Every few months I fall back into this self-loathing self-doubting trap. I wallow in it, this miserable feeling of ineptitude. I come up with every excuse in the book and inevitably begin dusting off my resume. I scan online job posts and of course feel even worse. What’s a girl with a Journalism degree and two little kids to do? Nothing, anything, everything?
Then I remember the trap. The cubicle chained-to-my-desk trap. I remember the freedom I felt the first time I became my own boss, and then also, the utter despair. It’s lonely logging hours at the computer unsure if you’ll ever reap the reward of your labors.
I remember why I started and when I started. I was listening to a HopeWriters webinar hosted by Emily P. Freeman, I remember her words exactly, they brought tears to my eyes. I sat there with tears rolling down my face as she said this “the world needs you to come to life” “there is room for you here.”
She said it. Other people have said it. I’ve cried and nodded and agreed. There’s room for me too. But, I’ll just be honest, totally honest, it’s pretty hard to believe that sometimes. I question, is there really room? Isn’t the market, the world, already over-saturated with incredible talent. What can I bring to the table?
I think of my favorites, Jack London who “paid to live with his words” and drank himself to death at 40. Isabel Allende who had to wait until mid-life to unleash her stories. JK Rowling who lived in squalor in order to tell her tales.
Do I have the chops?
Can I live in squalor or wait until my children are grown? Can I be committed to early rising even if I’ve been up all night with a puking baby? Can I proof my posts a little better?
I get all angsty imagining Silvia Plath having to maintain an interesting Instagram feed, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez updating his Twitter multiple times a day. It’s laughable, implausible.
I was driving down the freeway listing to the auto-version of the Bible. Mr. NIV-Guy as my son has named it/him. We were in 1 Chronicles (28:20) and he said, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged…”
Be Brave and Do the Work
It doesn’t say be brave but make excuses, be brave and check Instagram for more followers, be brave but distracted. It literally says put your head down and do the work. Now, the work is different for all of us. We all have different talents, gifts, and callings. We all have a purpose unique to us, and I truly believe that if we/I put our heads down and ditch distraction we won’t miss it.
So today, this post is more a letter to myself than anything else, but I hope you’ll use it to, let it be a kick in the pants. Get going. Do the work. Be brave. Be well.