When It Feels Right

When it feels right, you’re going to do it because you can’t not. You’re going to stop playing pretend and you’re going to throw yourself into it face first, or ass first, I don’t know what. And you won’t know when that’s going to be until it happens.

When it feels right it’s going to make you feel level, supported. Everything will stand still and make sense for a minute; suddenly you’ll have the last word in the irritating crossword puzzle. You’ll fill it in, stand back and acknowledge, and everything’s going to be right where you put it. And then everything will be clear.

Originally, you’re going to be doing something else. You’re going to be living out some other plan for your life with the best of intentions. This plan used to be Plan B but actually turned out to be Plan A because let’s be serious, the real Plan A wasn’t a plan to begin with; it was this nebulously attractive question mark inkblot that you weren’t sure how to even approach so you left it alone, left it in the “dreams” category and moved on. You’re not going to dig out the original Plan A until you feel so not alive you can’t breathe and start to panic.

People and their crazy romantic notions: “I’d be an artist if I could,” or “I’d travel if I could,” or “I’d do all these things if I had the time/money/motivation.” Everyone would do everything if they had the fundamental resources necessary. Yeah, maybe — you do have to be realistic. Be totally realistic for ten minutes without a break and take note of how you feel. That’s the crushing weight of limitations. But, the thing about limitations is there’s usually a way around them. Not becoming a ballerina because you don’t have legs is one thing. Not becoming a ballerina because you don’t have a tutu is something else entirely.

For example: recently I had an inspiring lady tell me about another inspiring lady, a French filmmaker (I can’t write her name because I don’t know how to spell it or what it even sounds like; sorry, I was drunk when she told me) who wanted to make films but didn’t have any money to spare for equipment. Since you can’t really make a film without equipment and taking out a loan wasn’t a viable option for her, she decided to attack her dream differently: she started writing, with the vague hope that someone someday would take interest in her work and translate it to film. And let her direct it.

And that actually f-cking happened.

If you really want something, you have to work with that you have.

When something feels right, even if it’s crazy it’s going to make the most sense. Everything else will feel like a lie, a weak approximation; you’ll feel like you’re placating yourself or whoever you think you have to please by doing it but deep down you’ll know what’s really going on. When it feels right it’s going to pull insistently, tug at your sleeve like an annoying five-year old, wave its arms until you look at it. It’s going to make you lose sleep but you won’t feel tired.

When it feels right, it’ll be tangible. The hazy “dream” state of it will evaporate and it will become a map, a strategy. You’ll get off your tiptoes and stop being afraid. You’ll do it because it’s in your blood.

And you won’t know when that will happen, or if it ever will; but when it feels right, you’ll know. TC mark

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  • Anonymous


  • Lighthammer



    god, mila, you need to curb the self improvement, vague motivational speaker shtick

    • Mila Jaroniec

      Ok. Next piece will depress everyone.

      • AARON

        Thank you, Mila, you’ve helped 20 year old females across the country realize that their “photography stage” is really going to add up to something more than obnoxious Facebook posts, and soon enough it’ll be Clitty McLabia (see above), and NOT Leibovitz that’ll be getting the calls.

        Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You’ve saved my life. This is just what I needed. Thank you.

    • Meghann

      THANK YOU. I feel like Thought Catalog just hired the female Ryan O’Connell.

      • AARON

        haha, this is actually what i was going to post, but I couldn’t remember the dude’s name

  • http://twitter.com/alisonwisneski alisonwisneski

    I just love the way you live inside of my brain. I always wish you were in Denver so we could get a drink, talk tattoos, and girl hunt together. bravo, doll.

  • Meg Turner

    don’t curb the motivational pieces.  they were especially well timed for me, at least.  also, i love your writing and how alive it makes me feel.  thank you :)

  • Jamie

    Who else clicked on this article thinking it had something to do with sex?

  • Clitty McLabia

    Yes, it felt right reading this article. 

    • Clitty McLabia

      Seriously though, Mila. You’re now my favorite TC writer. I will now read all your articles, all 8 pages of them, in one sitting. 

  • Guest

    thank you.  

  • pnut

    ” When something feels right, even if it’s crazy it’s going to make the most sense”
    yes thank you.

  • Oliviamingus

    This actually made me cry. So relevant.

  • Jessica

    totally different from what i expected, but that’s a good thing. by the end of november i will be in a ridiculous amount of student loan debt (along with a billion other 20somethings in the US), but with that monetary debt came the opportunity to live and study abroad in a graduate program for a year – an experience that i’ve grown from in ways i wouldn’t have had i stayed at home in my dead end job. anyway, my point: living the way you’ve described is the best way to live. it makes accomplishing certain feats that much more gratifying 

    • Alexandra

       i did the exactly same thing, leaving my country at age 25 to start again with uni. it felt right..

      • http://twitter.com/ataraxistix S

        I’m gonna leave for my birth country and start university at age 24 this year! And it feels and is right!

      • Clitty McLabia

        Good for you! You’re never too old to study! 

      • OliveR

        So how did it go? I’m planning to do the same but that “feeling” isn’t there /:

      • Alexandra

         University is great, I absolutely adore everything I learn, I made some friends (but I guess they some in time). The hardest part is that I miss my family a lot. I don’t regret anything though, I can finally start making peace with myself.

  • Michaelwg

    You are talking about eating ice cream and watching HBO right? …Or am I projecting?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072327612 Ketsia Leste

    Actually what I needed to hear. Thank you :)


    I feel like it’s important to do things that are interesting and take risks, but i feel like it’s also important to not care that much about making it as an artist or whatever cause seriously that so often leads to disappointment. You can still have a good interesting fun life while having a normal job and a weak personal brand. 

  • LM

    The ambiguous writing trend that is everyone is supposed to be able to relate to is just…boring. A real story about something real that happened instead of floaty feelings would be more appreciated.

  • KarliCo

    I usually roll my eyes at the comments that say, “Whoooaaa, ohmygod!  This is like, my LIFE!”  So please pardon me while I do EXACTLY THAT.  *sigh*
    But man, this sh-t is expertly timed for me.  I’m a musician who has been avoiding music lately like the PLAGUE for whatever therapist-approved reason.  And just this morning I was thinking about how not alive I feel lately with my “Plan A” day-to-day, and how the things I usually use to pacify me are not cutting it anymore.  I hope my lack of appeasers brings me to the point where I can get over myself and let my original Plan A take over.  This article hit something in me (AH, my spleen! jk.) and made me feel hopeful and I’m really glad you wrote and posted it.  Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=868335572 Mike Young

    Well said. We often have things we want to do, and that others tell us we should do – when it feels right, we’ll do it. Related to that – when something annoys us enough, we’ll work to change it.

  • Florentina

    I kinda got over making everything a “sign”, but I right now I can’t help thinking this might be it.

    Literally just a few seconds before reading this I was contemplating on quitting my desk job and starting/continuing the project I graduated college for (and ultimately saying bye to my vain boss who can spend thousands on his wardrobe while his employees receive their wages late). I was in college for fashion merchandising and entrepreneurship; now, I’m in front of the computer all the time when I’m supposed to be creating something.

    I remember the feeling when I applied for that course in college. I was proud and happy and feeling blessed that my parents understood and supported me, even though it wasn’t a science/IT-related field (it’s what’s gets the money here in my country). I also remember the look in my mother’s eyes when I said that I got a job as a copywriter. She was still supportive, thankfully, but I saw she was disappointed somehow.

    I’m still not going to quit my day job, not yet, but I’m going to work on my creations. When I get steady—that is, when I have enough saved—is when I’ll do this full time. At least I’ll take baby steps to my original Plan A. Thank you for this. :) Hope you all have  a great day.

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