As I've been struggling to figure out where I'm going in life, a scene came to mind from the movie, Monsters, Inc.
Near the beginning, when Sully and Mike are hiding Boo and trying to figure out how to get her back to her own world without getting caught, they are all in Sully’s apartment with Boo coloring on the floor. She starts doing that toddler thing, rubbing her eyes, trying to stay awake, eyes drooping. And Sully gets her to follow him to his room by laying down a trail of Cheerios.
Apparently, Cheerios are the modern-day bread crumbs. ;)
This always makes me laugh! He treats her like a puppy, making a food trail for her to follow and then making a pile of newspapers in the corner for her to sleep on.
And Boo follows him, eating one Cheerio at a time on the path. All goes well until she sees Sully’s big, comfortable bed. Then she leaves the Cheerios trail and climbs up and under the covers.
Watching this scene again – I found it and embedded the video here – made me feel like that was something I could do right now. Follow the Cheerios path. One Cheerio at a time. At least until the trail gets to a place where I finally feel like I see something I want.
Right now, I honestly feel like I have no idea what I want or what I like, let alone what I love and want to do for the next ten or twenty years. Am I still a writer? Do I still love it? Or even like it? I don’t know. Apparently, this is how burnout feels. (We'll discuss that more in Tuesday's episode.)
I don’t have any answers to my problems and challenges yet, but at least I can laugh about the one thing I can do right now: look for Cheerios.
I found a Cheerio when one of my readers told me not to give up on my writing. I got another one when a friend repeated the sentiment. Another Cheerio came in the form of a new friend who loves my new chick lit series idea. Interesting how all the Cheerios I’ve found so far are leading me along the writing path. ;-)
What about you? What do you need direction on? Where can you look for Cheerios, for someone cheering you on in one direction or another? Or have you had a negative reaction to something – “Oh, I don’t like that” or “I definitely don’t want to do that”? Those could be Cheerios leading you away from the path that is not going to work for you right now. Only you can know, and it might take you some time and some contemplation. Take the time. It’s worth it.
Follow the Cheerios!