Allison Coyle

The well established conformists path is the easy one, it has been traveled many times and its rewards are mediocre at best.

The Meaning of Life

 Montana

“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor—such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children perhaps—what can more the heart of man desire?”

“What do you want to be?” This question has plagued me my entire life; more recently, it has threatened to undermine what little sanity I possess. As a four year old, I knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a singer. I wanted to captivate tens of thousands of people with nothing more than my voice.

Seventeen years later, I feel saddened, confused, and lost when asked the same question that once drew a spirited, audacious response. “What do you want to be?”

I found myself confronted with this rootless question once again two weeks ago during a job interview for a reporter position with a news network. “What do you want to be?” asked the pretentious editor, waiting for me to faulter. “I want to be a reporter,” I responded, the weight of my lie sinking to the bottom of my stomach. I have no remorse in lying to a news editor; I am saddened by the lies I feed myself. In fairness, it was a half-lie. Some small part of me does want to track down story leads, harrass politicians, and become a household name a la Bob Woodward. But that part of me is very small…and dying every day.

I only realize in hindsight how deeply rooted my uncertainty has been these past few years. The breadcrumbs trail back to my first encounters with my political idols. In each instance, instead of asking for career advice, like my brazenly confident peers, I, in my desperation, asked, “Do you ever reach an age at which you’re truly happy? Do you ever stop panicking about where you’re going in life?” Some say yes, others say no. During a panic-induced, damn-near-teary-eyed phone call with Tucker Carlson, he assured me that what I’m feeling is good…that fear drives you to succeed. When the conversation began to steer toward him giving me career advice, I pried for personal advice. I want nothing more than for someone to tell me what to do…assure me that happiness is tangible…that it’s not merely an esoteric concept.

No, I don’t know what I want to be. I don’t think there is one single thing I want to be. But I know who I want to be. I know the things I want to do. I want to be a writer, a singer, a good friend, a mother. I want to climb mountains, learn about cars, become a vegan, talk to a nomad, own a used bookstore, live in a cabin, see every corner of America.

Why do we allow our worth to be measured by others? Why is it we never stop to wonder what it is that would make us truly happy?

More importantly, why do we never do that which would make us truly happy?

I’m just a soul…

I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.

To the wise….

I expect most blog readers are of the younger variety, but if anyone over the age of 40 or so would be so kind as to answer my musings, I would be very appreciative. 

 

Were you afraid when you were my age? Did you fear the future, what would become of your life? While I am pursuing a career, on some level, more than anything, I’m pursuing answers. I want to talk to intelligent people. I want to know their struggles, their stories. I want to know that I’m not alone. I want validation that everything will turn out okay. I want to stop panicking. I want to be happy being 20. Right now, I’m not. I don’t want to be old just for the sake of being old, but I envy the wisdom that accompanies age. I want to wake up one day at peace. I want to be okay with where I’m at in life. I want to know that eventually, I’ll be happy. There’s no way of knowing that, and maybe I never will be. But I want to know that it’s possible to find happiness…that it’s not an esoteric concept…that it is in fact tangible.

Tug of War

On any given day, I can feel inspired, determined, driven, sure of myself….and within an hour find myself scared, intimidated, doubtful, and paralyzed by uncertainty. What causes this internal paranoia? Because that’s just it…it’s all in my mind.

I’ve been fortunate enough over the past year to have had the chance to speak with many of my political idols who have given me career/life advice and have attempted to calm my fear of the future. Surprisingly, most of them seem to understand my concerns. They advise me that I’m not alone in my fear. They say that everyone is terrified at 20…some are just better at hiding it.

Unfortunately, I have yet to receive a satisfactory response to the question of how we find our niche or purpose in life. Perhaps the worst response, which I received from a highly intelligent opinion writer, was to have fun and let life take you along. I know that would ease the mind of a lemming, but that, quite frankly, is a completely vapid answer. 

How do people “drift” along, never wondering what their purpose is, what they were destined to do? I want nothing more than to calm my mind and distract myself from my own thoughts. 

I envy those who don’t find the need to question everything. I envy peace of mind. I envy happiness.

I’m hoping this internal tug of war will end soon. Something needs to change.

 

Simplicity

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“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ― Confucius

 

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”  ― Henry David Thoreau

 

“Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.”
― Lao Tzu

 

“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.” ― Albert Einstein

 

Simplicity. According to many of the most brilliant philosophers and writers of all time, we should strive for simplicity. A complicated life is no life at all.

So why do we choose to make things so complicated? Why do I sit in traffic for three hours every day? Why, at the ripe age of twenty, do I already feel burnt out with life? Why do I feel forty years old when my peers feel every bit their youth? 

Perhaps I need to start over. Perhaps I need a clean slate. 

Perhaps the world of political writing and formal engagements is not what my soul is yearning after. Maybe I’ve been fooled into thinking this is what I want…that scraping and clawing to live in this pretentious city overrun by social-climbers is worth fighting for.

I’m looking for happiness. And it isn’t here.

Never regret pu…

Never regret putting your heart on the line. Only regret not saying enough.

Love and Kismet

Is falling in love a conscious decision? Do we have a say in the matter, or are we victims of kismet?

I’m twenty years old, and I’ve never dated. For the first nineteen years of my life, I avoided dating and relationships like a plague, for various reasons. While I by and large felt happy with my choice to evade this particular branch of life, I was not immune to the occasional pang of loneliness.

Shortly after turning twenty, I met someone who managed to melt the chilly disposition in my heart. I worked with him for five months, and in that short time, I became an entirely different person, in a way I never believed possible.

Raised by missionaries, Jason exuded an ethereal quality. He had a smile that could light up the darkest of rooms. He made me want to be a better person.

While I hadn’t noticed any particular changes in myself, my friends began to comment on how much happier I suddenly seemed. An intern who I had worked with at the time remarked one day that while she couldn’t imagine herself having a child at this age, she thought I would make an extraordinary mother because I was so nurturing and caring.

Me? Nurturing and caring??? Those were two adjectives that had never been used in concordance with my name.

I was convinced that Jason was my soul-mate. People always say, “You know when you know.” And I knew.

After experiencing heartbreaking and excruciating rejection, I felt abandoned. I felt lost. It took me twenty years to fall in love, and my heart was broken for the first time. My very being was in shambles. I didn’t know what to think or how to feel. Was it okay to love someone who didn’t love me? When would the pain subside? Would I ever meet someone like him again?

The next month was the most painful month of my life. I clung to my phone, waiting and hoping that he might call. But he never did.

It is true, on some level, that times heals the pain. But it certainly doesn’t extinguish it.

After nearly five months, I’m beginning to see love and destiny in a new light. While I still find myself stumbling and making the same mistakes, I’m coming to terms with the fact that not everyone we fall in love with must be “The One.” While I still catch myself thinking about Jason from time and time and wondering what could have been, I’m realizing that there are many things left ahead for me to accomplish before I settle down.

Try as I may to not get my hopes up, I still find myself feeling somewhat left out of this societal experience. Now that I’m ready to step forward with this chapter of my life, it feels as though my timing may not be in tune with God’s timing. While patience is not my strong-suit, I must remind myself that something wonderful is just around the bend.

You can’t rush destiny. Especially in matters of the heart.