As I celebrated the beginning of my 4th decade I found myself in a most unimaginable situation. Single, jobless, alone and adrift. I felt like the universe wrapped a midlife crisis up with a giant bow for my milestone birthday.
Sitting with my ‘gift’ as the day came to an end, I thought back to the beginning of my adventure. I started this journey with certainty, passion and a heightened sense of direction and purpose. Things weren’t firing for me in Charlotte and I “just knew” this opportunity would be just the kick start I needed.
Turns out, it was a kick in the teeth.
As my world unraveled – a sick aunt engaged in her last battle, energetic turmoil at work, and an unsettled environment – my friend and soul sister called to check in. She could “feel” how frazzled I had become. “How did you know?” I asked. “You are a vortex,” she said.
Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t realize my vortex was pulling negativity in on me with the energy I expelled.
It was only after the ball of yarn completely unraveled and lay in a gnarled and knotted heap did I take a long, hard, painfully honest look at my situation: no man, no job, no home that I wanted to go home to.
I checked my pride, broke lease and embarked on the life of a wanderer.
“I’m not supposed to be here,” became my theme song – with a refrain that sang, “This isn’t how my life is supposed to be!!!”
And that’s when the larger Voice I call God said, “But this is the way it is.”
This is the way it is.
Sitting on a dock, beer in hand, my utter exhaustion gave way to absolute acceptance.
This. Is. The. Way. It. Is.
Let me not lie, it took two weeks of wandering before my brain started to work again. My first day as a gypsy, I literally sat at a red light and had the conversation with myself as it changed, “Green means go, right? Yes, green. Go.” (BLESS!)
One of the most interesting things happening as I explore rock bottom is a reinterpretation of self. A revised definition of who I am. Because, how easy is it to say, “I’m Brandy, XYZ with ABC company.” How often have I relied on my career, wins and successes to create my identity? How long have I hid behind my job rather than relying on my most authentic self?
So the question became, “Without a label, without a job title, who am I? What do I do? What are my goals? Where am I going?”
When my brain started to function again, ideas came flooding through. I started having lovely conversations about great opportunities. My energy level keyed up and I went on a great walk where I was having the internal dialogue with myself, “Omigosh . . . I could do this and this and this and I talked to so and so and so . . . and just WAIT until I tell LMNOP that DEF wants to work with me . . . he’s going to be so proud and . . . “ [screeeeeech] HOLD THE FUCK UP.
I stopped mid-stride. This is the ego I read about.
Yes, it’s great to have amazing partnerships and projects on the horizon, but these things do not define who I am.
And I damn sure shouldn’t be using them as a worth-bait for catching the interest, respect and admiration of other people. Let that sink in . . . worth-bait.
Disengage the ego.
Ask, “Who am I without the labels?”
While I would love to wrap this story up with the tidy ending of a hallelujah choir, I can’t do that. The only answer I have is, quite simply, “I don’t know.”
I don’t know who I am, where I’m going or when. But, I’m learning. I’m observing. I’m growing through confronting the stories I’ve told myself for so long that they’ve become my truth.
I’m reconsidering. I’m re-imagining the story of me . . . and the rewrites are in pencil.
It’s scary as hell.
In religion, there is a period of darkness that precedes an awakening or rebirth . . . a dark night of the soul. So, is this my path to enlightenment? Perhaps.
Is rock bottom a kickass place to rebuild a strong, redefined foundation for a brand new life? Abso-fucking-lutely.
Now, it’s time to get on with it.
Has anyone seen the map for navigating around this ego trip?!?!?
2 thoughts on “EgoTripping”
What a superb post! As someone that’s currently using the solid foundation of rock bottom to build upwards and outwards – your post truly resonated with me. In my opinion when we pray, or simply are in-line with a new chapter in our lives, we undergo a process of change. We don’t see it as change, we normally see it as “Wtf moments” and we end up thinking “why is this happening to me, things seem to be worse than before”. But during these times the Universe is taking apart the old, and constructing the new. We interpret that as upheaval, but really it’s just a reshaping. Your life is simply transforming, and it’s only at the end of the metamorphosis, that it becomes easy to look back and see what was happening.
I absolutely adore this, Ethan. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, experience and wisdom. I couldn’t agree more about being in alignment!
Wishing you peaceful guidance on your journey . ..