I spent a lot of my life wanting a lot of things.
To be successful. To be beautiful. To be applauded for my artistic skill and merit.
And it was so draining.
It was like trying to fill a bucket that had holes drilled in the bottom.
Everything that I wanted in life was “out there” somewhere in the distant future. I was living my life for a “someday” when all my dreams would come to fulfillment. And for goals that only others could give me.
I chose to put myself in uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous situations in order to attract the possibility of my big wishes coming true.
And then I finally wised up and got brave enough to face all of this. And to dare to reorient my life. Ultimately deciding to leave Los Angeles and the entertainment career I had pursued for so long.
For twenty-some-odd years, I firmly believed that I needed something from outside of myself to give me a sense of completion and worthiness.
I needed the perfect body. Or the perfect job/acting role. I needed the right agent, projects, manager. I needed recognition. I needed a whole lot to manifest in order to make me truly happy and fulfilled. To give my life meaning.
And over the course of many years and a great deal of self-inquiry, I have gradually begun to awaken to the fact that this is incredibly stupid.
Fulfillment, I have begun to find, can happen by simply re-evaluating my priorities.
If I recalibrate my life to focus on: friendship, family, love, community, loving my home, sustainability …. I can be immediately fulfilled. I already have the elements present in my life to make me feel that I’ve succeeded.
If I can tie my selfworth to my level of courage, rather than me attaining symbols of having “made it”… I can be so blissed-out in the present moment.
I have been transmuting the things I really want from being intangible goals (that I can not realistically procure for myself) to things that I already have, that already give me a tremendous return in love.
There are so many days where I simply sit and feel overwhelming gratitude and joy for my life. A feeling of being in the perfect place, at the perfect time, and blessed beyond measure.
I now prioritize time with my fiancé, my best friends, and long walks with my puppy in a city that I think is beautiful.
I relish a well-cooked meal, a well-composed piece of prose, a quiet sunset with a glass of wine on my roof, watching the reflective waves of Lake Michigan dance before me.
I have started to appreciate the wealth of riches already filling my life, rather than looking for “extraordinary” experiences to give my life value.
So often, we get caught up looking for that “brass ring” or that symbol that will finally make all that struggle to have been worthwhile. I am beginning to believe that there is no trophy that can give that. There is no award or status-symbol that will give us contentment and satisfaction. Just look at the rate of depression, suicide, drug abuse and all-around crazy shit that happens to the rich, famous, and quote-un-quote “successful” people.
If we can just see the miraculous in the everyday and the gifts that already abound around us… life can be breathtaking.
So this is my goal for myself and my invitation to my fellow journeyers: Find the things that you think will actually give your life nourishment… and set them as your new status of fulfillment. I think bravery is a good place to focus. The amazing researcher, Brené Brown, sets it as her hallmark of a life being well-lived.
And see, if you look closely, how many of these new goals might already be fully existing in your life.
I’m immensely happier and more content by realizing the tremendous blessings I have already around me. The partner, the friends, the family, the food. The everyday peace of knowing that I’m enough – and that I need nothing from the outside to complete me.
I am enough. Let me repeat that. And I want what I’ve already got. And that’s a pretty amazing place to be.