Tag Archives: passion

Avoidance Tactics

6 Mar

Several hours ago, I sat down at my desk in front of my computer. I clicked aimlessly through Pinterest and re-read blog posts I’d starred in my Reader (and saved on Pocket, and oooh! Feedly!) and put on more old episodes of How I Met Your Mother. I also bugged J, who was actually working hard on building a model of the set he designed for Pygmalion, all while I desperately avoided this self-imposed task of writing–creating–a new blog post.

I rearranged my desk, ostensibly to avoid the drip that might materialize during the night since my landlord came to investigate they mysterious stain spreading on our ceiling tile (that’s another story. For now we haven’t found a leak.) and wound up removing the tile above my desk. I stuck my face in Saffron’s face and scratched behind her ears. I stared at my own face in the mirror for way too long, cataloging all my various imperfections. I checked Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook again. I  looked at my knitting in progress (I taught myself a few weeks ago! Go me!), but since crafting is also an act of creation, I can’t very well do THAT. Instead, I consumed.

I want to be creative. I’m pretty sure I am a creative person, actually. I was as a kid. I mean, most kids are, and the theory is that adults are, too, they’ve just learned to suppress their creativity in favor of conformity. I used to draw all the time, and write. I’d trace characters from storybooks and collage them together to create visuals for my own stories. I’ve absolutely retained that magpie tendency, but now I hoard bookmarks in Chrome and starred blog posts in Reader and regular books, too, some of which I don’t actually read because, well…

A few titles in my library. I've read three of these books.

A few titles in my library. I’ve read three of these books.

I’m not sure where my creative aptitude lies, and even if it turns out I have a talent for some creative venture–writing, or maybe design (boy, typing that was scary. Even admitting that I might be interested in such a thing was so very, very scary)–could I have the balls to pursue it? I can pick up a book on a subject I think might interest me, but there are some I’ve had for years without cracking the covers.

I’d rather continue to consume–pins things to my boards and read other people’s blogs and maybe take an online class in coding a website (but avoid the homework! wouldn’t want to actually produce anything!). I watch a ridiculous amount of tv for someone who doesn’t have cable, and I spend hours upon hours in front of computer screens every day, not producing anything, just consuming more content. Numbing, in other words. Avoiding something I may want to do, because even wanting something scares me at this point.

I’ve been reading a lot of Steven Pressfield and Brené Brown lately, and even listening to a podcast of Oprah’s 10 part webinar with Eckhart Tolle for her “Spirit” channel on XM radio, so I KNOW what this is. Resistance. Fear of vulnerability. It’s “me” struggling against my “self”, if you’re into Tolle’s teachings.

Even these journals are mostly blank!

Even these journals are mostly blank!

But knowing what this is doesn’t make sitting down to do the work less scary, especially since I don’t have a defined end goal. I don’t know what I want out of this blog. I don’t really even know what I want out of this life. I certainly don’t know what I want out of my career. So why am I even doing this?

I guess to try and figure it out. To find my voice, or talent, or develop a passion for one of the things that right now, I’m only curious about and deathly afraid of actually saying out loud that I might want to pursue.

Thanks for stopping by today, and I apologize if this post is a bit of a downer. I’m still trying to figure out a lot of things, especially how to live with all this confusion.

Expectations and Birds

23 Jan

Hello Internets.

I know you very well. A Google search (I’m not a monetized blogger so I don’t use/push Bing) would imply that you, Internets, know me pretty well too, judging by my LinkedIn, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest pages.

It’s true that these profiles and collections reveal quite a bit about me. But I’ve been holding back an awful lot. I even had a blog before (and a LiveJournal before that–two, in fact), but I still held a lot back. I’ve been watching communities for the better part of a decade now at fan fiction sites, on blogs, in the comments on websites. Like I’ve been waiting to be the real me before getting involved. I’ve wanted to be involved, I’ve made some really half-hearted attempts in the past, but ultimately I have held myself back. Because I wasn’t enough yet. Good enough, fun enough, smart enough, big enough, thin enough, handy enough, creative enough, funny enough, sexy enough, kind enough, conscious enough, well enough, ENOUGH enough. (Enough is a really strange-looking word, isn’t it?) Not being enough kept me paralyzed, forever watching but not participating, not allowing myself to really go after the things I want.

SO. All of that feeling like not enough of course led me to therapy. Eventually. I think that’s another post or several. I just didn’t have a particularly good way to transition to this: I need to stop with the not being enough. Enough, already! This is where I am right now, this is what and who I am right now. Full disclosure: I still don’t really think it’s enough, but I think one of the ways to get over that is to just do things anyway.

Now, this is part of a cycle for me. After I’ve been down on myself for a while, I start to perk back up and say “Ok! I am good at things! I can do stuff!” (Usually it’s a bit more specific than that.) And I make very ambitious lists and audacious goals and after two weeks the weight of all the THINGS and STUFF I need to do crashes right back down on me and I go back to thinking I’m a failure for not being able to accomplish anything at all.

Case in point: below are all the things on my list right now.

-My husband J and I are making big plans for redoing the bathroom (actually, we tackled that this past weekend. ACCOMPLISHMENT) and re-arranging the bedroom and maybe also painting the kitchen and oh yeah buying new rugs for the bedroom.

-Separately, I’m following along with Apartment Therapy’s January Cure, though I’ve already fallen way behind.

-I want a new job and in my head I need to have it by March. Why? Not sure. But it ideally involves my passion. Only trouble is, I’ve been mixed-up for some time now over just what is my “passion.”

-I’m blogging again. At least in draft form. I want to have a blog that lets me interact with a lot of the smart, funny people I’ve come across online (and maybe a few in real life, too). I don’t know how often I’ll post to start, but I wanted to start.

-I want to build myself a website. Stretch my creaky HTML & CSS muscles.

-The aforementioned Mighty List. The goals I’m tackling first? “Become a morning person” and “Read all 100 books on the Guardian’s Top 100 Novels list”. No way I could possibly fall short of those, right? (/sarcasm)

So usually I would look at all of these things on my list and get scared and down on myself, but I think the therapy is actually working. I look at my goals and remember what Anne Lamott shared in a few of her books: “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

Bird #1 is in the bag.