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The Clumsy Ideal

A blog about how to be an adult, because we’re all still figuring it out.

Faith Is A Funny Word

Faith Is A Funny Word

My sister told me the other day, “Just have a little faith.”

I call her whenever I’m feeling like a fraud who won’t ever make it in this life. She lets me spill my insecurities into the phone, thousands of miles away, out through her phone line in Hawaii, where she’s juggling her job, her business, three kids and a dog.

I whine about not being good enough, not being seen enough, not being appreciated enough, not making enough money and not utilizing all my talents.

She gives me sound advice when I need it. Most of the time, though, she tells me to have a little faith in myself. Trust that the universe will work these things out. Faith: That’s her favorite word.

Now, I have every right to believe this woman. She earned her Masters degree, raised a son (and now another son and daughter) and grew two businesses on her own. If she believes in me, then it must be true, right?

It’s funny. When I was 18, I felt like I could do anything. I had a naive sense of confidence with so very little experience. And guess what? That version of Carla made her career happen for herself.

She wanted to be a writer, so she got an internship writing local news. She wrote her first article, about a new farmer’s market, in first person. She learned VERY FAST that news is not written in first person.

She wanted to work in the TV industry, so she got an internship at a major network in Los Angeles that turned into a real job. They hired her when she was still a college student. She got to work for executives working on shows, like “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” She screened episodes of “Family Guy” and “Bones” and got paid for it. She wrote for E! Entertainment at 19. 19! 

She wanted to move to Hawaii, so she did, her career in entertainment be damned. She worked for a lovely e-commerce company that made life feel so good. Then, somehow, a recruiter found her a year later and she was offered a job at a national news organization.

A few months before she moved to Hawaii, she was warned that writers can’t find jobs in Hawaii. Boy was that person wrong.

She did all this with grit and endless optimism. She just did it. She was never afraid that things wouldn’t work out. They always did. 

I’m 28 now. I have more experience than I ever did — ever. I’ve accomplished more than I ever expected to. I also severely doubt that I can continue to “fulfill my dreams.”

Why though? In this little life of mine, I never let myself down. I made goals, I reached them, and then I complain that I should be doing more. 

I chase and I chase and this year I asked myself, what exactly am I chasing?

I’ve shifted my thinking — and now I’m thinking a little bit bigger, a little more for myself and a little less for my ego. Faith is a funny word, but I guess I’m going to need it now more than ever.

How A Daily Gratitude Practice Has Changed My Life

How A Daily Gratitude Practice Has Changed My Life