Do you ever just want something exciting to happen in your life that’s going to make everything all better and give you purpose? A new passion, maybe? Something to prove to the world that YOU matter? Do you ever wonder: “If only _________ would happen, then I will be the happiest I could ever be.” Or: “I’m going to try this out and see if that’s what will be my calling.”
I have always wanted to be a teacher; I knew I had a passion for teaching and working with kids when I was 16 years old. I became super ambitious, bright-eyed, and eager to overachieve all obstacles along my path to have that dream realized.
As my college graduation date loomed near in 2009, I had feelings of excitement and nervousness, but I was more driven than anything to finally have my dream become a reality. Teacher College had been a great experience and I felt adequately prepared for the real-world education system…whatever that meant.
Oddly enough, Teacher College did not prepare me for how the word “recession” was going to affect my life, which it did immediately upon graduating.
As a result, I didn’t end up getting that dream teaching job because, even if it existed, I got the ole reject button every time I set foot inside of an interview panel. I became so bitter and angry by the overpowering number of rejections that I was defeated enough to give up. I mean…when you hear “NO,” enough times, it gets to you. Not only do you start to doubt yourself, but I needed to start making money somehow.
This is the point in my life when I started Free Floating. I began opening and “closing” chapters, but sometimes it felt like I didn’t really “close” those chapters. So much of my life felt unstructured like having bits and pieces of 5 novels started and blank pages in every single one. I never completed things that I started and wanted to finish because my passion for my dream had been lost. I thought finding a new passion to replace it would finally get rid of that rejection feeling. But, that method just made me feel more lost in the end.
I described myself as “Free Floating.” This is when you feel like you are in the middle of the ocean and there is nothing to grab onto to help you stay afloat when you get tired of treading water, so you just keep treading (just keep treading…just keep treading…).
Every once in a while you try to grab onto things that float by thinking, “This is the thing that’s going to keep me going for while.”
- “This is the thing that will be my purpose, my passion….my identity.”
- “This is the thing that I will identify with because…
- …it’s going to get me followers, make me rich quick, replace my old dream, get me back with me ex by showing him/her that I’m happier than they are, this will impress people from my high school…
- …THIS is the thing that will MAKE me happy because the last thing didn’t work…and ROSE didn’t make room for me on the door in the middle of icy fucking waters.”
- “This will bring me home, to shore…and, this will make me whole.”
Whether it’s relationships, jobs, places that you move to, taking on new degrees, or even thinking that you need to have a baby to fix your marriage…filling in voids just for the sake of checking them off your “to-do list,” doesn’t make your needs filled fully. This is why divorce happens, people.
In a Free Floating experience, I found that you would be grabbing ahold of things to find an identity and purpose because others around you seem like they “have it all” and/or you feelings like you are inadequate in some area of your life. You grab a shark as it passes you by; then you become/date/work for that “shark” for a while. Eventually, you just can’t hang on to the shark anymore; maybe it’s swimming too fast, maybe being/dating/working for a shark personality makes you more uptight, anxious, and/or mean to people so your inner spirit starts to speak. You start to feel that icky feeling of awkwardness and you just need to GTFO because deep down inside you know something just ain’t right.
You just let it go (closure or not). You’re free floating…again.
A buoy passes by…maybe that’s more calm. Something or someone to rest your head on. Your next job. A new hobby. Okay. Exciting at first. Ugh…that gets boring real fast. So, you release it…you’re purposeless and passionless once again. Floating…just…floating…
Oh! Oh! Cutie dolphin! That’s totally the playful new guy/girl on Hinge…will he/she be the one to take me to shore?
I have spent many years Free Floating and in my experience the first few months of grabbing onto new ventures evokes an exhilarating feeling. But, after a while the truth of your spirit will begin to surface reminding you that you’re not where you should be – nothing is sticking. Nothing makes sense.
It’s important to be honest, vulnerable, and accepting with yourself at times like that. They can be really depressing. It took me years of therapy and self-searching to finally reach land. I have found self-awareness; I know what it is. It wasn’t easy to find it.
I know how challenging it is get out of that rut; treading water is very exhausting. But, do yourself a favor: finding your passion, purpose, identity, and truth starts from searching inside yourself. START.
If you are currently Free Floating, the first thing that you need to recognize is that you are are free. Always remember that YOU ARE FREE. You are free to make choices in your life. Your spirit will always be true. During this time, you might have let some water get into your lungs and maybe you’ve lost sight of that spirit and where you belong. Don’t let the ocean take control. Instead of letting it drown you in sorrow, be grateful for its presence and listen to the waves while being at peace with the water and the sunset. CHOOSE to swim to shore and hustle your way to the land. SET GOALS. Don’t just wait for opportunities to come to you.
That shark, that buoy, that dolphin. DON’T JUST FLOAT waiting for those things to be there OR for someone to save your life. You have to save you. You can play victim for only so long…then, move on. Swim. You just gotta swim there.