That’s the number of pieces I’ve put out into the Scrambled Eggs world.
All sixty-three times, I’ve been queasy as I forced myself to hit “Publish.”
Probably another 75 times, I’ve been so queasy that I hit “delete” instead.
I was discussing this with a friend at a bbq last summer- we mused about how strange it is that people are so afraid to do what they love. We pondered at why people freeze at the mere mention of sharing their creativity with anyone besides maybe their mom and their dog. We talked, we laughed, we ate vegan bbq.
And then, because this friend is also a life coach and a writer, we got all geeky and interviewed each other.
And now, without further ado, here is our 3-part blog series, which we titled “Life and Words” but really should have titled, “Get the F*ck Out of Your Own Head and Just Do It Already.” Or maybe something less severe…you get my point.
Anyway, here’s Part I- hope you enjoy!
What’s the thing that ALWAYS derails us?
Cathy: I can say it’s the day-to-day. I can say that I have 2 young kids who love to be inexplicably covered in peanut butter and boogers whenever we need to leave the house; a full-time job that comes with a bonus 90-minute commute; an elderly dog who needs extra care and a 70lb puppy that needs constant attention, lest she completely destroy my house; and a husband who wants to spend time alone with me, like we did before we created this circus. I can say that I’m so exhausted by the time I step through the front door each night that it takes all of my energy reserves just to give my family a few hours of my attention before I collapse.
I can say all of this, and it’s absolutely true. But it’s only 98% of what ALWAYS derails me. It’s the very comfortable, very socially-acceptable mask for the other 2%: self-doubt. I always let my day-to-day take the blame, when it’s really the crippling fear of failure that stops me.
Angela: My feelings. They are the biggest blocks in my life. I don’t feel like calling people, I don’t feel like making people uncomfortable, I don’t feel like putting myself out there. So I distract myself with other things like substitute teaching, youtube videos, and podcasts.
What’s comfortable about letting life get in the way? What are the pros and the cons of that?
Cathy: Life is crazy for everyone. If you read my blog, you get a glimpse into my own particular brand of crazy- there’s never a dull moment. Hell, there’s never a moment at all. And that’s something that becomes very cozy, in a weird way. “I can’t write today, I need to make lunches/call my mom/wrestle that toilet paper roll out of the dog’s mouth/clean up that mess/help Vince find his lost Lego ninja (spoiler alert: the dog ate it)/convince Grace that 2 tortilla chips dipped in ketchup aren’t an acceptable dinner.” And all of that is true- except that last one. If 2 tortilla chips dipped in ketchup is what they’ll eat, then 2 tortilla chips dipped in ketchup it is.
My point is, it’s so nice to hide behind all of that, instead of saying, “I have all this stuff to do, but I’m still going to carve out 30 minutes of writing time on my lunch hour, or once they’re all asleep, or while I’m hiding in the bathroom (I never do that…ok I hardly ever do that).” Saying, “I am going to make time” and actually doing it…well, that means you’ve committed. And once you’ve committed there’s no turning back. Then you meet your fate- do you succeed or do you fail? You don’t know if you don’t even try- and that’s why it’s more comfortable to not try. “Life just got in the way,” is a lot more palatable than “I tried and the whole thing tanked.” So we let life take the fall.
Angela: Blaming life is easy. Victimhood is easy. It’s far more challenging to admit to ourselves that we actually take ownership and responsibility for how our lives go. Because at that point, it’s just you and who you CHOOSE to be in the face of circumstances. I think comfort breeds ignorance and ignorance is bliss until someone smacks you in the face with the fact that you created your life and when you say so, things will go differently.
We know about the pros.
The con is that, at best, you live a 7/10 life. Life is neither terrible nor amazing. You live your life in the land of fine, knowing that deeply, you’re not where you want to be and you’re not living the life you know would be most fulfilling to you. You end up wondering What if? And that kinda sorta royally sucks.
That’s all for today, girls and boys. Stay tuned for Part II, where we discuss how to overcome the crazy “I’m going to fail” fear. And maybe throw out some bbq recipes.