It’s been a while since I’ve made one of my Monday Mojo posts. I’ve thought about it, debated over it, let the time pass me by, but it’s come down to a case of necessity.
Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s a common thing, I really don’t know. What I do know is this: vacation time is a necessity. I’ve said before that I thought vacation time was essential and I’ve even made my case for it. However, coming off of the backside of vacation the necessity is crystalline.
This was my morning view for a week. Coffee, my bullet journal, notebooks, and ocean waves. The stress and strain slowly melted away. It didn’t happen the first day. I was up at 5 am, not by choice. Hotel mattresses aren’t the best and my back was hurting, so . . . up at 5 am it was. YES, on vacation. It sucks. Sort of.
So, up at 5 against my will, I started the coffee pot and donned the sweat jacket. Most mornings I was out on the balcony before sunrise. I never thought I’d ever say that. Sitting in a hard plastic chair, with a hot cup of joe, staring out at the ocean under moonlight and listening to the waves caress the beach in its rhythmic cycle worked its magic in chipping off the stress that had built up over the past year.
The pressure builds slowly, so slowly that it doesn’t register with us until it’s relieved. That’s how I was. That’s how most of us are. Maybe if you are an adrenaline junkie and you go do wild and crazy things on the weekends like base jumping, then you don’t have that built up pressure. For the less adventurous of us, we work on a regular schedule, knuckling through the day/week/month over and over not even realizing that it’s building.
Life has stress. Family gives us stress. Relationships give us stress. Our jobs give us stress.
I had been looking forward to a vacation, because it’s always nice to get away. I couldn’t even think about anything before Penned Con was over. My husband couldn’t take off before now because of production deadlines at his work. As adults, we don’t always get to do what we want when we want to do them. Sometimes we have to do unpleasant things because they are the responsible things to do and we have people depending on us. Then, we get the chance to get away and somewhere between the first day and the trip back home, you realize just how wound up and stressed out you’ve been.
Clarity – it’s one of the side effects of being refreshed.
During those early morning sessions on the balcony, yes it happened every morning except one, I breathed in deeply and exhaled the stale air of daily living. I shook off the tension that had built up over time and had been weighing me down. I have pages and pages in both my bullet journal and story notebook that I logged in those early morning hours.
Time. Time to think, examine, search, ask questions. I realize that I am probably the last one in the boat on this but bear with me. In the words of Ferris Beuller, life moves pretty fast. Sometimes you get carried along life’s highway and find yourself at a spot where you aren’t really clear how exactly you got there, if you want to get back to point A or move onto point C, D, or Xeta.
I know for a fact that I don’t want to continue with how things have been in my life prior to this time away. My fitness level is at an all time low, my self-esteem falling rapidly back to a low spot, my confidence withering, and the home environment has not been a place of peace.
When you reach those types of crossroads, you can either accept life status quo or make changes towards the direction of your dreams.
I was at a point of feeling like why am I bothering trying to make a career of writing. I had someone close to me say just before penned con that it was a ‘glorified ego trip’, an expensive hobby. They quickly apologized for expressing it so bluntly but things like that don’t come out of your mouth unless that is what they are thinking. It always starts with a thought.
Are they right? Am I chasing a dream that I don’t have the talent to achieve? That was something else they said a few years ago.
Sitting on that balcony alone before the world began to stir, I asked myself questions. What if they are right? What if I never try? What if they are wrong? What do I WANT to do?
I have to admit, and this is no secret to anyone that knows me or tunes in here very often. I struggle with time management, I struggle to stay on task with a project. I have multiple books in my files that haven’t been published. One canceled contract, another withdrawn contract, and very soon a contract ending. Maybe they are right. But my best work isn’t out there.
I feel good about some of the things I’ve written. The Faere Warrior, does anyone remember that one? It is actually book 2 of a Fae series, set aside to work on book 1. I got discouraged and set it aside. Kiss of the Dragon, remember that one? I worked my butt off writing that and even had part of the second one, Embrace the Dragon written, then some critical comments and a withdrawn contract and I shelved it. Valkyrie’s Curse, started as a serial on Storytime Trysts. I expanded it, revised it, and it became a series, planned for six books. Then there were differences with the publisher, it was put off, pushed back and I shelved it.
Do I just give up too easy? Do I not have the right stuff?
The waves continued against the shore. Some crashed against the sand, others rolled in gently, some curled back outward to meet the next one.
Why do I push myself to write, then give up on myself?
I have this self-sabotaging cycle that I seem to be caught in.
On the third day of vacation, we were sitting on the deck of the hotel, overlooking the ocean. The waves were gentle, the water became crystal clear. Just like that, you could see the shells and fish in the water from 100 yards away. In that moment, clarity also came to my mind. The waves have not ceased, they still came in, but they were gentle. Unceasing, never ending, relentless.
What did I want out of this life?
For me. What goals do I have for just me, not my marriage, not my kids, not my parents or friends, but for myself? It’s not wrong to have aspirations. It’s not wrong to have ambitions.
Why did I want to write?
Because I feel that it is something I can do and do well. I want to inspire someone else the way that Tolkien inspired me. I want someone to connect the way Twain did for me. I want someone to be entertained and laugh the way that Louise Rennison made me laugh. I want to inspire, encourage, entertain others. I am an encourager. Inspiring or entertaining others is part of being an encourager. I’m your biggest cheerleader and my own worst enemy.
Then why would I consider giving up my dream?
Words that someone else says to me? NO
Their fear or lack of confidence in me? NO
Because it’s too hard? NO
I had no good reason to give up but I had every reason in the world to keep at it, to relentlessly, unendingly, unceasingly pursue my dreams.
I may fail but I’d rather try and fail than to never try at all. At least I will know that I gave it my best effort.
My best effort – well that was a different matter. My best was far from what I’ve been doing lately. There needs to be several changes occur in order for me to do my best.
That’s where I start. Get my house in order, clear out the clutter of our house and my mind.
I don’t expect everyone to get aboard my dream train. In fact, I rather expect some resistance and maybe even some sabotage.
The plan is simple. That’s part of the clarity. I need simple in my life.
Step 1 – WRITE! Step 2- See step 1.
Write on my friends, write on. I know I will.