I knew that when I arrived back from Europe I’d find little rest. I was aware of the activity upon activity I had lined up which would whisk me about the North East, and, in truth, I was excited for the upcoming time with friends and family. What I didn’t realize, however, was that despite my lack of repose, I’d still be able to reflect, to continue to grow, and to find the inspiration needed to continue my journey.
This has been a special finding.
I always assumed my life-long mental and emotional fatigue was due to a lack of sleep. I do a lot, which I know is my choice, and I always figured my activity level was what wore me down. Thus, I’m invariably thinking about how to get more and better sleep so I can FINALLY, after 37 years on this planet, feel rested.
This morning (I’m drafting this post on Sunday June 23… My niece’s 12th birthday!) I woke up from a deep sleep just like the type I’ve been wishing for. It was great, except that I didn’t FEEL any more well rested than other mornings. Bummer.
As I bounced around these past couple of weeks from New York City to Providence, RI to Boston, MA to East Hartford, CT, and then finally to Fremont Center, NY, I found myself developing a hypothesis that would address this lack of feeling better even when I had more and better sleep. This morning my hypothesis seemed confirmed:
Maybe my feeling of fatigue isn’t caused by a lack of sleep at all. Maybe I’ve been expending too much of my energy on activities and people that drain me, instead of on those that fill me up.
The reason this thought came to me is because as I’ve been traveling around the past few weeks, I’ve been super conscious of who and what activities I give my energy to; choosing to spend more energy on people and things which fill me as opposed to those that leach off my light.
As a result, I’ve noticed the direct effects of my fatigue level lessening which I simply haven’t felt just from getting more or better sleep.
What are the activities and who are the people I’ve been spending my energy on? Here let me show you.
After these most recent travels, I’ve come to realize that simply getting more and better sleep is not enough for this self-proclaimed empath to feel my best. Instead I have to both get good rest AND monitor where and who my energy is shared with in order to feel alert, and to decrease my overarching cloud of tired.
What gives my hypothesis even more credit is that for the past few weeks I’ve been staying in places where I used to live full time, and where I am used to feeling my normal level of fatigue. Yet when I applied my new exercise of deciding where to place my energy while in these old and familiar environments, I noticed how much more calm and connected I felt.
So you see, my external environment was pretty much exactly the same as it was for the first 22 years of my life, but I was able to feel different while in it.
In addition to these findings, as I moved about these familiar locations as the 37 year old woman I’ve become, I couldn’t help but think on who I was all those years before.
While visiting my old roommate in Connecticut, for example, I thought back to my early twenties and to who I thought I wanted to be at that time. That Lis of 15 years ago believed she should stay at a full-time job, get married, buy a home, have children, and retire quietly with grandchildren waiting for her. For years I imagined my life starting, and ending, in Connecticut. Now, I can’t even conceive of many of these events occurring. It was a truly odd sensation.
I had a similar experience when I was back in upstate New York as I thought on who I was in grade and high school. I saw how, back then, I gave so much of myself away in order to try to conform to the narrative, and to attempt to be accepted and loved. I also saw how all of that energy was wasted as it went towards creating a false persona whose only goal was to “fit in”. Further, I saw how putting all my energy towards trying to gain the approval of others is what has sucking my energy dry all my life.
My perspectives have indeed broadened as I experience old parts of my life anew. But, most importantly, as I continue this journey I see how I’m taking control of and falling in love with my own narrative.
I’m now confidently deciding who and what gets my time. I’m also deciding who and what I want to be, and I’m deciding where I’m going and why.
This is an incredibly empowering realization, and I believe I owe it all to listening to my gut and stepping off the path most traveled.
With all of these new empowering beliefs and inspirations to guide me, I simply can’t wait to see where MY path takes me next.
Best of all, I have no doubt it’ll be to exactly wherever I’m supposed to be.