I hang around online A LOT.

I have since CompuServe in 1992 or 1993. Waaaaaaay back. And before then I’d dial into the university for the bulletin boards.

So I’ve noticed a lot of trends along the way in how people interact online, get goods, services or even relationships online.

One thing I’ve noticed is how much navel gazing everyone does.

Now I’m a huge fan of self awareness and working through your issues but when it becomes paralyzing, affecting your ability to function it’s a real problem. When you think you’re a bunch of problems wrapped up in a meat suit, you are being grossly unfair to the miracle that you are.

We are all miracles.

And one of the things I do for perspective is to remain aware of how much time I have left.

Yes, I know it sounds morbid but the reality is you blink and you have a kid. You blink again and the kid is an adult. Life is fucking fast.

What isn’t fast is how often our thoughts change.

If you felt worthless and awkward at 18, odds are you carried it with you until you were 28. Faking your smoothness on the outside.

Hell, maybe you’re still carrying it.

I carried my worthlessness until I was 42. FORTY-TWO!

That is a lifetime of feeling like a waste of space. And a lifetime of navel gazing while I tried to figure out what was wrong with me. Assuming I was the worst person alive.

For me, I got a huge kick in the pants with my certain death experience. A near miss facing an oncoming vehicle on the highway had me rearrange my priorities in seconds and changed everything about my life.

Now I’m the kind of person who needs a dramatic sign from the universe, maybe you aren’t. It’s far less stressful to reassess your life without realising you are about to die!

The biggest change I made is I decided to put down the thoughts that were holding me back and just live my damn life in spite of my worthlessness.

And when I started focusing outward, my inner dialogue became less loud. Less demanding.

Oh, it’s not always perfect, working by myself in the basement of my old house earlier this year really set me back to the point where it stopped me in my tracks. But that was good too because now I know I NEED the outward facing, outside involving life, in order to function.

For a long time I didn’t have an explanation for why changing my focus worked so well for me, only that it did. And then I came across this video, which is so worth a watch. It explains why life gets easier when we stop looking inward.

I am not affiliated with Maria Nemeth at all. I just like the ideas presented here.
When I watched that video I knew that I wanted something awesome on my tombstone after I pass. I want to leave a mark on the world, a good one.

Here lies Paula. Our lives were better because she was in them.

Or … Here lies Paula. Thank goodness the terrible Twitter puns can stop now.

But definitely never, Here lies Paula. She had issues.

Look, we all have issues. We all have trauma even if the details are different. But we can all choose where we focus our attention.

And where we focus becomes bigger.

So do you want to choose to make the world around you better, however you define that world? Or do you want to focus on the things you think are wrong with you?

I know what I choose.

Categories: Art