When I was in college, I used to set goals like nobody’s business. I had so many plans and went after so many rewards and accolades because it made me feel good when others acknowledged how hard I worked. I used to keep a hard-copy calendar and wrote down my to-do lists, daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, and life goals. I was obsessively organized to the point I had scheduled every single minute of my day. Literally, from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep, I executed a schedule that even the military would be jealous of.
I reveled in a truth that my work ethic outshined a lot of my peers, and I just knew that in four years I would graduate, move to California, and become a famous television writer, director, and producer. I just knew that if I did everything I was supposed to do (i.e. internships, building my resume, getting my degree, networking) that I wouldn’t have to worry about the student loan debt I was accumulating because I was setting myself up to be a boss, a CEO, and the head woman in charge. I just knew that once I made it, everyone who had ever broken my heart or anyone who didn’t believe in me would know that they had messed up when they allowed me to slip through their hands. I couldn’t wait to tout my achievements because I deserved to be successful because of all of the hard work I had put into my goals.
I did graduate with honors in four years, and I applied to over a hundred jobs post graduated. I felt I was prepared for anything…that is, until the recession hit. No one was hiring. As a matter of fact, people were losing their jobs. I had no savings and no back up plan. The only thing I was able to land was a part-time, 5AM desk position at a gym making a whopping $8.25 an hour. Moving to Los Angeles became a deferred and festering dream. I couldn’t even afford to live on my own and paid rent to sleep in the living room in a house with three other roommates. I was bitter and angry at what my life had become in such a short time.
I thought I had done everything right.
I grew up in a generation where it was beaten into our heads that a college degree was an absolute necessity, but it had proven to be much more of a burden than an opportunity.
I felt that God was punishing me.
Or maybe I had missed a step. Or maybe the work didn’t really matter. Maybe life was based on luck—something I never acquired by the looks of the cards I had been dealt early in life. Clearly, there was something wrong with me. Even after going back to grad school to to try my hand at an entirely different career, I still felt completely lost. I graduated again with honors and settled for a job in education, but I was different. I lacked the drive to plan and set goals. I just let life happen to me and shied away from creating intentions because I didn’t believe I had the good fortune of living a life that I desired. My dreams were obviously too big before, so why dream now?
Even though this experience was over a decade ago, and I eventually found my groove in my current career—-I still find myself living small. I don’t set goals anymore. I have a fear of aiming too high. Now, I am able to fully recognize that my obsessive nature to plan and organize every facet of my life was heavily driven by my ego and control issues. Underneath all that planning and hustling, was a girl believing that if she did everything “right” she would automatically get some type of reward. This is a mindset that I still struggle to release. I continue to deny myself the opportunity to live in joy, excitement, and inspiration as I carry this burden of fear and doubt. But something’s got to give because this is not the way I want to live, and this can’t be how God or my ancestors want me to live either.
I need to shift. But before I can shift in action, I have to shift my mind. If I am honest with myself I have to admit that my ego has been the driving force in my life.
This society is consumed with the constant need to hustle, move, and produce. We have our own agendas that are self-led and unsupported. We rely on external reward to prove our progress and success. We are transactional in our relationship with God and with others. And I believe the energies that are waiting for us to be wise enough and still enough so that they can provide their guidance.
Just as I knew within my soul that I was supposed to be in Los Angeles making industry moves, I know now that maybe that dream was too small and too self-centered. My spiritual court has pointed my talents and gifts in other ways, but because it was not the way I wanted them to be used I created a narrative of failure that I haven’t been able to let go of. Now, I must make a decision as to whether I will continue to force my own agenda or surrender my life completely to Spirit. It's time to dig deep and get clear on what my spiritual court wants for me and trust that it will bring me the fulfillment that I seek. I’ve been chasing everything and everyone but Spirit. I’ve been using so much energy forcing dreams that weren’t Spirit approved. It might have taken me over ten years to surrender, but I am on a path of trust and faith. Perhaps this is what God has been waiting for me to do all along. I am getting out of the driver’s seat and allowing God to take the wheel.