“Secretly, we’re all a little more absurd than we make ourselves out to be.” – J.K. Rowling
“When I first met you, I thought, ‘Wow, this girl totally has it together. She’s figured it all out.’ Then when I got to know you, I realized, ‘Whoa, this girl is totally winging it!’ – This was recently said to me, about me, by a person who thinks I’m winging it.
Ok, ok. It’s true. I’m winging it. But aren’t we all? Yes? No?
Let’s be real. Life is just a series of random and dynamic events that you can’t prepare for all the time. As we walk, skip or jump through it, it’s almost always a matter of improvising on the fly, adapting to each new situation, and finding ways to overcome the challenges presented to you at that moment.
Do we all really know how to do that new job we just accepted? And what about jumping off that cliff into the ocean? Can we really plan how we’ll land? Who really knows how to get divorced before doing it for the first time? Or today. Sure, I can plan the day, but can I plan the fun, spontaneous moments, too?
Simply put, I’m learning how to figure it out. Follow my heart. Be myself. Go with my gut. And trust I’ll find a way. Full disclosure: I’m also learning how to fail.
I’ve faced some pretty hefty challenges in life. These trials have by and large been unexpected. It took me a while to trust myself, to hear my gut. But as I stopped looking outward for guidance that either confused me or didn’t feel right, and started looking inward, my gut got louder and louder. FIANA. DO THIS! DO THIS! That’s when I realized: I’ve got this.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t love hearing that I was winging it. I thought it meant that I wasn’t smart enough, adult enough, successful enough. How could I not have complete control over every situation? Am I just a hot mess? To be clear, I am sleeping on an air mattress at the moment with no new bed on the way. I still struggle with these negative thoughts–especially as other people bust me for doing it.
But, come on. We’re all doing it. Do we actually think everyone else, including our big top leaders, has a plan for every single challenge coming their way? No way, José. We’re reacting based on knowledge and experience. We’re going with our gut. We’re…ahem…winging it.
It’s kind of like that stream you saw flowing down that mountain that one time. You know which one I’m talking about. The stream wasn’t trying to do anything other than flow. It remained active and alive all the while. And even when it encountered a hurdle, it embraced the challenge, it adjusted and it kept flowing forward.
Yes, yes. It’s true that sometimes it is better to think critically about a problem before taking action. But then there’s those other times when it’s often better to act on instinct and wing it. There’s no perfect plan for you out there–only the one you take. Even if failure follows.
I can see some of you shaking your head at me right now and thinking, “If she thinks she’s going to wing it at Burning Man next month she’s got a whole other set of problems coming.” Heh…heh…oh yeah, I said “yes” to my first Burning Man. (Truth: I’m sort of winging it.)
I’ve got this…says the person who just ate chips for breakfast.