Fear

My favorite poet.  Of all time.  Rumi.  WB Yeats run a close second but for whatever reason when I am looking for a quote Rumi hits it right. Every. Single. Time.  These times we live in are crazy.  But then life is crazy and beautiful and brutal. As Glennon Doyle Melton says, "brutiful".

We crave certainty and security.  It took me a long time to realize the comfort and security is found in the acceptance of the unknown and is mostly an illusion.  This is not some new truth, obviously, since Rumi wrote these words some time between 1200-1273 and lived in Persia, now present day Afghanistan.  Wow.  Funny that such impactful words should come from someone who lived 800 years ago from the other side of the world and who might be considered my "enemy".

Everything in me loves this quote.  Because it is lessons I learn over and over and over again.  The piece that hit me the most?  "I have tried prudent planning long enough, from now on I'll be mad".  It captures precisely how I feel in this exact moment in time and my heat leapt with the truth of it.  

 

Trust That Shit.

No blog for nearly 3 weeks.  Ugh.  Why do I do this to myself?  I have all sorts of justifiable reasons but they all boil down to excuses.  In an effort to get myself back on track, this week, for 7 days, I intend to write a blog post every day after I write my morning pages.  Morning pages equals input, or talking to myself.  Blogging equals an output, talking to you.  I am great at input, but could stand to improve at output.  After 7 days, I will evaluate and see how this is working and go from there.  

A year ago this month I decided to take a huge chance and leave the "security" of the job I had held for the last 4 years.  I jumped into a situation where my employment was only guaranteed through the summer, but I asked for enough money to tide me over until I found something else.  I took the leap and never looked back.  I was sick of living life on someone else's terms and so I decided to cast off fear and go for it.  And you know what? That summer contract job lasted through the end of the year and allowed me to do some pretty cool stuff.  

In January I went to Ireland for a MONTH, and fulfilled one of my life-long dreams, staying in a cottage in another country for an extended-period of time.  I bought a camera and started getting into photography.  I took a road trip to from here to Idaho to Vegas, San Diego and the Palm Springs area with my best friend and her mom.  I took a road trip to San Francisco with my brother, and then flew down and had a weekend in wine country where we explored all kinds of wineries in Calistoga.  After I came back from Ireland, I was fortunate to spend a few more days in the Bay area, then went on to the Palm Springs area again to spend a few weeks dog-sitting.

I learned to trust in God, the Universe, Source, the Creator, whatever name the driving force of the Universe goes by that I would be taken care of, and I have been.  It is a strange thing when you cast off fear and set your sails for lands unknown.  I now am pretty comfortable with the not-knowing part of things.  If I can see for the next few months, I'm good.  Forget five-year plans.  Well, I do have one item in my five-year plan list.  To buy a home in Ireland.  Yes, I loved it that much I want to be a part-time resident.  I'm not sure how to make it work, but it is an intention I hold in my heart so I believe it will come to pass.  Maybe not how I think, but it will.

Now I am getting back into working.  I only apply for jobs working places I like.  I decided I will never violate my own heart again and take a job just because.  It needs to be in an area I am interested in (writing, travel, photography, decor, etc.) or I will not do it.  My dream job would be working for Airbnb.  I did apply, but they do not need me.  Yet.  I will keep after it, and it will become a reality for me.  

For now, I onboarded myself with Lyft, and I am working part-time at a local Pier 1.  Lyft will give me the freedom to work when I want, and not be confined to a 5-day, 40-hour work week.  Working as a driver also gives me lots of opportunity to get to know people.  After all the driving I have done, I might as well get paid for it.  The same with Pier 1.  I am getting such valuable training in sales and marketing (skills I sorely need) and I am getting paid for it.  A side benefit is I get to sell pretty things all day long.  What better source of inspiration for a creative than to be surrounded with beauty in a work environment? These doors opened, so I walked through.  

I would love to be able to tell you a five-step plan for quitting your job and living the life of your dreams.  But everyone is different.  And there is really only one step I can give you.  Trust.  Trust in yourself to know what is best for you, and be honest with yourself about your dreams.  Make a decision and then act on it.  Before the opportunity came up for me to work that contract job, I decided, whatever happened, I would quit my job by the five-year mark.  I had to give myself a year because I was scared to death to strike out on my own.  I wrote a resignation letter dated in the future, and wholly committed to quitting, no matter what.  No matter if I had a ton of money in the bank, no matter if I had zero.  And then trust the Universe will respond once you do that.  When it does, be ready, because it can be like a ripcord effect and you have to hold on tight.  

I have zero regrets about my decision.  Not even one.  It took me a long time, and I had to go through a lot of shit, but I understand now how to craft a life I love.  It took walking through fear to get to the other side and trust.  I still get scared, but I take a deep breath and proceed.  I remember a moment while walking the Cliffs of Moher on Ireland's West coast.  I came to a bend in the path and from far back, it looked like I would be stepping too far out on the edge of the Cliffs and I got scared and wanted to go back.  I have a slight fear of heights, you could say.  At 600-feet high, the Cliffs did not help with that.  But, I was living one of the moments I had only dreamed about and I would be damned if I would let fear have its' way.  So I didn't.  I made it all the way to the Southern tip of the cliffs and it was glorious.  

Trust.  It's that simple, and that hard.  Take that leap, and go for it.  My mom always used to tell me two things.  "You may never pass this way again", and "jump the fence".  Don't live on the other side of that fence, trust and jump it.  Magic awaits!





My Book

Last November, I completed NaNoWriMo.  I sat down and wrote out 50,000 words in the month of November.  And since that time, my book has been staring me in the face. It sits in the folder, all alone.

For whatever reason, I am afraid of my own book.  Afraid to finish.  I know what the next steps are, and where I need to take the plot.  I have a million and one writing resources.  I don't touch those either.  Steven Pressfield calls it Resistance, with a capital R.  I think he's right.  

This is the thing I am meant to do, write.  I know it.  Yet, I still deny it, still run from it, still allow my ego to distract me.  I know if I finish, then I am obligated to get the book out there.  Whether through traditional publishing, or self-publishing, it has to happen.  I never give myself a deadline, so then it is impossible for me to fail.  

I am making a promise, a public promise.  My book will be finished by Dec 31st, 2015.  Good, bad, ugly.  Whatever it is, it will be.  Because my soul longs for this.  I am dying to get my stories out and for some reason decided it's okay to punish myself and not do the thing I love the most.  

Ridiculous.  So my ego is going on a shelf, in trade for my dream.  My real, true dream of being a published novelist and a freelance writer.  There.  I said it.  Now that wasn't so, hard was it?  What is the dream you are running from?  Sit down, pound it out and do it.  Because it will never let you go if you don't.