Life is full of uncertainty and things we can’t control. There is no such thing as ‘normal’.
The predictability of the ‘linear life’ is simply a myth learned at school. There are no ‘neat’ sequences it follows; indeed, change is the only constant in life. Yet, with change, so comes uncertainty, and discomfort, a place no one likes sitting in, at the best of times. Let alone when we didn’t ask for it, hadn’t expected it or it reduces us to nothing. However, the secret, you see, is that YOU are not nothing, and you can flourish with ‘Project Me’.
School sets up the belief that if you follow the ‘leader’ (aka the teacher), and take the sequential steps, you will get your ‘golden carrot’, you place great attachment to achieving that ‘golden carrot’, and you dedicate much hard work and effort to achieving it. You define your success (or indeed failure) based on achieving said ‘golden carrot’, and your identity is embroiled in it, so when you don’t achieve the ‘golden carrot’ as fast or in the same way as others, you start comparing yourself, quickly your confidence is eroded, as you continue to struggle to bridge the gap from here to there and to achieve your prize of ‘success’ – ‘the golden carrot’…
So, if the education system has not taught you well, then what is the answer? Thrown into a world you hadn’t expected, planned for, or worse still has gone altogether, what to do? Following the ‘leader’ will only get you so far.
Indeed, dealing with the emotional overwhelm and the stress of wondering how on earth you’re going to bridge the gap from ‘here’ to ‘there’, can leave you numbing, denying, and avoiding your emotions, just in the bid to deal with the ‘gap’ that has opened from ‘here’ to ‘there’, and that all illusive ‘golden carrot’.
But it is in realizing you’re not nothing, and this is a very good place to start, life can keep coming at you, and you will continue to be grounded. Symbols of achievement, and success that signify you fit in and belong, no longer matter because you already have success by belonging in your very own skin.
How do I know? Because, following the spectacular implosion of my life in 2015, when I lost my husband, health, and career in a matter of weeks, I was reduced to nothing. Desperate not to return to the unhelpful coping mechanisms of the past (the eating disorders & associated addictions, the working harder & doing more), because none had worked, well, not long-term at any rate. I drew on the only thing I had left, myself, oh, and my ability to business plan. ‘Project Me’ was born on a beach, 5000 miles away.
Today, I am living the reality of ‘Project Me’. A calmer, stronger, more ‘successful’ me, and you can too, with your own ‘Project Me’, whatever the non-linear life has in store, still feel fulfilled and flourish, knowing you belong, right where you are, in your very own skin.