Why following your bliss might not feel blissful

Some things are simple. Some things are easy. (And, it should go without saying to anyone living in the early part of the 21st Century, some things are neither.)

There are even rare times, those Kojak-parking, traffic-lights-synchronized, buy-a-lotto-ticket days when you're really, really cooking with gas, that things are both simple and easy.

But the quickest route to heartache is confusing simple with easy. Because in the context of goals, they couldn't be more different.

A (good) goal can be expressed in terms that are fairly simple: get married; lose 10 pounds; balance checkbook. Rarely, however, is that simple goal an easy one to accomplish. How do you go about finding someone you'd even want to marry, much less create a relationship that leads to marriage? If 10 pounds is so easy to lose, why are people constantly having to lose the same 10?

And don't get me starting on the #%@^ checkbook.

I've found myself running up against this simple-is-not-easy maxim repeatedly lately, and to an extent that is pretty deeply humiliating. In fact, the sheer act of writing this piece is pretty deeply humiliating: what ordinarily flows easily is resisting with a stubbornness and tenacity the likes of which I've not experienced since I had to create bullshit "science" copy for a P.O.S. hand lotion. "Micro-particles absorbed quickly and easily, leaving no smooth, hydrated skin with no greasy film" my ass.

What's triply frustrating (because it's hot as a troll's nasal cavity today, and that's two) is that this is the first time in my life where not-easy is proving really...well, hard.

Working my way up the adhole chain in my 20s? Not particularly easy, there were long hours and mountains of shit to shovel, but nothing like this.

Becoming a working actor? Or dumping that to hang out my own shingle?

Leaving my marriage? Getting over the Crohn's?

Hard, hard, hard & hard, to be sure.

At least, that's what I thought, until I ran up against this.

And what, pray tell, is this "this" of which I speak?


It gets exponentially more difficult when you know what the goal is philosophically ("To be a joyful conduit of truth, beauty and love") and even particularly (to help people find their Truth by sharing my own journey through writing and speaking) but there are no paths laid out. Or the paths take the shape of sweeping, Yoda-esque maxims ("the change, be"). This is a fucking poet's life, for chrissakes; who signed me up for this?!

I did, of course, with each choice I made along the way. Start choosing truth and there's no going back to the other. Take the red pill, and taking the blue pill is no longer an option. Some days I'm fine with it; most of the days, however, are really, really not-easy lately.

Friends help. Tribe members, especially a good mix of old and new. Those who've known you a while help show you that the excruciatingly incremental growth you've been experiencing is actually mildly impressive; those who are new to you accept the You you've grown into, and make Future You seem achievable.

Routines help. I've instituted a daily walk in the morning for a week now. For a non-morning person, this not only constitutes a huge achievement, but creates some (healthy) shape to my day.

Speaking of achievements, I can't overstate the importance of folding relatively easy, short-term projects into the mix. Getting a sinkful of dishes or the kitchen floor washed . Burning through a to-do list or a time-delimited assignment. Saving up for something. Planning even a small party.

Writing a blog post.

I'm profoundly grateful for the small, hardy group of fellow travelers that have assembled here at communicatrix. The feedback I get in the comments and via email helps keep me going, both because it feeds me and keeps me on my toes. There is always something new to think about or puzzle out or grapple with.

I am glad we're walking the goddamned path together. Even, or especially, when things get a little hard...

xxx c

Image by emdot via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.