These days I'm playing catchup discovering who I am and what I'm capable of, and I've found an amazing little town full of friends that help me do it. Ironically enough I'm doing better now that I'm playing it by ear and committing to the crazy than I ever did before.
I always say when it comes to writing, I hate using an outline. It always comes out cramped and stiff, and forced. So I pants everything I write, which means I write "by the seat of my pants"--I start with a vague goal and just wing it until I finish. It always turns out more natural and authentic, more lush, with better pacing, and I'm better able to find interesting and engaging things and incorporate them into the story.
Seems like living life sort of works the same way for me. Which in a strange way makes a lot of sense. I've spent most of my time on this planet wondering why it felt like everybody else was born with an instruction manual for life, and I wasn't. I never had an outline. It was so frustrating and confusing--and when I tried to do what I thought I was supposed to do, and tried to follow some "plan" based on what I knew of the world, it consistently blew up in my face and came out sideways.
They tell you to write for yourself first. Write what interests you, not for someone else, not for some inarticulate "somebody" in your head or some reader out there--write for yourself. Write to make yourself happy, and readers will follow. So that's what I do. And that's how I started living--for myself, instead of trying to emulate the people around me and please the people I thought I was supposed to please.
So I guess in the end, what I had to do was start pantsing.