You’ll never be ready…
Yesterday, I found myself seated before my latest manuscript battling a crippling level of self-doubt that choked the life from my words as I tried desperately to reach my word count for the day.
I told myself the worry was justified. I’m a new author. Doubt is normal. I just needed to finish the manuscript and then I could stop worrying.
And then I can stop worrying…
This has been my refrain all my life.
Once I graduate, once I get married, once the baby slept through the night, once I had more money.
Once, once, once.
As many times as I’ve justified my fearful often bowel twisting bouts of worry- claiming that nothing bad ever happened as long as I kept a neurotic eye on the sparrow of the moment- I have not yet met the “once” that brought all my worrying to an end.
Now I’ve said before that anxiety is a superpower and that is true. But superpowers don’t become useful until you learn when and where to unleash them.
And right now I’m at the beginning of the training montage where the hero keeps fucking up the simple task needed to show the Master that they wont wreak untold havoc on the world. And I can feel Toni Morrison totally judging me in the most loving and knowing of ways right now.
But in the midst of choking on my words, an epiphany made itself known.
I’ve never been ready for anything in my life. Do not misunderstand, I always do the work of preparing for whatever task is set before me. But the truth is, even with prep I still get caught off guard.
- It happened with my marriage (we broke up and got back together)
- It happened when I gave birth (i had terrible post-partum depression with my first child)
- And with jobs …etc.
In that moment sitting before my pc, just after midnight on the verge of tears because I couldn’t get a poetic enough description for a stringy black ponytail, I gave up on the idea of “once” being my solution.
I’ll never be ready, good enough, stellar enough in my own mind, and that’s ok. I’m not supposed to be. If I were good enough I’d already be at my destination.
I had to remind myself that this whole experience is a journey, and if I show up with the Konami code for life I’m not gonna learn very much, or have any fun doing it.
I realize I have to continuously and consciously choose to abide by what I told my mother about what my first tattoo meant.
Consider the birds of the field and how they do not worry about what they will eat. How much more will my Father in heaven do for you?
#funfact I had no idea what my first tattoo meant, but that’s what came to me when she asked.
While I’m not Christian, that verse stuck with me in my formative years and pointed to a framework for living.
A bird does not spend all day worried as to whether it will have enough to eat…it just hunts until it finds something or it doesn’t.
Dark as that may seem, its accurate.
Be aware of the dangers that will present themselves but take each day as it comes, focusing only on what you can do.
One task at a time.
Well beloveds, I have some advice of my own to abide by and a manuscript dragon to face.
Until next time.