How Doing Everything Is Doing Nothing

Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience

So, like, epiphany is definitely my sort of word of the moment. I imagine most of us are no stranger to epiphanies, but I’ve found that in getting my English degree, I’m sort of… sensitive to noticing my own. My professors and classmates in college would discuss the epiphany moments of characters in literature and the impacts thereof, so on, so forth.

Now when I observe my own it’s sorta like oh hoooo plot twist! Character development! New story arc! Here! We! Go!

But, like, real life.

This is all to say… I’ve had an epiphany.

I’m the type of person who wants to do it all. I want to cook every meal, bake, speak foreign languages, draw, paint, play piano, sing, sew, knit, crochet, travel, apply perfect makeup, do every aerial art, photography, volunteering, graphic design, code, read as much as possible, journal everyday, you get the idea.

I try the best I can to do all the things, but I can never seem to keep up. Making more time for one means taking time from another. I’ve always gotten terrible anxiety about not being able to keep up and would give myself these awful lectures about how I lack passion and I’m not making it happen for myself because I’m lazy and don’t care enough. I mean, level 10 guilt trip.

My epiphany?

I can’t do everything I want.

Yeah. I don’t know what’s changed now, but I wasn’t filled with dread and self-loathing when my epiphany struck. It washed over me in calm ripples of relief and light.

I can’t do it all, and that’s okay.

It’s, like, super okay.

Maybe this sounds like a quitter’s attitude to some, but hear me out on this. It’s not about throwing my hands up and saying oh well. It’s about realizing that there aren’t enough hours in a day for me to possibly keep up with all these desires on top of everything I have to do.

I’ve tried making a schedule for me to keep on top of everything, but let me tell you, nothing quite drained the color out of the things I love like allotting them scheduled time slots once a week. They became chores instead of desires, tasks instead of passions.

It got to the point I didn’t want to do anything but lie around on my bed, seconds and minutes flittering by as I got lost in flicking between apps and watching Netflix. 

By trying to do everything, I was doing nothing.

So no. I’m not quitting. I’ve gained perspective.

If I let every interest or activity I think seems interesting or cool pull me towards it, how can I devote myself to the ones that truly entice me? How can I write poetry or create a thriving blog full of unique content if I’m spreading myself too thin?

This epiphany that I need to align my passion, vision, and behavior to achieve what I want is what I’ve desperately needed in my life.

Narrowing your focus to what sets your soul on fire isn’t limiting yourself – it’s enabling yourself to grow and thrive and become a better version of you. You shouldn’t live a life where you’re torn in every direction to only find yourself with nothing.

Don’t be afraid to only do what fuels your fire. You deserve to be the best version of you, and that means stopping select behaviors that aren’t definitively negative. This isn’t to say you can’t enjoy or love other activities, but should something you like get an equal amount of time to something you absolutely adore? I don’t think so.