“You are allowed to backtrack. You are allowed to figure out what inspires you. You are allowed time, and I think we often forget that.”
— How To Ruin Your Life (Without Even Noticing That You Are) by Bianca Sparacino

Sara posted the article linked above on Facebook awhile ago, and then this post sat in my drafts. But this idea – you are allowed time, you can backtrack, you can change direction in order to find your way – really resonated with me. As did the idea of finding what inspires you.

I feel like at some point in my 20s, I went into auto-pilot. I don’t know what happened, I’m sure there were many things, but for awhile, I felt like I wasn’t living my life. Or maybe the emphasis is wrong, maybe I wasn’t living my life.

I’ve always enjoyed being artsy and creative in some capacity (instrumental music and dance, to be specific). But when I was at that point when you’re supposed to figure out what you want to be when you grow up (you know, junior year of high school through sophomore year of college, the time when you pick a college and then have to declare a major), I knew I could never making a living doing artsy things. So I “settled” for PR/marketing because it was creative enough, but stable.

And then I kind of gave up on being artsy. My friend Teresa wrote a post that got me thinking about staying in my comfort zone, instead of doing the things I want to do, even if I don’t know where they’ll take me. And I immediately hated myself for putting my flute away, for stopping the piano lessons, for so many years of my only dancing happening at a bar not a barre.

I get so much joy out of creating art, even if it’s playing someone else’s music or dancing someone else’s choreography. Runners have that meme that you’re only one run away from a better mood – sure, but I’m just one class or rehearsal away from an awesome mood, and honestly, I get a high off performing that I’ve never had from any substance … or any race.

So, I’m allowed to backtrack. Maybe I wasted those years not doing any art, but that doesn’t mean I have to waste any more. Just because I can’t make a living off of something, just because I’m not naturally talented at it (I’m going to be honest, I was never that great of a flute player, given how many years I played) doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. And if after a few weeks, months, years of this, if I’m tried of it, I can stop. That’s the benefit of living your life for yourself. The only thing you owe to anyone is letting yourself be happy. And there’s no “right” way to do that.

 

Linking up to Katie’s Take Time Tuesday for this post!

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