I told a friend this weekend that when I go to New York my inner GPS stops working. I’m like one of those sad bees whose radar malfunctions for some mysterious reason and they can’t find their way back to the hive. In New York, I can read a map repeatedly before I go out the door, but I still can’t make sense of a city that is actually laid out in such a rational way. I buzz in aimless circles and constantly have to readjust my sense of direction. Did I turn left or right? Am I going north or south? Is that the same corner I passed 15 minutes ago? Where the hell is my hotel? My life is like that right now…I just can’t find way my way home. Home being my sense of self, my sense of purpose, my sense of Nikki-ness. For weeks now, I’ve been flogging myself, looking for my next big idea, my next project, my next passion. Looking for me. Tonight I started to wonder, though, if it might not be better to accept that my GPS is broken for now, that I don’t have a destination and that my definition of home might be changing. And just explore the world with no purpose in mind and let the ideas and projects come to me if it’s meant to be. To be a passenger for awhile instead of the pilot. 

5 Responses to “Turning Over the Controls”

  1. Allegra Smith says:

    Have you heard of giving everything a rest in order to work better when things go…shall we say…slow? What you need right now is to let the breeze take you by the hand and abandon not all hope but all fear.

    You are good. You are better than good and you should stop beating yourself because that precious time fretting the uncertain is keeping you from enjoying the break from both the routine and the stress. Make a list, starting by giving you permission to behave as if you were your better bestest in all of the world girlfriend.

    A little kindness, a little break from the doubts and what next? will do both you and your future a world of good. Open the windows and wait for the wind of change. You will know when you feel it. Until then, take a vacation from GPS and all of that. It will be there when you really need it and it will function just fine. You can quote me.

  2. angie mizzell says:

    Toss that GPS right out the window! It took me a long time to learn (and still very much learning) that it’s okay to rest in the ‘not knowing.’

    I actually had a writer friend suggest that these blocks aren’t really blocks at all, they are opportunities for learning. The direction will reveal itself in time.

    I’ve always admired you… your ability to express your human-ness in your writing. I recently discovered your blog and loved the post about going back to the morning pages.

    I started that years ago before I had my son, and then… stopped. You know how it goes. But just a couple mornings of freewriting really helped when I needed it, so thank you!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, yes, yes. Take a deep breath. You be the passenger who has no idea whether the pilot has her hands on the controls or has set the whole machine on autopilot for the moment. All the navigating and instrument adjusting is happening out of your sight. You can worry to death about it; you can make yourself sick with images of crash landings . . . or you can read your novel, stare out the window at clouds, or even nap. Right now – while you’re at some version of 30,000 feet in the air – you can let go and assume that, even though you can never understand how, there will be yet another safe landing. You know the truth: you can’t help the pilot, you can’t move things along, you can’t make adjustments for turbulence. Yes, you want to see yourself safely landed, but it’s not even time to return your seat to its upright position. Just breathe. And maybe order one more $6 wine.

  4. Compost Studios says:

    Times of transition are especially difficult in a culture that is all about product and not process.

    I hate feeling untethered.

    Recently I had an “Aha” moment when I thought about how all my dreams/goals related to my writing. For years now I’ve seen myself first and foremost as a WRITER and success or lack thereof in this area colored all my experiences. My Aha moment came when I realized my exclusive focus on writing is blinding me to all the other things I enjoy doing or do effortlessly, that are an intrinsic part of who I am. What if I paid attention to those parts of myself, cultivated those skills, valued them, and saw their possibilities? What would my life look and feel like then? What might happen? Food for thought…


  5. frida says:

    I am taking your advice!