Write what you know they say. Take 20 minutes each day. Start there. Give the words time to come. And then, just let your fingers do the talking. I’ve been waiting for the words to come for what feels like forever now. Something that used to happen so easily that it felt like second-nature to me is now one of my greatest struggles and I have no idea why. I could argue that I have become shallow, or that I’ve stopped experiencing life the same ways I used to causing me to have little to write about. Or, that stress has taken the inspiration right out of me. Or, maybe I have nothing of value to say. Or, maybe I never really did. I honestly don’t know. What I do know is I still think about it a hundred times a day…the what if’s and should have’s and why can’t I’s. The frustration boiling up inside of me as I beg the words swimming around inside my head to bump together just right forming something resembling sentences. Yet, as I sit here, fingers on keys…nothing. Well, nothing of any real meaning anyway. So, a topic…
I’ve been reading lots of women authors lately…Brown, Gilbert, Poehler, Kaling, Strayed, Fey…I’m drawn to them in an unrelenting fashion – their wit and talent, wisdom and sass creating an urge to soak up as much of them as possible in a way I haven’t felt in a long time, if ever. I think it’s my way of trying to be more like them…to glean something from them…to be inspired by them. No, I’m not funny like Poehler, Kaling or Fey. And I’m certainly not nearly as academic and respected as Brown. And I have nowhere near the grit and experience as Gilbert or Strayed. Yet, I feel a connection to them…a desire to write something…what? Something real. That’s the only word that fits, the only word that seems to even remotely say what I hope to do with my writing; what I’ve ALWAYS hoped to be and create with my words – REAL. And each of these women writes that in their own way with their own flair and I love them for it. No, I don’t want to copy them, or try and recreate something any of them has already done. I just want to learn from them, be inspired by them….and maybe find a way to give the world (or anyone who may be willing to read my paltry, simple thoughts) something of my own.
One of the things I struggle with is the fear of simply repeating something someone great – or a whole bunch of people, to be completely honest – has already said in a way so much better than I could ever dream of doing. My thoughts aren’t new, or fresh. I haven’t come up with some brand-new way of thinking, nor do I have crazy, original thoughts about some subject that others are just dying to hear about. What I do have is the love of people and the hope that something I say could maybe, just maybe, matter to someone someday.
I went to a blogging conference a couple weeks ago to try and gain inspiration, motivation, guidance. I found some of each, yet still haven't written til now. Not that I haven't had thoughts to share, moments happen all the time that I want to put on paper yet never seem to find the time and when I do, they just don't come in the same way. So, here it is. I'm challenging myself to documenting a thought a day...to finding, and sharing my thoughts about something, anything, once a day. They may not all make it to "published" status, but I'm going to try. I realize you can't get any better without practice and perseverance, traits I've never been all that great at honestly. But, I also know that if you have a dream - one big enough that it not only scares you, but that you can't go a day without thinking about - then you owe it to yourself to fight for it constantly until it no longer exists merely just as a dream, but manifests into something complete...however monumental or simple that may be.
Thoughts for today...or, a pep talk to myself...
Be brave and vulnerable. Trust others, but trust yourself more. Protect the life you've worked so hard to create, but be generous with your heart, your time and whatever you have to offer. Try not to take yourself so seriously. Life is tough, but it's also funny as hell - look for those moments and take time to really enjoy them. Don't be afraid to fail. Seriously. Nothing is perfect so stop waiting for whatever you think could be - a relationship, your writing, your butt, most of your cooking, being M's mom, your friendships - none of it will ever be perfect so give it your best shot, do your squats, drink more water, try the recipe but be okay about ordering pizza if it's terrible, say the words - yes, the hard ones - when you need to, stand your ground and remember your worth because it's your life and you're the only one who can live it. Demand respect. Wear your big girl shoes and the questionably short skirt while you've got the legs to do it. Learn something new. Anything. Never stop wondering and keep asking questions. That's part of who you are. Don't make yourself quiet or small for anyone. The right people will love every bit of your sound and spirit. Dance with M, jump with her and listen to all of her stories. Laugh and cry with those who need it. Be genuine. Always. Don't hold back. Be undeniably you. Compromise when necessary, but never compromise your character or values. Be open to conversations with people who think differently and don't fear change even though it's in your nature to do so. Get the manicure, drink the wine, buy the shoes...but pay the bills first. Take time to tell others how you really feel, even if it's hard. Stop apologizing out of habit. Go for a walk. Practice yoga. Both make you feel better. Do more of that. Text less, talk more. Get more rest and stop wasting so much energy and time on social media. Read. For fun, to learn, to let go, to get lost, to forget. Find your way back to a piano. Stop saying you'll take lessons and do it already. You know how much you loved it. That hasn't changed. Remember to say thank you...to others, and for something every single day. Because you've got it good.