“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” -Steve Jobs
Have you ever felt like you got your sh*t together? Like weeks of having martial bliss, perfect home cooked meals, slaying your fitness goals and being a boss babe? I have... and then it was gone. Like just chaos for months, so bad that you feel like you must have been a different person? So naturally I was like WTF is wrong with me? How can you finally get to the place you’ve been trying to go, reach your goals and then self sabotage and go “off course”?
As I’m reading Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive, I came a across a life changing quote for me. She goes on about two absolute fundamental truths about human beings that she’s convinced about. The first one, I’ll let you read the book to find out; but the second one is the aha moment: “The second truth is that we’re all going to veer away from that place again and again, That’s the nature of life. In fact, we may be off course more often that we are on course.”
Me: *Stop breathing* Whaaaat?! Other people feel like they’re off course more often being on course too?! I was so happy to read this because I’ve been beating myself up for not being able to consistently be “on course”. Like I have a self-sabotage gene or life pattern:
2007 On-course: perfect academic path at UBC, heading to University of Sydney for exchange, on
course for international development career goals, maybe even working for the UN. #dreambig
2007 Off-course: meet Mohamed, fall in love, and decide to get married within months. end of life, dreams and goals. (no joking, lol, but it does feel something like that for the first year). Now struggling to finish degree or even know what I want in life. #UNdreamsdisappear #rotistrugglesappear
2014 On-course: two cute kids, house, still have dream job, loving husband AND now I’ve lost 30lbs and slaying my fitness and nutrition goals and start my masters degree!
2016 Off-course: still grinding with the masters, two kids, 1 husband and go back to work full time on top of all this, gain back 30lbs, eat Tim Hortons for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then quit amazing job to focus on kids after the Great Burnout of 2016.
2017 On-course: finished masters degree, get a flexible part time research assistant/teaching job that I love at the same university I love working at, spend time with the kids and start an education business that lets me travel again, date nights with hubby scheduled and loving life and meeting the most amazing humans ever.
2018 Off-course: somehow decide it would be okay to also start a non-profit, have basically three-part time jobs and now have third child on way. still have not lost egg mcmuffin masters weight. :( sad life. how do I do this to myself?! Once you turn 30, isn't your shit just supposed to be together? LOL. it’s like yo-yo dieting between success and failure.
2018 Revaluate all this on-course, off-course life stuff by: reading Thrive, Braving the Wilderness, Biography of Michelle Obama (because she’s #goals) and weeks of watching Marie Forleo episodes on how to get back on track and out of this hole that I dug myself into (oh yeah and a lot of crying, sometimes even weeping if I'm really honest). After months of trying to figure out where did I go wrong, I realize, that nope, there’s no permanent state of on-course, off-course. And it’s really okay to be off-course, you can’t possible be on-course forever anyways, so stop beating yourself up about it. You just keep going, past failures, past wrong turns, past dead ends, re-route and go off on the path that only you’re meant to take.
It’s like hearing the GPS voice say: Recalculating, recalculating route options. And just like that 2018-19 is looking brighter, regardless of the off-course and on-course periods. You really grow from each experience or failure.
“The question is how quickly can we get back to that centered place of wisdom, harmony, and strength. It’s in this sacred place that life is transformed from struggle to grace, and we are suddenly filled with trust, whatever our obstacles, challenges, or disappointments.” - Arianna Huffington
So take the time you need to lick your wounds, be kinder to yourself, this is normal and get back out there on the path that you're only meant to take. Be fearless. Don’t let the fear of being off-course, mis-trust and failure stop you from taking your place in the world.
They say money can’t buy happiness, but three things I bought that made me happier:
Book: Thrive by Arianna Huffington $25 at Chapters or way cheaper online if you have more patience than me.
Book: Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown $25 at Chapters or way cheaper online.
Mug: Embrace Your Inner Unicorn Mug at Marshalls$ 5.99 (It kinda looks like a child's mug; I initially bought for Ameerah and then kept because I loved it so much)
Three Free Things!!
Have a strong group of women who inspire you, slay their own goals and are open and trustworthy and kind. Shoutout to my amazing circle of besties and soul sisters.
Sleep well & Eat well- Sleeping earlier between 8pm-10pm and investing in ripe avocados and cage-free / free-run eggs and 15 minutes of “me time breakfast” (Home-made Gourmet English Muffin with Egg, Cheddar & Avocado) before my kids wake up has made all the difference and how I finally managed to make time to write this blog even.