I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have felt like I was running out of time trying to accomplish my goals or thinking that it was too late to correct course and change directions this late in the game, especially now that I am at the tail end of my 30’s.
I have always been the girl that committed to things and always followed through until the end no matter how much I ended up disliking the thing that I was doing and how much hell I had to put myself through to do it. If I said I was going to do something then I would just grit my teeth and bare everything that came with it no matter how depleted and empty it made me feel. It’s an insane way to operate isn’t it?
Take me becoming a lawyer for example. A few of the things I am about to say may come as a shock. Have I always wanted to become a lawyer? No. Do I love the law? No (but I obey it). Did I even enjoy law school for that matter? Hell No. But guess what? I went anyway and plowed my way through three of the most miserable years of my life, took one of the hardest bars in the country, and have been practicing since I graduated law school in 2014.
So why did I do it? I will tell you why. The pressure to be successful, the pressure to live up to everyone’s expectations (mom, society, etc.), the pressure to prove that I was good enough, the pressure to keep up the appearance of living my best life, and the list goes on.
But none of these reasons why I became lawyer are even deeply rooted in who I now realize I am at my core and who I know I want to be.
T.D. Jakes said something that really spoke to my spirit on a podcast episode of Oprah’s Soulful Conversations that I listened to recently. He said:
“Most of us have been crammed into what people needed us to be. We have been responders and reactors. You need to cut away all of the things you have had to be, so you can get to the core of who you were created to be.”
Whew chile, if that is not a word, I don’t know what is. I have felt suffocated for the last 7-8 years trying to be something that I am not and I don’t want to do that anymore.
Initially the thought of me doing something other than a traditional corporate legal job as my career scared the shit out of me and made me feel as though I would be looked at as inadequate or even a failure if I slowly got out of practicing law and tried my hand at things I never sat in a classroom to learn formally. Now the thought of continuing down the law path and going to my grave never having at least tried to pursue what’s in my heart is my biggest fear. I never want to have regrets in my lifetime. And as the saying goes, you only have one life to live. I figure now is the time I make the best of it.
Stats show that we spend 80% of our time working at things we are not really good at or don’t like and only 20% focusing on things that are really the most powerful and functional to who we are, our core.
Imagine what your life would be like if you spent 80% of your energy on who you are and what you genuinely enjoy instead of spending 80% of all of your energy responding to other peoples demands and situations or trying to become what you’ve been told you should be.
I want to do more meaningful work with a purpose. I want to explore my creative passions and God-given talents. I want to learn about life and the people of the world through travel. I want to learn a new language. I want to be financially independent. I want to inspire other women to be their best selves and live their best lives. I want to be able to do my life’s work from anywhere in the world and never have to take a vacation from it because it integrates with my personal life seamlessly.
I now realize that it is never too late to go after and live the life of my dreams with every fiber of my being. As a matter of fact, I owe it to myself to do just that. I made the decision that 2019 was the last year I would keeps saying yes to or committing to things I don’t want to do and start taking steps to figure out and do what sets my soul on fire. I am a creative at heart and have a vision for my life that goes beyond the four walls of providing legal counsel to large companies.
While I know the life I want may sound unrealistic to some people, I know it is a real possibility. But it won’t happen if I don’t make the big changes and start being intentional about spending 80% of my time operating from my core. This new decade is really about me entering a season of transformation with open arms. It’s about getting grounded in faith, accepting myself and putting myself out there relentlessly to create and live the life of my dreams.
T.D. Jakes left me with a question to ponder that I have taken to heart and I want to leave it here for you to ponder on too.
“What are you going to do with the second half of your life? Look at all your experiences. You are wiser. You are stronger. Your only burden is to decide what you want to do next.”T.D. Jakes
I am so hopeful in the start of this new decade and truly looking forward to becoming the woman I know I was created to be because it’s never too late.
What changes will you be making to start living the life of your dreams. Let me know below. Can’t wait to hear what you plan to do next in the second half.