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Here's my most recent favorite word: batshit crazy. I don't know where I picked it up from since I read like a fiend and accumulate wisdom like a hoarder. But according to Urban Dictionary, it means: a level of insanity that the word alone cannot justify. Lol! I'm not sure if I'm proud or mortified of sharing this with you. But I was so inspired to do so because I've been listening to Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson on Audible.com.

 

 

Buy experiences, not things. Austin, TX © Ellany Lea

Jenny says,

"Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.

"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

 

Why not move to Rwanda?

Labels are so fickle... To me, waking up one day and deciding to move to Rwanda to contribute to global humanitarian aid was just something you do. It's just something I did.

I applied for a position, 4 days later I got a call, the next weekend I was interviewed in-person in Vancouver, and 8 days later I was at a cross-cultural training in Ottawa, 2 months later I was on a 35hr flight from Vancouver to London-Heathrow to Nairobi, Kenya to Bujumbura, Burundi, then to Kigali, Rwanda. Tada! <insert jazz hands>

Police check, vaccination, digitizing my life, packing 1 suitcase for a 6 month placement. I mean, doesn't everybody?

What I've come to realize is that: no, not everybody is as batshit crazy... or reckless... or spontaneous... or adventurous... or normal as I am.

You see, there's a whole spectrum of labels. Some, ie my parents, thought I was batshit crazy for moving to Rwanda. The rest of my family thought I was reckless. My friends thought I was spontaneous. My soul sisters thought I was adventurous. And I thought I was normal. The same situation, the same me, and very different labels and perspectives.

 

It was fun... until it wasn't

At first, not having electricity or running water in Rwanda was fun, even poetic. I'd read by candle light and learned to wake and sleep to the natural rhythm of the sun and rooster... until it turned into a god-forsaken rooster who didn't know the difference between weekdays and weekends.

Lugging water in a jerrycan, filtering out the bugs and blades of grass, boiling it for an hour, waiting 2 hrs for it to cool, then filtering it for 4 hrs was cute... until it wasn't. It became a soul-sucking daily grind.

Taking bucket showers was pioneering, until I got tired of staring at the bucket full of dirty water, which I cherished like gold because I needed it to flush my toilet. Hey, at least I had an indoor toilet!

 

Why not move to NYC in 5 days?

I woke up one day and decided I was done watching my Rwandan colleagues work for 1.5 hrs a day, then take frequent and epically long tea and lunch breaks to come back in the afternoon to watch episodes of 24.

So I applied to every job I can think of in NYC, lined up 5 interviews in 5 days, got on a plane, secured 2 offers, chose 1, obtained my written offer letter, bought a phone, setup a NYC number, found a darling apt in Brooklyn, showed up with passport photocopies and $1,800 in cash for on-the-spot deposit, got the keys to the apartment, initiated my application for a Social Security Number, had lunch or dinner with friends every day, flew home Tuesday afternoon, packed up and moved to NYC by Wednesday morning.

All within 5 days.

I mean, doesn't everybody? No, no they don't Ella. Not everyone is on the same spontaneous crazy spectrum as you are.

As you can see coming, NYC was fabulous... until it was not. As an adult, during my years living in NYC, I learned:

  • to play the piano, which I quit after I mastered The Entertainer and Beethoven's Fur Elise (I got you beat, Twinkle, Twinkle Litte Star)
  • to figure skate, which I quit after I mastered my single toe-loop jump (which my coach failed to capture on film so I refused to ever do it again)
  • to sew my own clothes and handbags, which I quit after I mastered 2 dresses and a jacket
  • to knit, which I quit after I mastered mittens and a yoga bag with hexagonal shaped holes (I can't count the number of times my friend Ro rolled her eyes laughing and wondering why I refused to start with a simple scarf or place mat. Place mats are for sissies, that's why!)
  • to interior design, which I quit after I turned a 250 sqft apt into a 450 sqft apt
  • to cook, which I quit after I replicated the seared scallops from Le Cirque where I sat at the table diagonal to the mayor of NYC,
  • and to teach Antigravity Yoga, which I have oddly not yet quit...

I mean, doesn't everybody? No, no they don't Ella. Not everyone is on the same reckless crazy spectrum as you are.

 

Why not run 4 simultaneous businesses?

After I overcame the limiting belief that I had to be poor to do good, I dove in blind into entrepreneurship. I had reached my limit of incompetent bosses, irrational salary grades, and corporate glass ceilings.

So I decided to take my tech whiz talent to create a digital agency. I decided to take my burn-out from all that piano playing, figure skating, clothes sewing, yoga knitting, interior designing, and scallop searing and turn it into a health product line. I decided to take my love of beauty and aerial silks to create a therapeutic aerial silks studio. And I decided to take my calling as a coach to create an online wealth coaching business.

All at the same time. Why the f*** not?!?

I mean, doesn't everybody? No, no they don't Ella. Not everyone is on the same batshit crazy spectrum as you are.

 

How am I even still alive?

When Susan Cain published her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, my existence got validated. It's ok to be shy and quiet without being labeled socially awkward and un-leader like.

When I stumbled upon Barbara Sher's book Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams, my existence got validated again. It's ok to be a multi-talented, multi-passionate scanner who can't sit still without being labeled lost.

When I was told about Elaine Aron's book The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, my existence got validated thrice over. It's ok to be HYPER aware of all 6 senses including intuition, without being labeled voodoo scary.

If ~40% of the world is introverted, ~5% of the world are scanners, and ~15% of the world is highly sensitive, then does that make me part of the 3% batshit crazy population? (Aside: I can do Calculus I, II, III, IV, but don't ask me to subtract or compute statistics.)

 

The thing about addiction is...

Once compiled, these books basically said that I had an extremely high propensity toward addiction (to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, overspending, work, etc.), depression and anxiety.  <insert glass-shattering light bulb moment> Hence the cocktail of batshit crazy! Thanks mom and dad :P

In short, I'm pre-wired to be easily overwhelmed, easily crushed, and easily addicted. And yet... I've never tried any drugs. I don't drink alcohol, for no good reason. I'm not addicted to coffee and recently no longer addicted to sugar. I don't have body-image issues and food is not a crutch. I'm not a sex addict. Although it may not be such a bad addiction to have :P. I've never been in debt. And I'm not a workaholic. I may be addicted to achievement, but not work. Two separate things.

So the thing about addiction is... well, I don't know what it is. What makes someone who is a minority in every manner of speaking (I'm a minority by my gender, by my skin color, by my age, by my profession, by my personality type, by my sensitivity, by my brain function, by my industry, by my approach to marketing, and by my approach to life) thrive?

What makes someone who is easily overwhelmed, easily crushed and easily addicted, depressed and anxious... thrive?

Next blog to come...

Until then, laugh freely, love sweetly and play your wealth out loud!

xo

Ella

 

What next?

  • Like and share this article
  • In the comments, tell me about your batshit crazy adventures. Better yet, link it to your blog!

Thank you for being a lone nut, a leader, and a friend! <3

With infinite grace, freedom on!

xo, Ella

Ellany LeaAUTHOR • Hi! I'm Ella, founder of Guide to Grace. I invite you to join us for an exquisite freedom at the intersection of: entrepreneurship, enlightenment, and enchantment.