There's a hysterical part in the HBO show Girls where the lead character, Hannah, panics after just making it out of the city on a summer RV trip with her boyfriend. She realizes she doesn't wanna be there, doesn't wanna be with him and can't go a mile further. When they pull up to a campsite for a routine pee stop, she runs away from him in her pajamas. It's outlandish and amazing. The kind of scenario we entertain in our minds, but Hannah actually has the balls to pull off.
When a friend, Ray, comes to pick her up, he delivers the blatantly obvious and incredibly insightful advice: "If you have the impulse to run away in your pajamas, that's a pretty strong indicator it's not working out. You've gotta respect your instincts. Trust your gut." We laugh because of the situation's extremity, but how many times have you wanted out of something so bad a pajama escape actually sounds fantastic?
Yesterday was exactly that for me. I had committed to something I realized I didn't actually want. I sat in my writer's chair, attempting better posture and mind-meandering through darting thoughts, when a series of knowings just clicked. The story I was working on was meant for another book. Everything I laid out and pre-planned, exited through the window. My intentions immediately shifted as a result of these newly integrated realizations, and I sat there stewing, now agitated and confused.
How could I just shift directions completely? And how did I miss the big ass elephant in the room, a repeated behavior and the twisted reasoning behind a game plan that wasn't aligned with my calling? Who can ever figure out the how, anyway - so I ditched that last question and dialed my "Ray" to get clear through some much-needed sound boarding. Sometimes it's hard to quit something when you've painstakingly convinced yourself of all the ways it's right. It can also seem easier to take a reason-clad route where the puzzle pieces make logical sense. But when I continue walking a well-planned path of reason that still feels off, it leads me straight to a wall. What I do then could be described as quitting, escaping, course correcting, changing direction, shifting intention, turning around, stepping back . . . There's just no denying the dead end as a clear nudge back in the direction of my soul's calling.
No matter how messy the redirection strategy, it always works out when you make the escape that leads you back to yourself.