When I was building my website for my blog last year, I came across this post on IG that stopped me in my tracks...
"There are people less qualified than you, doing the things you want to do, simply because they decided to believe in themselves. Period."
Boy, was this something I needed to hear. The lies of, "no one will read your words," and "you don't have anything original or special to say," were running rampant in my mind, especially leading up to the week I had decided I would launch this little thing called Lavender and Laugh. The reality was, I really didn't have any idea if anyone other than my mom and my husband would read my blog. But I did have one thing going for me. I believed I could do it. I believed if I showed up at least one time a week (and sometimes two or three times), I may be able to turn out something that people would want to read. By being, real, honest, true, and unashamedly me, I have managed to draw a tiny crowd of supporters and dare I say, even faithful followers. And for that I am graciously grateful.
I think of writing as a powerful part of what makes me "me." And not just when I write for my blog. I journal every morning and the simple act of dumping my brain first thing in the morning is what gets my head and my heart ready to face the day. Without that journaling I feel unorganized, detached, and lost. It is my way to tap into my feelings, my motivations, and my desires. So, those two weeks off of school for Christmas vacation, when I stopped making time to journal regularly, and to write from the heart, kind of derailed me.
Until this morning. Nursing painfully sore leg muscles that are a result of what felt like 45 minutes of jump squats at the gym, I set off to take our dog on a long walk, hoping to stretch out my legs. I am an avid podcast listener (stay tuned--I have a blog about my favorites planned for next week), and one I love is The Beautiful Writer's Podcast. The one I stumbled upon this morning is titled "Lee Child: Writing & Righting Wrongs." Lee Child is the author of the Jack Reacher series--I currently have the first of his books waiting for me at the library--and it was exhilarating to listen to him talk about his writing process, how he came up with his pen name, and what a typical day looks like for him. My mind starting reeling. This guy is just an ordinary person, who gets up in the morning, drinks his coffee and reads the paper, gets ready for the day, and begins writing. He has written 23 books to date. Yet, what impressed me most about his interview was not his #1 spot on the best seller list, the fact that his first two books have been made into movies, or the fact that he works six hour days and can turn out books that have sold over 100 million copies. No, what impressed me most is that during the rapid fire portion of the interview, when he was asked if he could come back as any writer from history, who would it be, he said, "It would be me. I'm real happy. I can't imagine swapping with anybody."
That is the stuff right there.
A lot of people are talking about their word for 2019. I have chosen words in past years, and I love the idea of letting a word lead me to make positive changes and get my priorities in order. But this year, instead of choosing a word, I am going to focus on the things that I can do to be the best version of me. I am going to do the things that would make me answer the question: "If I could come back as anyone, who would it be?"
Me. I choose me.
And in order to choose me, I have to weed out the things I do, or think I have to do, that don't make me feel like me, and do more of what does make me feel like me.
I have to establish my non-negotiables. The things I must do every day, that keep me sane, healthy, and well. For me, those things are getting enough sleep, moving my body, reading, and writing.
I must rid myself of the things that do not serve me well. This is a constant process of trial and error, falling on my face, getting up and trying again. The important thing is, to learn each time.
But the most essential thing I must do, and this is another thing Lee Child echoed in his interview is, I must be present and I must keep showing up. And then he imparted one of his mottos on me...
"I can't grow any more talent, but I can certainly outwork anybody else."
If the man who's sold 100 million books has to keep a motto like that to keep on showing up, that's a pretty good act to follow.
Keep on keepin' on...