Even though I rarely write anymore, it’s not difficult to see that I’ve been struggling with living an inspired life lately. “Lately” being a very vague timeframe. But for some reason, I feel it again; I feel hungry and excited and restless — all in a renewed way. I think it’s been brewing for some time, and this past week just tipped it over.
This was one of the shortest international trips I’ve ever taken, and it was to two cities I wouldn’t really consider to be life-changing places. I didn’t do anything particularly special — visited some tourist spots, walked through markets, ate really great food, glimpsed into the life of the luxurious — yet something just clicked in my mind. Maybe it was the company that I had. Traveling with inspired people can inspire you, even if you’re just sitting on the metro.
Now I just need to figure out these bits of emotions that are making me itch for something and what to do with them…
I was trying to find a set of photos I took on the day I got my dog. Too lazy to find my external drive, I perused my previous blogs. As expected, I came across an interesting look into my past life. It was very similar to remembering a hazy dream.
I’ve kept an online account of my life (a way to record stories, adventures, musings, etc.) for a long time. Well over a decade now. It’s had its up and downs, but for the most part in my last blog, it was pretty chipper. And I wrote lengthy posts — about late-night misadventures; making friends with strangers at a cafe, on the train, in a stairwell; the first time I saw my dad cry; silly and funny conversations with friends; etc. On occasion, my thoughts on something serious happening in some part of the world.
And then at some point, the thoughtful and positive posts began to dwindle, and the novel-length entries ceased completely. If anyone were to read my last blog (and thankfully it’s not viewable to the public anymore), one could see a clear downward progression. It was clear that that year was the worst year of my life — in a dull-cutting kind of way.
As I was reading through the rollercoaster of posts (maybe “schizophrenic posts” would be more accurate actually), all I could think was, “What happened to me?” I thought back on the earlier entries I had read, before I hit the spiral. So positive, so excited about everything in life, and most importantly so intentional with my life. I was living on purpose.
Living on purpose. That’s what I’m returning to. I have to. I like pre-2009 Gabrielle so much better than current-2013 Gabrielle. There is no doubt in my mind that I was a better person then than I am now. So much better. So I’m going to remind myself to live intentionally and be excited again. And somehow move forward — from everything.
(That may or may not mean the novels will return.)
Sometimes, all you can do is exercise integrity. It’s not always going to make things better, and it’s not always going to make others act with more integrity or even respond positively. In fact, oftentimes, it will have little tangible impact. But it’s what should be done. Your own integrity is the only thing you can control, so act with it and leave everything else.
Some favorite quotes I’ve been seeing fill up my feeds today:
“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”
“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”
Life has been a bit crazy and stressful for me lately (hence, a lack of updates…even more so than typical). Between work, and side projects, and family, and relationships, and interviews, and ideas, and meetings, and financial issues, and being nomadic, and life decisions, I just have been non-stop moving, sometimes robotically, which is completely not my style.
I’ve been feeling especially disjointed these past few days. Waking up this morning was difficult because I was just drained — mostly emotionally and spiritually but a bit physically too.
Eventually, I got up from the slab of ice I slept on last night (no heat), went to my computer, and got on my grind. After a while of working, I checked my TweetDeck and saw more than one tweet about the Holstee manifesto (see below). Evidently, they launched a new a LifeCycle film of the manifesto.
It totally made my morning better and reminded me of who I am and what I believe (sorry if that sounds cheesy or dramatic or cliche — but there’s no other way to say it). You can read their manifesto below or just watch the video.