Letter to No One in Particular

The following is an excerpt from Geneen Roth's book, Women, Food and God. You can read more about Geneen Roth here:

"It seems as if you chose this career and therefore this career arc. Can you accept that? Not as resignation, which is how people define acceptance. Not as a sense of victimhood: 'Poor me, I can't do anything but accept the situation.' But as the willingness to stop defining your tasks as a means to an end and instead inhabit what you yourself have chosen. What if this is exactly what you are supposed to be doing because it is what you are doing? What if each nitty-gritty task is perfection itself and you keep missing it because you're looking for something else?

Even when you become Something because they were right, you really were Going Places -- even when you arrive at being Someone because you are where you were going -- your life may not be any better if you haven't learned to be awake, alive, now. To take this moment for what it is. It's just as easy to be miserable when you are Someone Special as when you are No One In Particular. Because even Someone Special still has to live in her own skin and deal with boredom, rejection, loneliness, disappointment. Even Someone Special comes home at night and does what the Nobodies do: falls asleep alone. You might as well learn how to pay attention now. How to inhabit the life you've chosen. How to take up every inch of your skin. Occupy the space in this body you were given. It's your place. Only yours.

The writer Annie Dillard says, 'How you spend your days is how you spend your life.' Be unwaveringly honest. Ask yourself how you want to spend your days.

Come back. Break the trance. Pay attention to your breath. Your arms. Your legs. Listen to sounds. The scrape of a chair. The whirr of the copy machine. Notice colors. The royal blue of a coworker's dress. The coffee stain on your boss's tie. Wake up to the riot of life around you every second. The singer Pearl Bailey said, 'People see God every day; they just don't recognize Him.'What if every day what a change to see a new version of God? What if what you needed was right in front of you and you were not recognizing it?

You already have everything you need to be content. Your real work, despite the corporate ladder you are climbing, is to do whatever it takes to realize that. And then it won't matter if you're Someone Special or No One in Particular because you'll be fully alive in every moment -- which is, I imagine, all you ever wanted from Going Places to be Someone." (60-62).


A little story.

Once upon a time there was a girl. She was curious and lively and she really didn’t give a rat’s ass what others thought. She climbed trees and ran with boys and was also kind and sensitive and let herself cry…even without having a good reason.

As the girl grew up, it became harder and harder to be that way. The tiny Voice that once whispered to her as a child – the Voice that sang to her,

“You can be anything or nothing at all. Whatever you choose to be you’ll be.”

That Voice grew smaller and smaller and smaller, until it almost f a d e d a w a y.

So the girl replaced the Voice with boys and worry and doubt and an endless search for the perfect job. She obsessed over money and calories [how easily we seek perfection when our Voice isn't there to guide us] ... and she all but fell a-p-a-r-t.

Then one day over lunch with her boyfriend, she felt a tug. A strange feeling in the bottom of her GUT that said,

“You’re not who I thought you were. I’m not who I thought I was.”

She shrugged it off and ignored it and shut that door (tight!).

“But we’re so right for each other" she cried, "and what about X, Y and Z?”

“What about our future together?”

“No,” the Voice said, “it’s not for you.”

And the girl began to listen as the Voice grew louder and louder, until one day the boyfriend was no longer her boyfriend. And the Voice said,

“You may rest.”

Months later she heard it again – telling her another thing she was reluctant to hear:


“But how?”


“But what if?”


“But why me?”


“But…what now?”

“….LISTEN…” it begged.

This time instead of turning her back on love she turned away from money, security, a definite direction. She turned away from everything she’d come to expect of her life. And there was pain and fear and

an ocean of


And it was very hard. It rained tears and the ocean grew bigger and scarier and the girl felt like she’d just float away – like there’d be nothing to keep her tethered to the ground, to the life she’d come to know. Yet in the midst of the storm and the noise the girl still heard the Voice. This time it wouldn’t tell her

“Yes” or


“Go this way” or

“Go that way.”

This time, as the girl strained to hear the tiny whisper deep within her she heard a new song:


“Say what?” the girl asked from the middle of her ocean of fear and grief and loneliness.

LET GO!! the voice screamed again.

And this time instead of waiting and questioning and wondering about 1-2 -3 and X-Y-Z and money and calories and direction and fame and all of those other people in the peanut gallery, she did just that.

She jumped in the water.

And miracle of miracles, she didn’t sink or get swept away (at least not too far) because suddenly she was that girl again. The girl who wasn’t afraid to get her feet wet, to climb trees and to ignore what other people thought. Soon she felt her feet hit solid ground. The tide descended and the sand felt warm between her toes.

And the voice said

“Well done. You may rest.”



After a late night spent nursing a migraine, I just want to curl up in this bed and take a midday nap. It looks so cozy and I love the airy, natural feel of the ceiling and fan.

(Photo via Design*Sponge).