I have to be honest with you guys: I’m terrified. I’m petrified of never reaching my dreams. I’m frightened that the reality I’m currently in, is all there will ever be. And I know it sounds fatal but it’s totally true: “I’m intimidated by the fear of being average.” I’m an Enneagram type 4 through and through and on nights when the wine is plentiful and the movement is slow, it sucks.
Right now, I’m reading through Vogue’s September feature on Taylor Swift and feel equal parts excited and unsettled. I’m *dYiNG* to hear Lover on August 23rd (while on vacation, I might add) but I wonder how I can make her “normal” my “new normal.” From oversleeping, poor eating, and leading a life I don’t recognize, to selling out stadiums, putting out an 18-track album, and being interviewed by a f*$king fashion magazine. It seems like an amateur writer’s pipe dream. Because that’s what she is, isn’t she?
Ever since I was little, I stared at the sky knowing that I was made for so much more. I looked at the life I had and projected it onto the life I wanted. In any given moment, I was an entertainer, a Disney star, an actress, the glamour girl on the cover of a magazine. I’ve been overly ambitious since before I could talk so, needless to say, I’ve always been a little ahead of myself. I look to the future like it can save me. MORE, MORE, MORE.
But the astounding thing about my life right now, is that it does NOTHING for the life I wanted as a little kid. The life I lead in this moment is terrified, petrified, frightened of taking the risk necessary to lead the life it desires. To be truthful, I’ve kept the life I’ve desperately wanted locked up in the future, safe and sound as a savior I’ll never reach. Coming out of what has been the MOST difficult chapter of my life, I see how totally f*$ked up that is and if we’re honest, the writer in me is itching to share this with you. I can’t NOT talk about my experiences. It’s just what I do. SoOoOo… here it is.
This is my roadmap out of rock bottom. Sure, I look around myself and go, “Shawna, why are you even upset? You have all this. An apartment, two loving cats, a boyfriend who has become one of the most supportive people you know, and a job that pays the bills. What the hell are you complaining for?” And it’s true, I do feel guilty when I assess my life like this. I have SO much to be grateful for and for many people, THIS IS NOT ROCK BOTTOM. It’s far from it. I’m privileged and I don’t want to waste a single second not recognizing that some people would kill to be in my situation right now.
But… this is my rock bottom. Because sometimes rock bottom isn’t something you can see. Sometimes, rock bottom is buried deep inside someone’s heart and head, dying to be understood. My situation is not special. But what makes my life special is having people who care about me, genuinely want to understand what afflicts me, as I do they. It’s about realizing that everyone’s lowest low looks different and offering our love and support in the moments it’s needed.
I’m on a mission to dig myself out of MY lowest low to get me to the life I want and here’s how I’m doing it. 1, 2, 3… BREAK.
So if you didn’t know, I’m habitually NOT habitual in my personal life. In fact, my middle name should be “resists routine” because right now, routine is my ONLY enemy. I’m a unique mix of totally rigid and scheduled… and completely go with the flow. To give you an idea, I want to fit all my unique and chaotic interests into a pie chart for later reference but I also only follow the rules I approve of… it’s weird. Then add on that extra layer of anxiety and soul crushing need for acceptance and you have ME! in a nutshell.
Anyway, the point is: I have zero personal habits. I don’t meal prep, I go to sleep whenever I’m done “soul-searching” for the night, and lately, I wake up when Grayson is done smacking me in the face every morning. I resist routine because it feels like “the rules” so my habits are basically nonexistent. But I would be lying if I didn’t say I love it that way. My ultimate goal, truthfully, is to move to an island and just go with the flow for the rest of my days but… I have an empire to build first and empires are not built on oversleeping and drinking out of coconuts. They are built on hard work aaaaannnnddd HaBiTs.
The BIGGEST thing I realized this year is that putting out an 18-track album that everyone is dying to hear is HABIT. Selling out stadiums is HABIT. We are all undoubtedly our habits and if you’re habitually sleep deprived, without exercise, and not carving out time to be creative, think of the life you are building. So with that said, I’m working on incorporating better habits into my personal life to produce the life I want, rather than a life built by default. I think it’s all about being present with the person you are now to truly form the person you want to be tomorrow. What are some of the habits you stick with for success? Help a girl out and tell me below!
I’ve always been partial to my family. When I say I love my family, I truly mean it. These are people who have been with me through EVERYTHING. I can’t count the number of times I’ve called my mom for her emotional support over the last 3 months and my dad? His levelheaded advice has helped me see things in a new perspective and I couldn’t be more grateful for everyone who has helped me along the way.
I lean on my family day-to-day so being at rock bottom is no different. Now that I actually know what’s required to become the person I want to be, I feel even more excited about sharing my life with them. THESE are the people who deserve me at my best and worst. I’m so grateful to all the family and friends who have supported me through this difficult time in my life and I can’t wait to bring all of you along my journey upward. You are the real MVPs.
Another big lesson I learned this year is to follow my heart no matter what. I know this sounds juvenile and obvious, but it’s something I had to be smacked in the face with to understand. The truth is: there will never be another opportunity to follow your dreams. There will never be another year to be 23, to make mistakes and run after the unknown, or to be two days out from walking away from everything you have with two cats and no real plan. What I realized is this: your life is happening RIGHT NOW and you can either sleep on that fact or you can take the risks necessary to light your life on fire. It’s your choice and only YOU have to live with the consequences.
Personally, I’m choosing fire, no matter how dangerous. I can’t imagine living my whole life and not, at least, trying to make it special. If I have to call the fire department, you’ll be the first to know but through faith, I CAN handle it.
And finally, for what feels like the first time ever, I’m accepting myself. Over the past few months, I’ve been studying who I truly am. I LIVE for personality tests, studying my birth chart, learning about Enneagram, and practicing Ayurveda. It’s been refreshing to lay out who I am in a way that makes it clear how hard I’ve been trying to fit a square peg (me) into a round hole (my life).
With this new awareness, I’m accepting myself for who I am according to the stars, Myers-Briggs, and my heart, NOT according to what people expect me to be. It’s written on the wall. I’m a Scorpio sun with a moon in Taurus. My personality type is INFP-T and I’m an Enneagram type 4: The Individualist. And to be completely honest, I like it that way. I’m not about to settle and try to force myself into something that doesn’t make sense to me. It’s madness.
What I’ve learned is this: rock bottom is the place where you look around and don’t know yourself from the people in the crowd. It’s a crippling feeling of isolation and self-loathing and our best bet at getting out of it, is taking a deep breath, loving yourself unconditionally, and saying “my life should fit me, not the other way around.” And that’s my goal for the rest of the year. I’m no longer trying to fit this peg into the wrong hole. I’m finding a brand new hole, sorry not sorry. 🙈 Now excuse me, while I go watch Gossip Girl and build my empire, no pun intended.