Three days into my new mission to write more, share my food with people and pursue this so-called “calling”, everything came to a screeching halt. The inspiration was gone, the initial boost from the excitement of my friends had quieted and now it was just me. Just me, a blank page (a blank mind for that matter) and suddenly what felt like a lot of pressure and not a lot of inspiration. The un-’uuuugest amount of inspiration. Here’s what I know so far about making the jump to follow what’s calling you, even when you’re not sure where it’s going.
It’s not always going to be fun.
You’re not always going to feel inspired.
You’re not always going to be as excited as you were the first day.
…and all that is ok and none of it means you should stop.
If it were easy all the time, everyone would be doing it and it really wouldn’t be that special. What’s special about those who push through the droughts of inspiration and make time during the busy weeks is they uncover the thoughts and colors that are under the surface. Inspiration is never completely gone and the talents are still there, but sometimes they’re buried in the clutter.
This week for me that meant I was wondering what the sound is my car started making, wondering how much I am going to have to pay in taxes this year, wondering if my time would be better spent getting another job instead of sitting drinking coffee and writing something that possibly no one would read. All the distractions make it really easy to check out, watch some TV and go somewhere else for a while. Or if you’re really like me, by lunchtime I was online comparing SUVs I couldn’t afford and looking at engagement rings… ENGAGEMENT rings… I don’t even have a boyfriend! Who are these even for?? Couldn’t I just Netflix and chill instead?! No. No Netflix and especially no chill. That’s the easy way. That’s the not-so-special, unremarkable, very common, be buried with a blank headstone kind of way.
The alternative, is pushing through it. Forcing yourself to sit quietly, work through all those thoughts you’re having, acknowledge both that they’re there and they bother you, and move on. It took me a long time to discover these two things but fortunately, they do come back to me in times like this:
1) Usually worrying about something is much worse that when it actually comes down to you dealing with it.
2) When you’re feeling afraid or you want to stop something or many thoughts start swirling; often it’s not usually about those actual things. Sure, you’re feeling fear or pressure or stress and your mind goes to manifest it in all the ways it can. Suddenly you’re worried about relationships, finances or your health.
So, off I went recalling my own…
“What’s the real reason I am single? Am I going to be too old to have kids? Why does my tooth hurt? What if something is wrong… what if something is wrong with all my teeth?! Is this pain in my stomach a giant tumor or pancreatitis?” (Clearly, those are the only two options).
Pause (and maybe laugh just a little).
1) “What’s the real reason I am single?” TBD but by the way this blog is going, you may want to consider getting comfortable, crazy pants. Next question, please.
2) “Am I too old to have kids?” Maybe. You might end up being too old to have kids if and when the time rolls around, you might not. And better, who’s to know if that’s a good or a bad thing for you? What is a good thing, is being the best and truest you you can be so that if you’re meant to be with another person someday (and yes, maybe have kids), you’re in the perfect place to fall in love and show them who you are in all your (sometimes crazy) glory.
3) “Why does my tooth hurt?” Have you tried flossing? Maybe not messing with it so much? You’ve never even had a cavity; are you sure something is wrong with ALL your teeth? Put your tiny violin down and schedule a dentists’ appointment then. Oh, not that serious? Then, stop.
4) “Is this pain in my stomach a giant tumor or pancreatitis?” …Really? See above (minus the floss).
The point I am trying to make is to lean in. Lean in to the discomfort you’re feeling. If you’re feeling afraid, uninspired, stressed or hoping to escape the thoughts and feelings you’re having, turn the tables on them. They’re sitting there on your shoulder leaning over you – swing your chair around, pull your shoulders back and say, “Listen, I will be asking the questions here.” Take them captive. Force them explain themselves. Once they do, pretty quickly you’ll be able to see just where they’re coming from, which often isn’t really so bad at all. Lean in and whatever you do, don’t quit.
And that’s just what I did… And here we are. Welcome back.
“You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do and how you respond to what is done to you.” “Success is found when you take 100% responsibility for your life.”
– Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect
“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:5