I first saw the show Grace and Frankie while visiting a friend about a year and a half ago. She lives up in the mountains of Colorado and uses Netflix for her TV service, and she invited me to watch the first episode of the series with her because she'd liked it. I remember thinking, “I like this show. It's an interesting premise. I’m going to watch it.”
I returned home and did watch one or two episodes. But then I fell into the rhythm of my life (which for me doesn’t include a ton of TV) and it dropped off my radar.
Not long after I'd lost my job earlier this year, when my world was in absolute upheaval and I didn't know what to do with myself, I decided to watch an episode or two as a way to escape reality. That little trickle turned into binge watching, which I don't do, and I’m now almost done with the present season (no spoilers, I’m not done yet!).
It sounds silly, but this is a perfect example of how the universe brings you the things you need at just the right time. Don't worry, I'll explain.
For those who are unfamiliar, Grace and Frankie (starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) is the story of two women whose husbands fall in love with each other, get married late in life, and leave the wives to pick up the pieces. Grace is the business mogul who thrives on structure and built a successful company before she retired. Frankie is the artist and free spirit who paints, is a vegetarian, and smokes some pot from time to time.
I had a moment one day while watching that hit me so hard that it changed my life: I realized that I'm Frankie (minus the pot) and I’d been trying to live in a Grace world.
Wow. It's really that simple.
I’ve never enjoyed the rigidity of corporate life and I never wanted to arrive there. In fact, I’ve never felt quite right at any job where I’ve had to sit in a cubicle or talk about profits or sales or pushing out the latest release of software. I’ve had a persistent discontentment in all of my jobs. Sometimes not at first, but I assume it's because the hope of a new role being better and finally making me happy drowned it out.
Over 15+ years the melancholy always came, in every job, like clockwork. I’d thought something was just wrong with me. Why does no job make me happy?
I understand now that it's because I'm a Frankie. I'm an artist and a free spirit. I want to live life my way, I want to structure my day my way, I want to express myself and do things that are meaningful to me and meaningful to humanity. I want to write about things that matter to me and not about drywall products or computer software or dental surgery.
I’ve been living an absolutely inauthentic life since I left college and that's why I've felt so off kilter for so long. But I just couldn't find a way out.
So I’ve started trying to make a way out now, because it feels like it's finally my time. This website and blog is part of that, as is the hard work I’ve been doing on my book for the past few weeks.
I knew when my entire life blew up earlier this year and my social media engagement exploded last month that something had shifted for me. Something big was happening. Something up there in the sky was pushing me forward down here. Get out of the wrong life, it’s been saying to me. There is no more time to push aside the life you’re meant to live. Get on it. Get started. NOW.
Ok universe, I got the message. And thanks a bunch for sending me clarity through a TV show.
It's funny how much you can see when you really look.
The Big Pause