When I was in my second year of college, I came across Camus' Four Conditions for Happiness in my English class. I had already fallen in love with the french existentialist philosophers a few years before, so I was primed to receive this wisdom from the author Camus. A little too eager, because I was a bit surprised at how much one of these conditions just didn't really sit right with me.
Camus' second condition was: freedom from ambition.
"What!?" My inner voice thought, "But that's all I'm filled with." And to a certain degree, it still is. But I finally see what he was saying.
For the past year and a half, I've been toiling over "how to make my dream come true," which led me to creating way more work for myself than I ever needed. Trying to open a healing center essentially on your own will do that to you. I now recognize that some part of me needs to prove something to the world and to myself, and I'm finally deciding that I deserve a better life than what that belief brings.
Sometimes we get so caught up in "making something of ourselves" that we forget the whole point is to enjoy life. We want to make it "all worth it," when doing so really means enjoying every moment. A recent article about the top five regrets of the dying reveals what I don't want to wait (and waste) the rest of my life to realize.
So I'm going back to a phrase I started hearing in my head at the beginning of this year: Less Striving, More Living. The chalkboard pictured above is hanging up in my home, and the phrase was written by my last roommate. This past spring, she left the life she'd known for the last 15 years after admitting it was suffocating her. She'd been living in the US on a student-then-teacher green card from Brazil, and she heard the call for a simpler, more fulfilled life. So she went home.
I admire her determination and loyalty to herself--and trust me, she's never been happier! Even after leaving a tenure track position to become an artist living with her parents, she's living more than she ever did.
I'm ready. After letting go of the vision of the center as I had seen it, I've felt so free. I'm still moving forward, but doing so in a way that leaves space for... living!
Wishing you all full days and joyful nights...until next time!