I make lists. Every day at work, on my phone, in my head, journal, on this blog, I’ve always wanted to on the wall but haven’t yet…(weekend project maybe?) Last winter when I was holed up at home working part time at the movie theater, I made big lists – life lists. Who I want to be lists, who I want to be with lists. Then I got hung up on the list.
If you know me at all, which some of you do quite well, you know that something I fought with a lot is being myself. When I was little any place outside of the back yard in Wyoming was hard for me to be myself. As I got older I found a way to bring Wyoming Whitney East. The one place it was always hard to have her live for long was in relationships. Which is a whole different conversation in itself. So one of the lists I focused on was who do I want to be with? I thought back on all the experiences I had had, positive and the negative. Found a positive way to view them all and made a list.
Then when I was prepared to go back out there and date again I basically brought that list with me in my back pocket. At one point, I had found someone who seemed to, very quickly, check off a lot of those items on the list. Yet something didn’t feel right. My inner self knew something was off. There were days when I’d be out with him and I’d excuse myself to the restroom at the restaurant and think ‘You could just walk out the back door.’ Eventually I did, well not that dramatic – in the TV movie it would have been – but I left. Went home that night and stared at that list. Really looked hard at it and realized, this list is right, it’s spot on, but it didn’t encompass the human element, the soul element, the click.
I knew I couldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water, so the list still exists, but it’s not used the same. It’s a reference point now, because what that list, what any list that is that honest, really does is connect you to your “soft spot” that quite voice inside of you that’s always talking. The one that says “you can go out the back door.” It never speaks loudly because it knows better than to fight the outside world and your ego.
But I digress. So this list, what it allowed me to do was have a touch stone with myself.
Don’t hold that list up to every perspective suitor, but live from that list. You know what you need, you know what you have to give. You know what the make or breaks are. That list is just there to remind you of those few things, and the other items that would be “cherries on top.” You know what that feeling is, the one in your gut that says “this, this is good.” So keep checking in with that, let the list be, it set you on the right course now trust in yourself.
So make lists, make lots of them, because they help you get clear what you have bumping around in your head. But don’t let yourself become a slave to your lists. Follow that pull, that draw, that voice because that trumps any list.