Monday, January 15, 2007


I've been very focused these days (or, at least, trying to be). But, like most people, my life feels very hectic. Just when I think I've got my days organized in a way that will temporarily give me time to concentrate, it seems like the rest of the world comes knocking at my door. Everyone has a favor to ask of me or wants to stay with us for the weekend or is wondering if I can take on extra hours at work or... (yeah, you get the point). Hmmm...interesting. What's up with that? More times than not, I watch the time I had so carefully carved out for myself get swallowed up before I can barely blink. And so this is why I sometimes dawn my metaphorical blinders, hunker down, and try my best to disappear. It rarely works.

Right now, time feels especially sacred to me. There are days when I feel like I can hardly keep my head above the water (do I sound like a broken record?). But still, I try my best to listen to my instincts and keep my priorities clear. My attempts at staying focused have resulted in less blogging--both reading and writing. In some ways, this is highly unfortunate because there have been some really incredible things going on over at Create a Connection this month. I've wanted to participate more than I have...but the truth is that there is only so much time in the day and what I want more than anything right now is to finish my thesis. Go figure. Why does all the best stuff always happen at once?

Anyway, this afternoon I decided to take a break from writing and spend some time Visioning. There have been a lot of thoughts and half-formed ideas floating around in my head and sometimes making their way haphazardly into the pages of my journal, especially when I write my morning pages. These same thoughts have been lingering around the edges of everything--when I dream at night, or walk the dog, or work on my thesis, or do the dishes...

I feel like my life is headed in (an) unexpected direction(s). That is, I feel like it could, if I just let it.

Today, in response to Leah's invitation and Swampgrrl's recent post, I took some time and made a list of all the things that I envision for myself in the near future. Basically, I just wrote down all the things that have been swimming around in my head, those daydreaming thoughts, the ones that have been making themselves more and more apparent. For now, I've tucked that list safely away in the incubating pages of my journal where, during the dark hours of this morning, I wrote about how I am happiest when living to the very edges of my life.

*Hint: My list looked a little like this:

You see, I've wanted to teach for as long as I can remember. I've always known that is what I want to do. I did it and I loved it and I want to continue. And sometimes, when I listen really closely to the whispering of my heart, I hear it telling me to go off on my strange adventures and to follow those dreams that aren't going to lead me directly from point A to point B...because, if I do that, I will end up exactly where I want to be.

I have never doubted my purpose in life. But I am keenly aware of the ways in which each choice I make leads to the next, leads to the next, leads to the next (yes, there's that connection thing again). Each choice creates a reality and each reality creates more choices. I am creating my future. By limiting the vision of mySelf and my future I feel like I am also stunting my life's potential. I believe that extraordinary (and unexpected) things can happen--even when taking the most unlikely of routes (especially when taking the unlikely routes!). Anyway, my life was never meant to be typical (eeh-gads, I can't stand that word!). So I'm sitting here wondering: what would my life look like if I let go of my expectations of what I thought it would look like?

And you know what? When I pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that float to the surface with that question...
I kinda like what I see. :)


Anonymous said...

i love this idea, what would happen if we let go of the expectations of what we thought our future would look like. so true. it's never quite what we expect is it? and that may be for the best! i'm glad you are writing out your visions in your journal (they keep popping up for a reason!)

and by the way, i would be the first in line to take an art class with you if that's what you were going to teach!

Anonymous said...

my first impulse was to ask if i could come stay with you some weekend. ;)

glad to know things are going well for you and that you are taking some time to think about what it is you truly want. i have always had trouble figuring out who i am once one strips all of the labels away...but i am slowing figuring that out and growing in to myself more and more.

we should have a phone date soon...if you knew how much i hate talking on the phone you would know what a huge deal that is that i asked you for a phone date. ;)

sophie said...

follow the strange creatures into
the woods Jessie - you will
end up exactly where you always
dreamed you would...

that photo - is brilliant -
it is just filled with...

vivid life.


Anonymous said...

i think it's better not to have many expectations, to think about it much but just try our best...great visioning :)

Anonymous said...

i think you are on the right path
even if it feels like it is not
going as fast as you would like...

and i think you would make
a fantastic teacher...
if only you were closer to me

KRISTA said...

Hey- this is so cool. For photo Thursday this week, I am posting a piece of art for inspiration that is about this exact idea. I want to try to think of what kind of picture would capture the things I've wanted to do all along, or capture a picture of the things everyone else thinks I should have done. Expectations. Interesting.

I loved this post Jessie.

swampgrrl said...

oh jessie! i totally hear you on the external time gobblers. the requests sound more and more like shrill demands.

teaching fits for you? then do it! yes, yes, i can see this. just by writing this, you are teaching your readers to inquire about all of these things as well.

i like what sophie says ... about following the creatures into the woods. i spent some metaphorical time there and came out to here.

i've also taken lots of crazy leaps into the unknown, so now I know that they are not crazy or scary. they are opportunities to test faith and have fun!

and the jouney continues ...

melba said...

There are so many cool ideas going on at CaC I am blown away. It is also pretty impossible to do everything...
who has the time? Challenges keep passing that I think are so cool and then another cool idea pops up! Wow! Who knew? Better, so much better than I expected. and I think it is because I really didn't have an expectation other than the connecting part. and I did pre-work. I think that is important in making dreams come true. The pre-work is often boring and sometimes you might not even understand why your doing the work (like the karate kid movie, remember that movie? wax on, wax off?)
But I think the pre-work has to be there for the dreams to manifest themselves.
I am rambling here a bit.
But I guess what I am saying is that it seems you are doing the pre-work necessary to make your creative dreams real.
That is a beautiful thing!

I hope to carve out some visioning time this week. a challenge in itself.


Anonymous said...

Thanks. I needed that. In fact, I've needed all your posts this last week.

Thinking of you and the T word ...

And visioning ...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I've never done anything like this before (and it ties in so perfectly to my theme for 2007 which is abundance). I'll have to try this.

That is always the sense I get with you--so many possibilities, that you are hesitate to explore them, almost as if you are afraid that you'll be derailed and follow the wrong path or something. Well, let me tell you, chhota behen, that I don't think ANY of those dreams are wrong for you at all. I think that your life is a spiral, and regardless of the form it takes, you WILL fulfill your life's mission. I have faith.

Uh, and call me. ;)


kj said...

jessie, another great and real post from you that guides me on my own road. you are something else!

bella said...

Finding the time to do anything these days has been so hard for me. I love your idea of just letting go. It's so simple in concept but also a leap of faith.
If you feel you know what your calling is or if you don't but you're reading to jump in anyway - I say go for it! Who knows what might happen?

Ces said...

Jessie, would you like to meet for coffee? Okay, I know you are busy :-).

Just kidding. I had to reread this post of yours as I am slow this season. I am hybernating. I know what you mean and I hope you follow your dream.

Is that your studio? If it is, then I envy you!

Anonymous said...

I love this post...this whole idea of what would happen if we let go of our expectations of what we think our future is "supposed" to look like...just live, just be, just let it play out, the adventures unknown, embracing the uncertainties, taking leaps, risks, chances...the dance of life!
You are such an inspiration to me! THANK YOU.
Love you bunches,

Susannah said...

as always, this was just what i needed to read tonight.. thank you :-) xo

silverlight said...

When there is something we'd really like to do, there are two reasons we put it off.
One: we will fail.
Two: we will succeed. With success,
comes responsibility.

Ces said...

Could not post a comment I did yesterday. Anyway to sum up:
Great post.
Is that your studio? I am jealous.
Even more so,
the paintings on the walls are gorgeous.
Introspection, always a good exercise.
Enjoying my visits here.

Anonymous said...

this somewhat ties in with the email you sent me, that i haven't responded to yet (eek.) but just say no.

the universe is questioning you right now before it gives you what you want and what you need - as it does before it bestows a huge gift. you said you need time, and that there are constant demands, so it's upping the pace on its interruptions.

sweetie, you are doing amazing things. you will be doing more amazing things, just breathe. and keep visioning.

Kristine said...

This is great! You have encouraged me to do some 'visioning'.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Jessie. Follow your heart and you won't go wrong.

Vesper said...

perhaps it's synchronicity....because so many friends and bloggers are sharing their experiences of feeling as though they are on a verge of something...something new....some breakthrough in creative projects, a new event in their lives, new understandings, self-awareness, etc.. it's so beautiful to watch and to feel the same currents.