A few months ago, I sat in the back of an NYC taxi, driving home from the airport, crying behind my sunglasses.
I was tired of moving around so much.
I was feeling behind on all my work.
My inbox was freaking me out.
And what am I even here for, anyways?
What’s my message?
Do I even have one?
Oh, I was a hot mess.
This process eventually brought me to a level of clarity and calm that I’ve never experienced. I documented every detail I could about the experience. If you’re feeling peachy, feel free to save this for a rainy day…
How to survive an existential crisis:
:: Get outside. Wear sunglasses; your own tiny frames to experience the world through. Now see if you can see beyond yourself. There are birds flapping about, music booming from cars and people with even bigger problems. Life’s happening out there. Perspective, love.
:: Cook something comforting. Take your time. Cry harder if you need to when you’re chopping the onions. Delight in making real food for your real body. Play. It’s okay to want to feel better.
:: Phone your girl friend who’s best for the job. Be totally honest. Messy. Let her tell you what’s up. Ask her what you’re missing. Thank her for always being there.
:: Write your coach or mentor. Be concise. Be clear. Ask for a hand, and if there’s no money involved in the transaction, be sure to state your reciprocity.
:: Stop. Don’t cancel the gig, press publish, tweet drama or pull out your credit card. Don’t register for grad school or quit your day job. Now’s not the time.
:: Out yourself to those closest to you; be quiet with the rest of the world.
:: Listen to your muse when she speaks to you. Write things down. Take time for reflection.
Somewhere in this process you’ll locate some fears. Don’t be mean to yourself for having them. You’re a human, for goodness sake. Be gentle. Notice them and see how genuinely grateful you can be for having them.
Fears are an expression of self-love. They show up to keep us safe, and while sometimes “safe” = small, the fears themselves aren’t bad. They just want us to slow down, pay attention, be honest and consider all angles. Don’t spend too much time or energy asking why they’re there; when you’re this far through your existential crisis, that line of inquiry just may make you nuts. Just notice your fears, and tell them you’ll be sure not to disregard them as you keep.moving.forth.
When the fog lifts and you can see the light through the cracks…
:: Tell your community — your mastermind, your mom’s group, your besties from book club – what you’ve learned. Make a declaration. Ask to be shown your blind spots. Tell them your plans and ask them, “Am I on track?”. Ask for their honesty.
:: Take stock of all the people rooting for you.
They aren’t necessarily “Yes People”. In fact, they’re probably willing to tell you the honest, uncomfortable truth. And they love you like hell and want you to win. They believe in you. You can not believe in yourself for a while, but don’t let these people down for too long – assume they see something in you that’s bright and beautiful and worth sharing.
Let them see you go for it.