Thursday, May 5, 2011

Do what you Love-and how to know your Love is True

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” ~Jack Dixon

The past year has been more than a little different for me. After working for over three years at a high-stress, long-hour, well-paying job with a one hour commute, my boyfriend offered me the opportunity of a lifetime: quit my day job and begin writing. Oh, and I get to be down in Florida over the winter months instead of being in frigid Pennsylvania. No more commute. No more travel. No more stress. Now, this was a harder decision for me than some of you might think, I am not accustomed to giving up a perfectly good job without a solid amount of money waiting for me on the other side. . . But, in the end, my heart reminded my mind that while this was not the safest thing in the world, I was being afforded an opportunity unlike any other I had ever had- to do what I love.

I will be the first to admit that my first taste of freedom led me astray, most days I opted for the beach rather than putting my pen to paper. In the Summer of last year I started churning out short stories and began working on a novel, but as rejections piled up I became a bit depressed. Come winter, I was feeling a bit down in the dumps, until a friend introduced me to reverb, which inspired me to take a look at my life and my creative process- I was recharged, but still unsure of what I wanted to do.

Basically, my mind stopped listening to my heart-- Writing wasn't paying any bills. Sometimes writing felt so difficult, I often felt uninspired, but mostly, writing wasn't paying my way. I wanted to pay my way. Maybe I should go back to school? That was more spending money and less making money, though. Plus, it might interfere with what writing I was already doing. Maybe I should make some money? How? What else do I like to do? What is flexible and fun?

I settled on getting certified to be a personal trainer, convincing myself personal training would be flexible enough that I could still write. I spent this entire winter studying and studying and not writing AT ALL.

Finally, one day, I packed a lunch, my camera, and my black Moleskine notebook and went for a long walk on the beach. Something was wrong, I felt sick, or off, maybe it was a profound sadness. . . Whatever it was I had felt the need to sequester myself, to walk until I was alone on the beach with myself and my thoughts. I walked for an hour, until I came to the edge of a bird sanctuary only birders and the token inquisitive tourist visit. I cried for what seemed like no reason at all as I ate the small sandwich I had packed myself. The ocean was a beautiful grey-blue, with hints of green when the sun was released from the clouds. But it's beauty was not what touched me. It was the realization that I had not written. I realized that in these past few month I had had no outlet, no confidant. Writing has always been a form of healing and growth for me, but I had stupidly pushed it aside.

I began to page through my notebook, reading old entries, noting ideas for short stories, and gazing at rough sketches with new found respect for myself. I had been given this gift of time, a chance to work at my craft and make myself a better writer, a better story teller, a better person- and instead I made excuses and stopped believing in myself. Instead I embarked on a new, less personal, safe career. But was safer better?

As I walked back home, I knew I had been squandering this gift of time. Writing is what excites me. I have been writing poems and making up stories since I was in elementary school. It was engrained in my soul. While it took me a little over a year to learn to believe in myself, and to focus on my heart, I would never give up that lesson learned.

Whilst in search for inspiration for today's blog, an email from Reverb10 was thankfully plunked in my inbox! In it I found a wonderful new resource for wisdom. Through the blog, you can read inspirational stories regarding a range of topics, including finding happiness, and dealing with change. There are also a multitude of inspirational quotes. If the website seems a little too time-consuming for your busy day, follow tiny buddha on twitter.

Thank you, as always, #Reverb10 / 11!

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