Personal Development

Where Do I Go From Here

I don’t know where I’m headed
Or if this is just a big mistake,
But something’s telling me
That falling down is a chance
I’ll just have to take.

Marie Digby, “Where Do I Go”


There once was a time when things were moving so slowly, I wondered if I would ever catch up to normal speed again. Cue one year later, and I’m desperately trying to find time to fit projects and commitments into an already full schedule. I’m frustrated and a bit overwhelmed, and while I want to shed tears as a release, that frustration usually winds up manifesting itself into anger, which makes me want to uncharacteristically lash out. Instead, I do something much worse:

I ignore it.

I ignore the problem in an attempt to figure it out while it steadily builds and gets worse because I don’t yet know my limitations. Or maybe I do know those limitations, as I’ve been seeing the warning signs. Maybe I just ignore that, too.

I think I’ve become a bit addicted to opportunity.

I think I’ve been so eager for this, working for this, that now that it’s come, I don’t exactly know how to handle it.

In August, I said yes to everything because I was out of a job and bored and wanted something to fill my time. Then, somehow, everything changed.

I accepted a full-time job, I was beginning a part-time freelance career, and I was back to volunteering with the animals, while still trying to maintain connections, keep up with these blogs which have been, truly, my saving grace, and continue to work on my fiction writing. But the more I take on, the more frustrated I become, the less I’m able to connect, the less I’m able to accomplish.

It all has boiled down to one very sobering thought:

I can’t do it all.

I want to. I want to be able to handle it all and I’ve been desperately trying to find that balance, but no matter how hard I try, I always manage to tip that scale so that something ends up being sacrificed. And what is sacrificed is either time with my family or friends, my own writing…Or myself.

Is it worth it? I’m not sure. It feels like a compromise on a dream, a compromise I was ready to make. I always wanted to be a fiction writer, but now I’m a writer and that seems good enough.

I’m not a journalist. I’m not a banker, either, but I love that job for the people, the subject matter, and the steady income it provides as I’ve pursue my dream of writing. And although being a freelance writer isn’t my ultimate dream, I’m enjoying it; I feel like it’s a step towards getting there, and so any opportunity that comes up, I accept, afraid that I might be passing on one that could mean something, afraid that this opportunity won’t come around again.

I know that there are second chances, that life comes around again just when you need it and maybe are least expecting it. But I’ve wanted something like this for so long, that I’m a bit afraid to take that chance and let it go.

Something has to give a little.

I just don’t know what.

6 thoughts on “Where Do I Go From Here”

  1. Really great, honest post. I feel the same way you do sometimes. You should think about the things that REALLY matter to you — the things you love most in life — and focus on those things. That’s what’s really helped me to prioritize things!

  2. Isn’t it crazy how life can turn a complete 180 in such a short time? I can sympathize with the feeling of wanting to do everything (and, of course, be good at everything you do at the same time) and the intense frustration that appears when you finalize realize you can’t. It hurts. It feels like you’ve failed at something. It forces you to re-examine your commitments, your goals and yourself. It is definitely not pleasant, but you will get through it and you will be the better for it.

    I think you’ve taken two very important steps: 1. realizing you’re over-committed and you can’t possibly handle it all. 2. beginning to examine what you love about each area of your life you’re committed to.

    The hard part comes next: truly scrutinizing how much you REALLY love something. If you do this completely open-heartedly and with an open mind, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at what you find.

    My only words of advice are to make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process – if you’re not taking care of yourself, everything else will suffer. Only when you’re functioning at your best can you figure out what’s best for you.

  3. Susan-To go from boredom, free time, and frustration to the exact opposite is a difficult transition. I think you were so excited to be done with all of that annoying stuff, that you took on a lot to make sure you never had those feelings again. Just remember that transition is a process and achieving balance doesn’t happen overnight. Appreciate all that you have, even if it’s a little too much 🙂

  4. There comes a certain point in our life where we have to decide where we want to go. I we have dreams and want to achieve it we must be ready to take the responsibilities of its consequences. We cannot have it all, we need to choose.

    However, everything has its balance. We only need to find it. Instead of focusing on our problems we need to focus on solutions, for in it lies the balance we are looking for.

    Follow your dreams Susan, it’s the best thing you can give to your self. And don’t be overwhelmed, observe and learn from your errors. 🙂

  5. I get really frustrated along with you that just as you seem to finally have everything you wanted, it turns out that maybe all of those everythings have become too much of a good thing.

    Someone else mentioned it above: maybe it boils down to deciding what you really love and pursuing that. If the puppies make you happy, help them. If the writing makes you happy, keep it up. If nothing makes you happy, find something that does. But remember, you were frustrated when you had nothing. Now you have everything.

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