Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lesson Learned: Embrace Chaos

Chaos is losing sight of that one thing
Photo by aloshbennett via Flickr
In anticipation of the end of the year, I'm going to do a series of posts regarding the things I've learned this year. Some of them relate to writing, some of them are general life lessons. 

This year started out rocky for me. The job that I had was not very fulfilling and I was passed over for a promotion that I was sure I had earned. On top of that things were not very happy at home. Every time I felt I had figured out the answer to a problem, another one seemed to arise to take its place. By May my life had devolved into a tailspin and I had to do some serious course correction to figure everything out.

When everything began to fall apart, I spent a lot of time on the phone with my sisters, and one of them said something that really struck a cord with me. She said, "Don't dwell on how bad things seem. Embrace the chaos. Use this time to go after what you want, try a lot of new things and just have fun with it." 

It was hard at the time to see what she meant, (I felt like my whole world was crashing down so how the hell was I supposed to have fun with that?) but I quickly began to come around to the idea.

Instead of staying where I was in a job that I hated, I moved, got a new job, met new friends. I had a wonderful time figuring out what I wanted to do moving forward. I didn't dwell on the past or the things that didn't work out. Instead I said yes to new opportunities and looked for inspiration all around me.

What I found was that the reason I had been having such a hard time at the beginning of the year was that I wasn't living a life that matched with my values. I value family, but I hadn't been able to spend significant time with my family in a long time.

If I had tried to fight the chaos or bring order to it, I might still be living a life inconsistent with my values. Embracing the chaos in my life allowed me to understand where it was coming from and therefore use it to my advantage. Instead of trying to live a life that wasn't working for me, I'm now working toward a life that will bring me much more happiness and peace. 

I'm looking forward to a serene and blissful 2014. If I do come across more chaos next year, I won't panic. I'll embrace it, because 2013 is ending on a high note and that's proof enough for me.

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