How to pursue your second act (pt 2 of 4)
Zadie Smith said, “Time is how you spend your love,” and I believe this in my heart to be true.
Last week, I wrote about waking from your sleeping life to make the leap toward a second act. Over the next few weeks I’m going to show you how.
When you’re young, you crave velocity. You want time to move. You want to vote at 18, drink at 21, and you wait for the moment when the people you’re desperate to impress take you seriously. When I’m… There goes the eye roll, the emphatic stomp, and the clenched fist. Time creates goalposts for us all — the parade of bone-white invitations with names in calligraphy, a silver rattle, a home of one’s own, retirement, and then the slow, steady metronome that is your heart beating a little less ferociously.
You spent all this time racing through your waking life and now all you want to do is slow the clock. Stand still. It occurs to you that you have fewer years ahead than what you’ve left behind. You’ve become surgical in the way that you take inventory of your life. Did you do all the things you wanted to? Were you a kind and decent person? What are you leaving behind?
You don’t have to live on volume 10. There’s quiet nobility in leading a good life.
Sometimes, we live to satisfy an imaginary playbook, to fit in, to do as we are told. And sometimes, we say fuck this noise, and you veer off the road and create a map of your own.
Whether you’re 21 or 61 don’t let a number or a playbook sit in the driver’s seat.
You’ve heard my story, ad nauseam, so I won’t bother rehashing all the details. For 42 years, I lived the life I thought I should be living. I followed the plan. I worked myself to the bone. I got the fancy title and six-figure income. I’d seen much of the world. Then I realized the things you own start to own you. I didn’t like the quality of my life. It lacked substance and verve.
I didn’t feel purposeful or carving out a path to significance. I was just selling crap to people who didn’t need any more crap and I was buying crap with the money I made from selling crap and then everything was complete and utter crap.
A lot of my friends in their late 30s to early 50s are going through changes. They want to veer off the road. I’m one of the restless so I spent a good six months mapping out where I wanted to go.
But nothing happens until you move. Until you stop complaining and start taking action. I know privilege has a lot to do with the degree in which people can change the shape of their life. I’m a white-passing woman so my path is easier than most. Ironically enough, that deep realization was part of my new roadmap. It defined the impact I wanted to make and how I can use my privilege to fight for others.
Recently, I helped my friend with the same questions I’d been going through. I outlined the questions I asked and the books, podcasts, and media I consumed. The people who I leaned on. The hard choices I had to make.
I’m probably going to be dead in 40 years so I need to SHAKE SHIT UP. Now.
What I’m offering in this first week is all about foundation and assessment. The problem with people who want to change their life think they have to go the scorched earth route. But your baggage, limitations, missteps, and patterns won’t get caught in the fire. We want to blast through to the point where we’re at our ideal place without appreciating the purposeful steps you take along the way.
So, I took some steps back. I started with two important things: time and money. Money affords you freedom. Time reminds you that one day the party will come to an end. What you do with your time matters. How you spend it matters. The people with whom you spend it matter. Without getting clear about how you measure and value time, how can you even imagine creating space for your second act? Same with money.
This first week, I invite you to lay yourself out to bear. Get real with yourself. Create the foundation and sit in the uncomfortable spaces. Why? You can’t build a house if you don’t have a blueprint. Here’s where you start. RIGHT HERE.
Over the next 4–6 weeks, I’ll be talking about:
- How to map out your ideal life. I don’t live in silos. You have to consider ALL THE THINGS. Because this new life is about creating space.
- How to create, set, and stay on top of goals.
- How to deal with I’m a big faker (i.e. imposter syndrome) along the way.
- How to create a real and actionable game plan to get you from A to B.
- How to start, track progress, and change direction (if need be) along the way.
This isn’t some wack let’s feel our feelings. The “anyone can do this” mantra that the pre-teen millionaire life coaches on Instagram is shilling. Feelings are important, for sure, but we also need pragmatism, a realistic plan.
Right now, start with this MONSTER worksheet. Take your time with it. Use a journal, a laptop, your phone — that’s why this is a word doc and not a pdf. Next week, we’ll use what you’ve done in that worksheet to get you to the next level.
Let’s rock it out.
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