There are days that I feel like I’m on a roller coaster ride. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking charge of my life, making the changes, and going after the things I want. Then there are days where I feel utterly defeated and like I’m spinning my own wheels. It’s like every time I gather my will, gather my strength, life throws in a curve that throws me off my game.
For awhile I was on a roll. I was writing. I was happy. Things at work were going well. As well as can be expected that is. It really felt like I was finding my way, though. I was getting a handle on it all. Then everything changed. Work began taking a bigger toll, leaving me exhausted by the end of the day. I was simply mentally and physically drained by the time I left the building, which was never on time. Most days I was working over “off the clock” because that was the only way I could accomplish everything everyone expected of me.
The biggest “joke” for me at work is my boss telling me to “delegate”. Delegating requires having someone competent enough to delegate to. That’s something I don’t have. So I take it on myself, because I refuse to let anyone down. Problem is, by not letting anyone down at work means working late, and that in turn meant that I was made to feel guilty at home. Is there a way to make everyone happy? I still haven’t found that answer.
Then there was my writing… my refuge. My love and passion for writing is well known. I don’t hide that I want to write professionally, be published, see my own book sitting alongside my favorite authors on the front shelves of my favorite book stores. Some people close to me will ask “are you ever going to try to be published?” or “when are you going to finish your book?” Yet, some of those same people make me feel guilty for sitting down at the end of the day, or on the weekend, to work on my writing. They complain that I’ve been at work all day or all week, and once I’m home I’m “tap, tap, tapping”. I can’t win.
I know the easy answer is to not fall victim to guilt. I’m well aware of that. I’ve had therapists tell me that. Believe me, I know, so you don’t need to tell me that. It’s easier said than done. For thirty-three years I have strived to be the good daughter, the good friend, the good employee, the good (fill in the blank). I’ve never wanted to disappoint anyone, but normally that means disappointing myself. If everyone else was happy, though, then it was okay for me to be unhappy.
No, I’m not writing this to sound like a martyr. I’m writing this because I’m trying to make some sense of it in my head. This is my attempt at facing it, of venting, and to figure out what to do next.
One thing I’ve decided to do — attempt — is something I’ve never done before. I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to complete a novel during the month of November. I’m going to put my focus on How It Ends during that time. Do I think I’ll finish the book in one month? I don’t know. I’d like to think that I will, however, I refuse to rush myself. If I do something, I want to do it right. I don’t want to rush through and finish it simply for the sake of saying that I did. I want to be proud of what I wrote and accomplished. No… by deciding to participate in NaNoWriMo my goal isn’t to force myself to finish the book, it is to force myself to hold myself accountable to writing. I want to push myself to write every day, even if it is a solitary sentence. I want to see my book grow and develop. And, if by chance, I manage to finish writing the book in November, then I’ll be proud, but if I don’t… It’s okay, just as long as I wrote.
I know that I can’t live my life solely focused on making everyone else happy. I have to make myself happy. As much as I don’t want to disappoint others, I need to respect myself enough to not disappoint me. If I can’t do that, how can I expect anyone else to? Lord knows there are people in my life that don’t think twice about disappointing me. I deserve to have one person in my life that won’t disappoint me. That person has to be me.
So I’m setting off on a new adventure. I’m not waiting until November to get started. For me NaNoWritMo starts now. It’s just another change for me. At work I am taking the bull by the horns and battling for what I know needs to happen, and I need to do the same for myself. This is the first step. Hopefully I’m ready for the ride.
He who has made a thousand things and he who has made none, both feel the same desire: to make something. ~ Antonio Porchia