7 In thinking out loud/ uk

no right turn

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Sometimes this happens to me…

Sometimes it really feels like I haven’t made a right turn in ages.

Everything feels wrong.

I feel lost, confused, frustrated… angry, stressed and shouty, or I retreat.

I *think* I’m getting better at stopping myself, but my road is far from being without the odd diversion, crash (thankfully never fatal) or wrong turn.

There are clear warning signs when the road is not the one I’m meant to be on, but sometimes I’m so busy going places that I don’t notice immediately. In fact, my secret shame (or one of them at least), is that I’m so bloody stubborn and pig-headed that it takes me a while to admit that i took a wrong turn, and to get back on my path.

Things that tell me it’s not the right turn (for me) include;

  • comparing what I’m doing to what someone else is doing
  • then thinking that the way I’m doing it is shi*t
  • contemplating quitting at this point
  • being unable to feel any joy for anyone else’s success
  • questioning my sanity
  • thinking that nothing I do will ever be good enough
  • forgetting that sometimes I have something worth saying too
  • being spiteful, truculent, or downright mean

I’m not suggesting your list would be the same, but let’s have a show of hands if you’ve caught yourself in crazy land too. I promise no-one else can see you raise your hand… Your secrets are safe with me.

How do I get myself out of this crazy land and back on the right road for me? Most often it begins with me admitting I was wrong. Very often this will also include a few apologies to those around me who I’ve sucked into my vortex and involved in my drama.

Then, there’s usually a cooling-off period. A re-grounding if you will. This usually involves water, quiet, bare feet, sleep, tearing things out of magazines and catalogues to glue into my latest journal. You know… Things that get me out of my crazy mind and back into that place in me that knows what I’m meant to be doing (even when the rest of me doesn’t).

It’s a turn back on to the road where, when part of me is saying “are you crazy?!?”, the rest of me is saying YES, and that’s just how it’s meant to be.

  • Rebecca in Switzerland
    17/09/2011 at 15:55

    Oh, thank God its not just me.

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while, this feeling that I’ve made so many wrong turns. When I think about it I am reminded of a post by Marianne Elliot months ago about risk-taking and her family. My own parents have been together since they were 15 and I think that contributes a lot to my feelings of having made so many wrong turns. All this starting over feels in some respects like failure. Ending things and moving on feels like it just should not be.

    I’m not sure that how the world works anymore, but the feelings are still there.

    Thank you for this post. I think maybe the answer is to keep being ourselves and recognize it’s al part of the journey. What else is there to do… stop now? Not me… I bet not you , either. ;-)

  • Anne-Marie
    11/09/2011 at 23:11

    i too hear you on this! grouchy, whining, self-destructive, insecure … these are my cues that i’m wandering. it’s too easy to allow ourselves to be led away from our paths. my spiritual practice, exercise, talking with some one i trust and being organised are the things that get me back on track.

  • Mel
    11/09/2011 at 19:37

    Oh yes, short-tempered. putting myself down. a downward spiral of self-loathing and self-pity. Listening to far too much The Smiths than is good for me. eating loads of crap. not wanting to go out. pushing away people who love me.

  • Christina Rosalie
    11/09/2011 at 01:25

    Oh Leonie, THANK YOU for this post. I’m here. Right now. Feeling exactly this. When your post showed up in my feed reader, just seeing the photo NO RIGHT TURN made my heart thunk about a bit. Ugh. Living this life is messy sometimes, isn’t it? I’m feeling so fragile now, at the end of my book making… xo. C

  • jane
    11/09/2011 at 01:17

    raises hands…. how do we learn if we don’t make mistakes?

  • MJ
    10/09/2011 at 14:13

    Oh yes I hear you :). I think it belongs to all creatives who open themselves up to the world. As much that rushes out, there is much that rushes in. I just try to remind myself that sometimes it’s the wrong turns that need to remind me of where the right turns are. Yin and yang, you know? Thanks for the honesty, it keeps us all real :).

  • sas
    10/09/2011 at 10:16

    yes!

    the comparisons to others. the idea that I might be found out. that I need to prove myself constantly. demonstrating frustration, short-temperedness, judgements on people I am responsible for motivating. giving up.

    xxx