What Compels You?

August 31, 2011

in Guests

This week’s guest writer is Lisa from Random Girl. It touched me to read her opening where she described me as an inspiration, cheerleader, and a friend. Lisa has been all of these things for me as well and I am grateful for our friendship. These last several months of school it has been difficult to stay in touch with friends, but Lisa has been there cheering me on and been understanding of my sporadic contact. She has been wonderful.

Lisa is a gifted writer with great range. I am so happy she agreed to guest write for me. What Lisa chose to share today is something we can all take a moment to pause and think about as we go about our daily routines.

Enjoy Lisa’s words of wisdom today .


I was so honored when Kelly asked me to guest post here at Naked Girl in a Dress.  It was like getting asked to work with one of my idols really. I was a bit star struck.   Naked Girl in a Dress is one of the very first blogs that I started following and really was a big motivator in me jumping into sharing myself over at Random Girl.

Throughout this year, Kelly has been an inspiration, a cheerleader, and more importantly, a friend. It’s with great pleasure that I take on this opportunity to guest post here.

What Compels You?

I was having a conversation with a friend recently, telling of one of my most recent adventures, and with an incredulous look on her face she asked me, “What compelled you to do that?!?”

Instead of firing off one of my usual flippant or snarky replies to her question, I took a moment to really think about what actually motivated me to take on that particular challenge. And the answer surprised even me. It was because I desired to do so.

This is a new concept for me: doing things simply because desire compels me to.  Not out of obligation, not out of guilt, not out of fear. Simply out of the desire to do so.

For a large part of my life, I had made decisions to do or not do things compelled by a number of things but if I am honest with myself, many of those decisions were made out of my fear. I got married at 22 because of my fear of being the only one of my friends to not be married yet.  I stayed in a marriage I wasn’t happy in because of fear of the judgment and disapproval I would face from getting divorced.  I didn’t pursue a dream career opportunity out of fear that I would fail to meet expectations. The list could really go on and on.

Being compelled to act or not act based on my fear had set a course of making safe decisions and not stepping too far away from my comfort level.   I tried to make sure I met other people’s expectations of me. I tried to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, friend, and co-worker.  It was exhausting.

When life changed, I decided it was time for me to change with it. It was my opportunity to be selfish again. To do things simply because I wanted to do, not because someone expected me to.  And you know what I discovered? I discovered I was happier than I had been in years. I discovered that, despite the upheaval that I had just emerged from, I could be myself with all my flaws and imperfection and impulsive desires.  I could be compelled by desire.

I still am responsible and steadfast when it comes to my family. I still handle my obligations and I will still compromise for the greater good when the situation requires it. But when it comes to pursuing what my heart desires, I do so unapologetically now.

From taking Salsa dancing lessons to planning, to a last minute getaway, to having great sex with a gorgeous man, nothing is off limits for me to do. Fear does not guide my actions any longer and I know that if I it makes me happy, I will be a better person for those that are in my life now.

Take a moment and think about what compels you.  Is it fear? Obligation? Other’s expectations? If it’s anything other than your desire to be doing it, you owe it to yourself to reconsider.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kir August 31, 2011 at 9:30 am

wow, what a great guest post!!! I agree, when Kelly had me guest post I was in seriously CRUSH mode, she’s AMAZING.

I loved this question and answer, how doing what makes you happy, feeling accomplished because of your own decisions. Sometimes it’s hard to get there…hey are any of u every THERE, but the journey down that new road of self love is a much better one. LOVED THIS !!!
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Amy August 31, 2011 at 9:36 am

Nothing more than happiness in every form – I do what makes me happy, what makes the people I love happy…unless of course I’m drinking, and then I am compelled by stupidity.
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Yvonne August 31, 2011 at 11:13 am

Usually, a whole lotta crazy compels me. -kidding. sort of. Actually, sometimes sheer desperation or frustration, compels me to do whatever it is I have to do, be it for myself or for others. But mostly, my heart compels. I’m just a big softie that is driven by emotions.
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Lady Estrogen August 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm

That’s a great way to make me think… how dare you! lol

I think obligation is somewhat a part of what compels me, but if I’m to be completely honest, I think narcissism is a big factor. Big.

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Lance August 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I knew this is would be nothing but straight awesome.

Good job Randy. Good job Kelly for having Lisa post, she’s very wise.
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Jewels August 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm

A wonderful post and I’m not at all surprised at how well written and relatable it was. I am ashamed to admit that I still do too many things to please others but I am getting much better at doing things simply because I want to and being more selfish with my time and my energy. I love this post! Great job.


WowThatWasAwkward August 31, 2011 at 6:45 pm

My answer is simple. I always follow my heart.
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Sara Grambusch September 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

Great topic. Doing everything we do with intention is so important yet so difficult. I think the most intentional tough choice I’ve made in my life was the decision to quit grad school after my Master’s and change career directions. Of course I was worried was everyone would think, I had taken out a world of student loans for a degree I was never going to use, but I KNOW it was the right decision and I don’t regret it.
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Stefan September 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

That’s soooo got me thinking about me. Within reason I know I’m not as selfish as I could be without affecting others that depend on me greatly.
I’m going to factor that into my daily thoughts – what compells me …

Superb advice!


Random Girl September 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Thanks again to Kelly for having me here and for all of your great comments. I’m glad that I am able to offer a little food for thought on this one!
Random Girl recently posted.."It Will Shock You How Much It Never Happened"My Profile


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