Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Meaning Over Approval

I have had a couple of opportunities come my way of late. One has come to be and another remains to be seen. Now that reality has set in and I have a side gig that will make me just a bit of money that will slowly become a small emergency fund I find myself nervous and plagued by self-doubt. This opportunity is one that, at one time, was a dream of mine. It feels right to move forward in this area and see what comes of it. But in the back of my mind is the voice, that voice--you know the one--the voice that whispers in my ear but what will people think? what if you are thought a fool? what if someone disagrees with you? what if they don't like you? what if they can see that you are unsure of yourself? what if you are wrong?

Have you ever heard this voice? The voice inside you that holds you back and prevents you from taking a chance? I have been out of the (paid) workforce for almost 4 years. I spend the majority of my time with people that fight over who gets the blue cup. I am seriously starting to freak myself out.

But I am not going to back down from a new challenge in my life. I've had my sleepless nights and I've thought non-stop about the worst-case-scenarios. Time and time again when I worry about what direction to take in life, I return to the words of Dan at zenpresence.com. Do I wish for meaningful experiences in my life, or do I seek the approval of others? Sometimes we are lucky enough to have both, and that is great. But other times you need to make a choice. Allowing yourself to be held back by what others might think or expect of you is a pity. Especially when you are holding back from doing something that matters to you. Sometimes you should do the thing that brings you closer to who you want to be, your potential self, and do it for reasons that matter to you. I always wanted to write. My granny gave me boxes of harlequin romances when I was growing up. I believe I wrote my first by the age of 13 (it remains unpublished lol!) I went to University with the vague idea that if I studied writers I would become one. Path led to path which led to a different path which led me to this moment where I have an opportunity to write. for. money.

It's not much money. And I've been writing it here for free. You see, it's about frugality, and how you can have a simple, happy life that doesn't have to cost much. In fact, it's ever so much more rewarding when you do it without spending much. It's hard to admit that I want to write though. I've spent the last 38 years of my life dodging the ridicule of 4 brothers. What will they think of my writing? What will others say? I read a good quote the other day although I've forgotten who said it: don't worry about what others think of you--they are all worrying about themselves just like you are". I certainly hope that is true.

But I met a lovely lady who is writing a book and I got to read it and I loved it. In reading it I reached out to other writer-friends and it reminded me that I once thought that I would write. I once felt it in my bones. And then an opportunity came up and I raised my hand and I've been called upon and now it is time for me to put up or shut up. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

I don't know if this opportunity will last a long time but it has opened a forgotten door. I am remembering old interests and realizing that perhaps I can have everything I ever wanted: my lovely family and a simple quiet life in the country where my people humour all my homesteading endeavours. The time to put out my thoughts to a small but encouraging group in this space. And a little bit of money made doing something I was doing anyways. To turn back now would be to let approval win the day, and I am too old to let that happen. The chance might not come along again.


8 comments:

  1. This is such an exciting post, I'm absolutely thrilled for you. I've always had a dream to be a writer as well, and last year I finally (finally!) started a course. I've barely told a soul though, except in the blogosphere. I'm so pleased that you have this opportunity, I really hope it goes well for you and that you enjoy it and that it leads to good new things. Well done! And just ignore those doubting voices. CJ xx

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    1. Thank you CJ. Your encouragement really means a lot :)

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  2. Jill!!!!! This is brilliant!!! Absolutely brilliant!! Oh, if you could see me grinning! I'm thrilled for you - for the opportunity and for you for taking it. I SO empathize with your internal struggle, though...I think it's an issue most (all?) writers struggle with. Self-doubt is a constant companion - the trade-off, I think, for following your heart's path.

    Big love to you... xo

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    1. Thanks so much Mel. Gals like you and CJ really are an inspiration-- seeing you both write and raise a family and garden and all your other responsibilities really helped me see I could take the next step. I am so glad I came across you both in the blog world!

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  3. You are a writer, and a good one! This is exciting!

    I ask myself this question a lot lately: If not now, when? Now is good. You got this.

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