July 6, 2021

Life Anyway // Anti-Glamorizing Busy

Life Anyway // Anti-Glamorizing Busy

Life. Is. Noisy. But, what can we do about it? Helen challenges herself and the WYN community to go beyond the chant of 'busy culture' & lean into their path.

Busy delays. Busy hastens. Busy attempts to forget what it is that we are meant to do. Busy follows culture.

Not-busy brings about perspective.
Not busy transforms culture.


Life. Is. Noisy. But, what can we do about it? Helen challenges herself and the WYN community to go beyond the chant of 'busy culture' & lean into their path. Busy delays. Busy hastens. Busy attempts to forget what it is that we are meant to do. Busy follows culture. Not-busy brings about perspective. Not busy transforms culture.

Transcript

Intro:

Hey you, it’s Helen and you’re listening to the Who You Needed Podcast. Season 2. Episode 7. This episode is about peace. How a trip to Philadelphia woke me up. Thus, the title for today’s episode. “Life Anyway: Anti-Glamorizing Busy”

 

*Cue Music*

 

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Now, back to the show. 

 

Story:                      

 

 

 I was 20. Graduated college a year early in late December. I went to a great school in Sunny California. I was young and cocky.

I wrote this statement in my journal. Here it goes … 

 

“Newfound Independence is like inflating a balloon and letting the tail end go. Then, watching it fly in a flurry of fart noises. Inevitably, all you see is the balloon making a fool of itself. Puny and just learning to fly. Kinda sad” 

(End quote)

 

I envisioned a sense of losslessness.

I was hungry to do something but I didn’t know where to put all of that energy.

 

I think graduating changes things. 

 

Better yet, Change changes things. 

 

Whenever there’s change, You start thinking about meaning and happiness…but, at the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with all this knowledge that life is a constant cycle. 

 

In the middle of applying to graduate school, figuring out my life, and waiting tables…this aching voice kept whispering in my ear. It came in and out of my consciousness. 

 

The voice kept saying, “go take a trip.”

 

 It was like a chant, you know…saying “go, go…” as if I was 

 

the 

 

underdog taking on the Super Bowl for the first time in 30 years.

*FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL…Helen’s vacation!!!” (Fake cheer here)

 

…it sounded like one of those charismatic, sales-like voices…and I was convinced. 

 

In retrospect, I think I watched too many coming-of-age movies. Go to Europe or something.

 

I took the charismatic voice’s advice and searched for a trip…my bank account was so tiny that I could only afford a round trip flight of less than $200…

 

…My first chance came when I was Googling “cheap air flights” (in that verbiage)…and there she was, a nice offer across Page 10.

 

A round trip flight from California to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the dead of winter. 

 

Being that I was raised in Sunny California, I did not know what winter really meant. That January, the biggest snowstorm came over East … and news reports cautioned travelers not to travel during this time. Too late, I thought. Non-refundable air flight. I was stuck in Philly for another week.

 

 I still remember how the ice felt in tandem with my white, well-worn converse…how the snow was crushed under the mold of my bottom shoe. And the funny looks strangers gave me as I walked across town with a thin denim jacket and a huge smile. 

 

I kept smiling because I felt so lucky.

 

Besides the weather, my first stab at a solo trip was thrilling. I craved this contained unpredictability. I planned very little and discovered much. 

 

I visited every museum in the Philly area. I saw dinosaurs, fine art, and modern science. 

 

I was hungry for something new and going somewhere unfamiliar felt exhilarating.

 

(my best thinking was bred in the moments when I sat in the hotel room. I didn’t riddle my life with several plans or cloud my brain with various factors). My flow state began when I took the plunge to DO something about the boredom I felt. 

 

I used to think creativity was inborn. I thought of ‘Crayon’ Markers. Fine art Classes. And those who attended art school. But, look back at the people in history and you realize that it’s for people who heeded the creative call of Creativity’s aching voice to pursue them. At times, it’s not always as loud. It’s soft and gentle.

 

That’s why we need to stay alert. 

 

Sometimes, the commotion of our schedules. The buzz of our phones. Our own voices. 

 

All of them can act as a distraction to our creative purpose. You need the white noise. As one of my friends likes to say, you need some Spotify in the middle of your Masterclass. You need not-busy.

 

Not-busy is 6 pm on a Summer day. Watching the sun go down as you hold a journal in your hand. 

 

Not-busy is breakfast with your best friend with no agenda. 

 

It’s the moment when you allow the moment to happen to you.

 

There’s a payoff in the final reel of choosing purpose over busy. 

 

When I was growing up, I had a mentor named Blair. Blair was my guidance counselor. She had long brown hair and liked to braid it like Princess Leah. She would ask me what I wanted to be when I was growing up, to which I would say “doctor”. She would giggle and wait for me to change my mind. I never did.

 

She would challenge me. Constantly. It always irritated me, but I see why now. Sometimes, we need people like that in our lives. Those who can witness our actions, beyond our own awareness.

 

“You’ll discover one of these days that art is what you’re meant to do. It will come out of nowhere and you’ll be surprised. But I won’t be, Helen” Blair would say to me. She saw my doodles in class. The poems I hid in the corner of my notes. The way I thought in colors. Senses. Images. All the things I wanted to suppress, that often leaked out.

 

As sad as it is, I ignored her and so many voices that encouraged me to choose that path. It took me 6 years to bring Creativity’s voice back. It ached to come alive again. To give her notice. She waved her hands to get my attention constantly. Creativity never gave up resolve. 

 

 

I plead to be logical. I wished to be like the kids who adored physics. I was just not that kind. Despite my attempts to clutter my mind with biology, I did not come to enjoy it…the puzzle piece would not fit. 

 

Busy delays. Busy hastens. Busy attempts to forget what it is that we are meant to do. Busy follows culture. 

 

Not-busy brings about perspective.

Not busy transforms culture. 

 

…and that’s the end of today’s episode. If you enjoy episodes like these, go ahead and follow the podcast on Apple, Spotify, or Google.

 

Send this to someone who might benefit from listening. 

 

Otherwise, thank you so much for listening and I’ll “see” you in the next episode. 

 

-Helen