OK, so this started as me whinging (at myself) but soon transformed into a quick, sharp, kick in the pants. It sat in draft form for several days as I pondered over whether any of this was useful for you.
(Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that publishing drivel that is useful for only oneself makes you nothing short of a glorified diarist – that said, I always longed to publish a daily column in a newspaper where I could wax lyrical about life as I saw it and make people chuckle. That would be rather fun wouldn’t it? But I digress.)
And so I went with it. But be warned that there is back story. Edited back story I grant you, but still back story. So if you’re in a massive rush, scroll to the very end. The butt kick is in the very last line.
Still here? Lovely. Grab a cuppa, settle in, it’s story time.
Two years ago I left a workshop in London and raced home to write how I talk for the very first time. I was empowered to finally become the writer I wanted to be. I was excited. Unstoppable. Full of energy.
What if instead I’d just written? Done the work. Got it out there.
I didn’t know what ‘it’ was, which was part of the problem. I’d found my voice. I just didn’t know what I wanted to say.
But instead of just writing, exploring, experimenting and seeing what stuck, I allowed myself to sort of wander from one thing to the next. I was still writing, blog posts mainly, but without even realising it, I’d given up on the dream of writing being my thing.
I’ve been here for two and a half years. (Here blogging I mean.) Seen people come and go. (A lot of people.)
It kills me to think what I could have created if I’d just done the thing I really wanted to do from the very beginning. If I’d had one place I wrote from, I’d have archives spanning back to June 2010 by now. Sure, that’s not that long really, but in blogging terms, that’s not too shabby.
When I look at the people I admire online, see how far back their archives go, I realise that some of them could be my peers right now. But instead I’m here with yet another new site. Too many words now lost in long since deleted blogs.
As one friend commented just a couple of weeks ago …
“El – I am so confused! This is your 3rd business in the past 6 months! Goodness, girl, how do you do it?! Wow, you!”
There’s nothing wow about it though. Starting a business is easy. It’s working that business consistently so that it actually earns money that really deserves the wow.
And I haven’t done that, not by a long shot!
I can choose to sit here, stuck, feeling sorry for myself. And you can too. Because if we’re honest, it feels good, for a bit. To allow yourself to wallow. Sit in it. Live in the frustration and crossness and ‘but if only’ moments.
Unless you’re someone who enjoys living in a state of permanent misery (and yes, I readily accept that some people do enjoy being miserable but I very much doubt that’s you because you’re reading a blog that has a bright green pompom character as a mascot!) at some point you will have to stop with the stuckness, face up to where you are and make a decision.
(Not just you, me too. Please don’t think I’m only talking to you here. I told you already didn’t I, I whooped my own arse first with this one.)
Because here’s the thing with choice. It’s yours to make. You can choose to move. You can choose to stay where you are. You can even choose not to choose. But choose, in one way or another, you will.
Whatever that thing is that you’ve been doing, the tail-chasing, going round in circles thing, what if instead of carrying on with that little routine, you instead chose to stop feeling sorry for yourself and made a decision? What if you chose and started today?
“Choose one thing and stick to it.”
Great advice from my husband (but shhh, don’t tell him I said that will you? I’ll never here the end of it if you do!)
There needs to be a caveat though. Don’t just pick any one thing. Pick the thing that most stirs your heart. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how yet. You won’t have all the answers. Just start. (And yes, I am still walloping my own bottom too.)
And until you give yourself time and space and permission and belief to actually do it, you’ll keep circling back round to it, always feeling restless and like some big dope of a thing who can’t stick to stuff!