Oh Sh*t! I’ve Gone Too Far
I can’t think of a better compliment. Will try to earn it more in 2022.
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Hey from Egypt!
I was thinking of you yesterday. After a day of going in and out of really magnificent tombs and pyramids, I wanted to just kinda go for a walk and feel what Egypt feels like, you know? Something powerful called me all the way out here. And yes, I was learning a shit ton about Egyptian history, which is fascinating. But what else is here for me. So I told my tour guide I wanted to just go exploring for a bit in the open desert and took off.
It’s interesting to go for a walk when there’s nothing at all to see. I mean…I’m used to Manhattan. Tons of people watching, stores, the occasional dodging of shady people…But in Saqqara, where I was, there was zero…zilcho…nada. Just sand…and more sand. But there were rocks. Lots of little rocks. And truth be told, the rocks were kinda jamming me up a little. So as I was thinking about the destination for this walk to nowhere, I would see smooth sand up ahead and think, Okay…when I get to that smooth sand I can sit and meditate for a bit. Then I’d get to that smooth sand and it was still rocky. Okay, when I get to THAT smooth sand up ahead, I will sit. Then I’d get to THAT sand and it was still rocky. This happened several times. 🤨 I would see some desirable condition up ahead…some preferable circumstance and I would think that was my destination. But alas, it was the same. Always the same. Rocky. Then I reminded myself of a teaching that I really treasure:
“What’s in the way, IS the way.”
I have learned this many times in life. In fact, I had replicated this search for smooth sand in my career. I remember starting as an assistant and always looking at the next step up as being the threshold that would satisfy me. And of course, my appetite was voracious for success. Nothing scratched that itch. To the point that when I was sitting in the job that college-student-Atoosa would have died for, just ten years after college graduation: Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen, I was still looking for that smooth sand. I was still trying to scratch that itch. But I credit myself with something back then, that I also did yesterday in the desert. I didn’t keep going and going thinking the answer was somewhere Out There. My dissatisfaction was telling me something and instead of trying to soothe it by throwing it a bigger bone, I needed to listen. In both cases, I stopped and looked inside. In the desert, by the time I hit the third rocky patch, I realized I was up to my old tricks. Looking outside myself for some level of peace that only exists within. Thank you, my old friend, Dissatisfaction, for pointing me inward where the real journey always rests.
At that very moment of my epiphany as I was sitting down to meditate on the rocky sand, I got a text message. (I mean…how fucking 2021 is that - a text message in the middle of the Egyptian desert!) “They want you to come back. Atoosa, you’ve gone too far. There are wild dogs out there!” Ah! Thank you! Another message. Another desert gift.
Atoosa, you’ve gone too far.
I needed to hear that. I needed to remember my essence. Yes. I go too far. Whether it’s saying what I mean or going for what I want. Sometimes I go too far. I think about sophomore-in-college Atoosa who was desperate to get into the fashion industry that just seemed impenetrable to dorky outsiders, like myself. I would just incessantly send letters to everyone I admired. My personal favorite is the note I sent to world-famous Vogue photographer, Steven Meisel, asking if he wanted to do test shoots sometime. I mean…I can’t even stand it. 🤣 He was literally the most famous photographer in the world, but I had no idea! There was no internet! I just knew I was totally inspired by his work in Vogue…back when Vogue really mattered. Back when Supermodels ruled! I wanted to be in fashion - who else would one want to apprentice with, right? 🤓 You’re correctly assuming it went nowhere. But my first job opportunities did come from my little crazy letter writing campaign. TBH, anything big I’ve ever accomplished has happened because I’ve gone too far. It’s never from coloring inside the lines, right? You just get a neat but boring coloring book and you’re the kind of kid parents are proud of, but perhaps you’re not shaking up the world. I haven’t done it yet. But I want to shake up the world one day. Don’t you???
Gosh, I love my younger self. Nothing to lose. Going for broke every single time. And I love this old girl I’ve become, too. This old girl that just needs reminder now and again. Like when they told me I’ve gone too far. That there were wild dogs. I just sat my ass down on that sand and I communed with Egypt, wild dogs be damned.
That rocky desert led me to my 2022 intention…a reconnection back to my younger self…a reminder that I have the most fun when I go too far. Makes perfect sense that Egypt is kicking off the second-coming of my Going Too Far era. Most of the people in my day-to-day life who heard I was going to Egypt met it with, “Why??” “What if you get stuck there with Covid?” “It’s so far!” “It’s not safe for a woman solo!” “How can you go to Egypt for only 5 days??” Pffft…💨 Because I had to keep chasing the smooth sand to remember my true essence, that’s why.
Thanks for going too far with me. It takes a village of woman like us to make shit happen. Thank for being in my village. I’m so curious to see what kind of madness we will get up to. We will start planning in 2022. Through it all, I’m here, 24/7, as always, at email@example.com.