I’ve been having some serious craving lately, and they’ve been stressing me out.
Craving a new home. Craving a new town. Craving more leisure, and less leisure and more work and less work. Craving more space. Craving more social time, craving more time to be creative. Craving fucking peanut butter, because if there is going to be a food that I daydream about, its going to be gooey and pair well with everything from carrots to chocolate.
MMM, peanut butter.
But I digress.
I have noticed these cravings arise, and they almost surprise me with their velocity. All in all, my life is prettttty cool. I love Oakland, with its incessant 70 degree days and vegan coffee shop, and a recording studio for my podcast, and a trade-procured membership at the best gym ever. I love the neighborhood that I live in and I love my proximity to the friends I have here, and I love my job. I love large voluminous salads with produce all grown in my general region and picked that day.
But still, I fantasize about the desert and living someplace where I don’t know many people and can just write my book and formulate recipes. I fantasize about clearing my work plate entirely to focus for a year. I finish my salad and my spoon finds its way to the peanut butter jar. I notice these things and try not to be too bummed, because shit, its easy to want a different location, and more time, and richer food.
In the last couple of weeks I kept wondering what my job was. Not like my employment job, but my why-I’m-on-Earth job. I was torn between the constant battle of wanting to achieve more and wanting to enjoy more.
I love both feelings, but I don’t necessarily think one is synonymous with the other.
This morning, I left my alarm off (a true luxury) and let myself wake up whenever I happened to (6:08AM, for the record.) I pulled on my running shorts, laced up my shoes, headed out the door, and took my first running steps. As my pace picked up, I found myself thinkng:
My job is to stand in my power. My in-the-moment power.
My job is to find the response between stimulus and action. It could be the moment before I choose to feel frustrated about the administrative or mathematical sides of being self-employed. It could be right after my brain says “ITS PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!”
Standing in my strength, to me, means the acknowledgement that I not only have the power to make positive and negative choices, but also that I have the power to enjoy my life or not. When I say “I wanted to do XYZ (let’s say XYZ is write) but instead I did ABC (cruised Facebook) because I juuuust couldn’t help it and now I feel terrible about my action”, well- that just downplays the fact that I am the one that chooses the things that I do and also that my choices help me to live a life of agency.
I get to choose what I do and how I feel about how I spend my time. This is a privilege that not everyone has, and I don’t want to give it away to craving.
If you are able, (like not in the face of horrible police brutality in Baltimore, or horrific natural disaster in Nepal, or not experiencing a similarly disempowering situation) I think its wise to OWN your life, in a serious capacity. Standing in your strength is the crux of that.
I just got home from my run, and now I’m asking myself : what would I crave, that I already have, if I didn’t have it? What can I appreciate and focus on right now?
And then, I’m challenging myself and I’m challenging you:
How can I hold on to what I appreciate?
What can I do to constantly find my strength, and what will I decide to do with it once I do?