Every morning I watch a TED talk. I have been using their playlists of talks to find a topic that might interest me. Previous playlists have been the one on, Existential Crisis, and historical events I might not remember, like the title of the playlist. Today I decided to go with the one on loneliness. Because even though I live in a house filled with people, I am often lonely. I saw the one I wanted and went with it. Today I watched “The beauty of being a misfit,” by Lidia Yuknavitch.
The talk opened up a lot of thoughts and feelings, not necessarily ones I want to examine. It also helped me to understand some things about myself that I have been trying to avoid for some time. The first is that it is okay not to fit in. I have rarely felt like I fit in places. Even though I think that I fit in better than I think I do. The second thing that the talk helped me look at is my struggle to believe in myself, and my desire not to give my 100%.
While I was at Goddard working on my MFAW, I had many talented writers for advisors. One, in particular, stands out. At the time, I don’t think that I thought I had an amazing advisor, but I did. She would make me rewrite things so many times that I thought my head would explode. It was also at a time when I was trying to replace information that I had lost due to the many cardioversions I had had over six months. She had told me that she was trying to help me become a better writer. She had more faith in me than I did—a common theme in my life. Now, whenever I am struggling to rewrite things, I think of her. She is the benchmark I am trying to reach, and have probably not quite gotten there yet. I regret the time I spent in the program when I was not putting my 100%. There was and is so much I could have learned if I stepped out of my fear.
Another time I gave up when others believed in me was when I was in high school. I was running in a P.E. class. Running is not my best sport. I was coming around the last bend on the track, my classmates were cheering me on, and as I got close to the end I stopped running, I walked over the finish line. They knew I could have made it, and I could have made it, but I didn’t believe in myself enough.
There have been other times when life, or the universe, has left a package of wonder in my lap. I usually let it go and don’t follow it down the path, even though it is something that I am perfectly capable of doing, and desire. Often, I cite fear or anxiety as to why I don’t move forward with the gift.
I have become more aware of this as I get older. One of the things that I am finding is that getting past learned anxiety is harder than getting past the stuff that just shows up. I am still working on my writing and even planning to publish my stories. I am working on two books at the same time at the moment. One to self publish and the other to try and shop around to agents. The biggest challenge is to keep writing when I fell as though I could more easily just give up and not capture my dream.
Becoming aware of the problem, as my husband said this morning, is the first step. I need to keep writing, keep thinking without overthinking, and move forward with my dreams. I think I will check out some of the books that Lidia Yuknavitch wrote, particularly The Misfits Manifesto.