Where The Hell Have I Been All My Life?

Working on ourselves is a lifelong pursuit, but a pursuit worth pursuing.

“Finding ourselves” is a very popular activity these days. So popular there are entire movements dedicated to the sole purpose of figuring out what (and who) makes us tick.

Is it the Peloton bike? Is it sunflower seed crunch snacks without sea salt? Is it my new work friend?

In sum, it’s all of these things. If my self-improvement books have taught me anything, it’s that showing up for yourself — every single day — is the singlehandedly best thing you can do to make your life so enjoyable you can barely stand it.

Forgoing more work to make room for more experiences has opened my eyes to an obvious conclusion: Doing what you want to do is way better than doing what you have to do. Also, thank god I have a rich husband.

On that note though…

We’re always waiting for the right time to do what we want to do. We wait for the right time to write our novel, start a business and quit our job. We say things like, “Diet starts on Monday!”

We even wait for the right time to have a baby. That is a joke. I don’t care if you’re a teenager or a veteran mom of 5, trust me when I say you are not ready for that hoopla.

This is not news. There is never a sweet spot of “right timing.” You can be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I don’t know if you can be at the right place at the right time. Not in a sense of long-term fulfillment, anyway.

My point is, the life you’re living today isn’t guaranteed tomorrow, so what exactly are we always waiting for? The life you’re living now isn’t dictated by your boss or your parents or your so-so friend. It’s dictated by you — you’re just allowing it to be dictated by other people.

The good news? You can change that.

Chelsea Handler’s latest book, Life Will Be The Death of Me, prompted me to write this post. Somewhere in the midst of talking about her expensive therapy sessions with Dan and her attempt at becoming more cultured in the less desirable areas of LA, she asks herself the self-reflecting question of, “Where the hell have I been all my life?”

I hope I don’t get in trouble for stealing that catchphrase but I don’t think she trademarked it.

But it got me thinking: Where the hell have I been all my life? Am I being who I am and who I aspire to be, or am I not?

Here is an idea:

Put your life on Do Not Disturb sometime this weekend, or really whenever you feel like it, to check in with yourself. Turn off your notifications and don’t answer to anyone you don’t feel like answering to. Give yourself time to recognize where you are in your life and how you can improve it.

And then don’t wait for it. Just do it.

Thanks for reading!

Life is better when we laugh. I write about the importance of mental health & believe our weirdness is what makes us great. https://ashleyalt.substack.com/

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