Ten Things I Know Right Now

Because of reasons, I decided to end a contract assignment I've been working on for the past two-ish months. I still don't have a full-time job lined up. After next Friday, I don't know where my next paycheck will come from. A lot of people will probably agree that I made a massive mistake and that I should have stuck it out through whatever made me leave this contract position.

But they're wrong. And I have a very long list of reasons why I made the right choice. Again. But that's another post for another day.

It can be scary—especially for a Type A planner obsessed with her spreadsheets and physically dependent on her lists—to have so many things fall under the "don't know," "not sure," and "ask again later" categories. And not little things, either. Big things, the answers to which impact my livelihood, stability, security, and wellness. It's a wonder I'm doing so well right now. (You can decide whether I'm being sarcastic or not.)

I don't know when I'll get a job again, or enough freelance work to feel as comfortable as I would with a full-time job. I'm running my body into the ground training for the marathon, and I have no idea how I'll feel on race day or how well my training will pay off. I don't know how much sleep I'll get tonight or tomorrow or the rest of the week, or how long this game of waking up exhausted and lying awake in bed for hours will continue. I don't know where I'll be a month from now, a year from now, and I haven't the faintest idea what my life will look like in five more years.

I can't really do anything to hurry those answers up. But while I'm waiting for them, I can find comfort in these ten things I do know right now:
Reading a book you love for the second or hundredth time is kind of like coming home.
Especially if it's been a while since you read it, and you don't quite remember all the lines but they sound familiar when you read them to yourself. It's like nostalgia but without a trace of sadness.

You don't have to be perfect to be amazing.
Amazing isn't without flaw. Amazing doesn't happen when everything goes off as if it were scripted. Amazing is when greatness occurs against the odds, when perseverance wins, and when bravery strikes in the face of fear.

Something fancy is sometimes nice, but good old vanilla can be a sweet escape too.
Yes, I'm specifically talking about Talenti's Tahitian Vanilla gelato. But it applies elsewhere. A swanky restaurant is great when it's called for, but when it's sweatpants and takeout sushi you really need, nothing else will do.

You won't always know beforehand when it's the last time, even if it's something you choose.
I recently met with someone I've known for a long time, and it was almost as if we were going through motions of this regular kind of meet-up. It wasn't really until the day after we went our separate ways that I knew we had run our course, and that that would be the last time. It wasn't sad, and it wasn't a fight, and I'm not mad. It just is, and now it was, and I wouldn't have known it was time to say goodbye if it weren't for the last day we spent together.

Habits happen for a reason.
Either there's something good there, or there's nothing better elsewhere.

Not everyone will understand what you're really worth. Don't let them convince you you're worth any less.
Be honest in determining what you deserve: in relationships, in business, and in life. You set the rules for how people treat you. Hold everyone to the same rules—including yourself.

Being busy can only distract you for so long. Sooner or later, you have to confront your troubles.
Losing yourself in tasks may keep your mind off something you can't let yourself think about too much or for too long. But you can't schedule yourself out of real life. And if you're not careful, your busy-ness can become a trouble in and of itself too.

You can't always know what will happen before you leap. You should leap anyway.
It would be great to always see the potential outcome of a big decision, but the truth is, most of the time you won't know where you'll end up until you set out on the path. This is where gut instinct, trust in yourself, and faith in your journey come in.

If your body isn't doing what it should be able to, something isn't right.
If you can't sleep, something's wrong. If your appetite has vanished, something's wrong. If moving from the bed to the couch is the most activity you can manage, something's wrong. I'm not suggesting this and this alone means you should be popping antidepressants, but your body knows when and where to pull back. It's telling you something. Shut up and listen.

Drink more water. 
This one doesn't come with a life lesson. It's just true.

Comments

  1. Taking chances is one of the best things in life! So glad you take them! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. Love this list! I think that choosing what you did with your job is better than where I am which is at a job I hate just to get a paycheck. && I totally agree with your #1, if I'm having a bad day sometimes I'll just pick up my favorite book and it helps cheer me up tremendously!

    Linds @ Not A Mom

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  3. yes yes yes.... preach, girl. choosing happiness and life is way better than a paycheck. i've left many jobs with nothing lined up because the bosses were awful, the work environment was toxic, i was bored out of my mind or all of the above and i never regretted it. if you are good at what you do and you know your worth, you WILL find something.... employers can always sense those who are amazing and confident at what they do and will hire them so you have nothing to worry about there.

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  4. Girl you do YOU and you'll have the support from those that matter! Plus it's only a matter of time before things break through for you and it all comes together! And if it doesn't we can always be half-employed together and possibly just travel around writing. Deal? ;)

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  5. These are so good! The "you won't always know that it's the last time" is one I've experienced with a friend. Actually, I was fully prepared to let her go and I thought several times, "This is the last one" and they weren't, and when the last one did come, I wasn't prepared. But I'm still glad to have ended the friendship with a few positive memories. I also love, "Hold everyone to the same rules—including yourself." I know so many people who treat themselves far worse than they'd treat anyone else! And I want to shake them and force them to be nice to themselves, but it doesn't work that way. And the one about being busy. And the one about leaping. This is just a good list.

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  6. One thing I know is that you're always true to yourself. You might not know it "all" but you know what makes it "all" for you. That's what makes you so real and beautiful. Thinking of you and hoping you're okay after that last time.

    I'd hire you if I could, my great friend.

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  7. While I'm sorry you have all the unknowns, it's also nice to hear that I'm not alone in feeling that way. I am really in a rut these days and feel like I have zero answers for anything. Your list of things you DO know was refreshing and a great reminder :) You rock, friend!

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  8. This list. ♥ And for all those naysayers who want to know why you're "risking" so much for the changes you want to see, I offer this: “What if I told you 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same? Doubt you'd be happy. So, why are you afraid of change?” ― Karen Salmansohn

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  9. This is a great post! There is so much we can't know in life so it's nice to remind ourselves of the few things we do know. I'm learning too that a list full of things I'm hoping are true or are hoping will happen can help me a lot with the things that I'm not 100% sure about. Just keep on taking it one day at a time, doing the best you can and things will eventually fall into place.

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  10. the second last one.. i needed to hear that. something is wrong with my body lately but i keep ignoring it and pushing - and i'm not even pushing that hard, just going through the motions. need to figure out what is going on.
    i'm so sorry about whatever happened to make you leave the contract position but i'm 100% sure you made the right decision for you and as always my fingers and toes are crossed for you.
    re-reading a book you love... one of the best things in life for sure.

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  11. Girlfrannnnnnn this post. Yes to this post!!! First of all, I am proud of you for saying no and caring more about yourself and your self worth than to stick something how and sell yourself out. So high fives and kudos to that. And also for realizing that it is time to talk away from someone. Not everyone can recognize that and try to hold on, especially with unknowns in other aspects of life. And amen to just vanilla or take out sushi. I heart you big time.

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  12. Beautiful post. The lessons. The words. All of it. Beautiful!

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  13. "Reading a book you love for the second or hundredth time is kind of like coming home." This is my absolute favorite one. I'm currently reading Harry Potter for the hundred billionth time and Pete never gets why I love it so much. It's comforting. :)

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  14. It's really annoying how smart and wise you are so could you please just stop. Thx.

    Seriously, though, this is a great post and full of so many important things. Especially the one about not letting someone convince you you're worth less than you really are. A-freaking-men.

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  15. This is all great but I especially love the last 2.

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  16. Oh firend I feel even worse not checking in now that I know you're having a rough go at life. You are, and i'm not joking, one of the most talented writers, editors I know and you will pull through this phase.

    That aside, I needed to hear that one about knowing your worth. Its the truth and I forget it far too often!

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  17. Love this list - busyness is absolutely a problem in and of itself - the rest of the list is very true as well but that stuck out for me. Along with listening to your body. We ignore our gut too much.

    I'm glad you didn't in your decision to end your contract work. You know better than anyone.

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  18. What a great list. It's sad when you realize a friendship is just over because it's run its course. But that's part of growing, and it's better to let it go than to try to hang on to something that isn't there. Also, I love that you added to drink more water :) Super important and yet so overlooked.

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