housekeeping. And inside my head? Have you ever seen a movie where someone is on some sort of drug trip and there are all these rapid-fire flashes of different thoughts and images and movement, one right after the other? That's what it's like to be inside my head (except I don't do drugs, aside from the aforementioned caffeine.) And the fact is, I'm not drawn to things like yoga and meditation and peaceful parenting because I'm a naturally calm person..... but because I'm not.

With the exception of unschooling and parenting (and by extension this blog, where I write about unschooling and parenting), I have no earthly clue what I want to do when I grow up. It's not that I have no ideas; it's that I have oh so many ideas. And because I have a tendency to both jump headlong into whatever interests me at the moment AND get bored quickly before I move on to something else, my house is a mess too. My desk is stacked with books I've yet to read, projects I've yet to finish, and the coursework I'm supposed to be studying to take my personal trainer certification test. My closets are filled with discarded lip balm and craft supplies. There is a huge box containing over 100 DVDs in my living room, because I suddenly decided I really needed to start buying and selling them on Ebay again. I'm still unsure if I'm going to participate in NanoWriMo again this November, or write an e-book (or three), or sign up for yoga teacher training, or enroll to finish my bachelors in Holistic Health. I Just. Don't. Know.

And the thing is, if it were any of my kids with this confusion, I'd answer them confidently and sincerely with reassurance:

You don't have to worry. It'll all work out. Take each day as it comes. The beauty isn't in the figuring it all out (and no one really figures it all out anyway) but in the journey.

I absolutely believe all of the above, and some days, I even think I have a handle on it. But most other days, well, I'm still a mess.

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