Quick Thought: Removing Toxicity

(That’s a word, right?) In my “plan” to figure out what my “plan” is, I’ve found myself compelled to clean up my life. Not that my life was messy, but I have just had this overwhelming urge to get rid of excess, unused items, or things I don’t really care about. And that urge has turned towards to getting rid of people who don’t fit in my life anymore either.

I had this friend who is *that* girl – the total life of the party, but the saddest person ever once she’s alone. She’s bubbly and loud and just too much for me. Those things by themselves would never be a reason for me to remove someone from my life. However, I was recently ending a friendship with a co-worker who, I swear, stated that he was a better friend to me than anyone else because he was the only person who would give me shit about my life’s choices. First of all – what?!?!?  Second of all – my life’s choices don’t need questioning, and if they did, that’s what I have parents and best friends for. Anyway, in thinking about why I didn’t want to be friends with the co-worker anymore, I kept going back to the above-mentioned girl. The reasons why I didn’t want to be friends with the co-worker were all characteristics shared with this girl. Constant negativity, questioning all of my choices (even how I hung my pictures), and just being an energy vampire.

There are some positive things about both of these people. But here’s my test for knowing if someone should be in your life or not – do you breathe a sigh of relief when you get out of their presence? If yes, they need to go. It doesn’t matter how much fun you have with them, or whether they have good insights into your issues. If you feel relief to be away from their energy, their energy is not vibing with you.

That’s a good way to look at removing items from your life too. If you have something, maybe an heirloom or a gift from an old friend, but every time you think about removing it all you feel is guilt? That’s an item that needs to go. Yes, I realize that we’re getting into Marie Kondo territory here, but the method works because it’s true. If something doesn’t bring you joy when you look at it or hold it, why would you want that around you? Think of how you feel when looking at the person (or pet) that you love most in the world. That feeling of overwhelming love, where you’re almost amazed that you can even love someone that much. Don’t you want to feel that sort of amazement and awe all the time? Remove bad stuff!

Anyway, I say all of this to say, until I figure out exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life, I’m going to work on removing the clutter and distractions that keep pulling me off course. And if those distractions are people, so be it.

– Finch

What’s the plan?

A coworker who is about 20 years older than me recently made the comment that her life did not go as planned. I won’t get into her personal business by describing the exact parts of her life that she was dissatisfied with, but there were a few. Then, less than a week later, a lab tech who was drawing my blood said, seemingly out of nowhere, that her life did not go as planned, and that looking back she would have made different choices in school, career, family, etc.

This sentiment has popped up a couple of times recently in my life, and it’s got me asking some questions. First off, what plan is it that we are supposed to be following? When I was twelve-ish, my plan was to marry Prince William. When I was seventeen, I planned on going to the University of Texas, then getting my law degree, and becoming a constitutional law attorney who would argue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, all while getting home in time to feed my husband and two kids. In my twenties, I planned to move to Chicago. When I got married, I have no idea what my plan was. And after I got divorced, my plan was just to heal. Now… I don’t know. I feel as if I’ve been treading water for the past few years. I’m in the water, I’m participating, and I’m not drowning, but I’m not really moving forward or making any waves either.

It also makes me ask the question of whether it’s too late to make massive changes in my life. I recently read this book, The New Old Me, by Meredith Maran. In it, Ms. Maran describes starting over in a new city, divorcing her wife, and getting into a new career at sixty. SIXTY!! And this, after having reinvented herself at 25, 35, and again at 45. While on one hand it gave me hope that it is never too late to start again, on the other hand it seems so exhausting. When do I “make it”? When do I get to the point where my plan has reached fruition?

Finally, I have to face the fact that even if I had a plan, even if I was willing to reinvent myself, I’m a scaredy-cat. I’m terrified of leaving my comfort zone. Even though my parents, my sister, and most of my closest friends have left Austin, I’m scared of leaving my cushy job and wonderful condo. Will I ever have those things in a new place? Am I just running away from Austin because I’m bored? Will any other place have as good of breakfast tacos? (No).

I really admire those people who have 5 and 10 year plans, who have a clear direction and road map for their life. I’m not one of those people. I never have been. I’m the kind of person that when I make goals for myself, it’s almost like I self-sabotage to avoid those goals. Work on my marriage? Meh, I think I’ll get divorced instead. Don’t buy anymore eye shadow palettes? How about 10 new ones in one month!! Work out five days a week? I’ll just stay home with my dog and read more books.

I seem to remember a saying – “Life happens while you’re making other plans.” My problem with that (and it is a minor problem) is this – why would I bother to make plans if life is just going to change them anyway? Isn’t that essentially setting yourself up for feeling like a failure? I’m fine with life having free rein, and I have always felt that everything happens for a reason. But if someone could get me that road map that shows me which direction to go, I would surely appreciate it.

– Finch