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Lindsey Learns to Write

Creativity. Authenticity. Curiosity.

Head vs. Heart

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”–E. B. White

What am I doing with my life? If I’m being honest, I have to admit that it’s a lot, but not much at the same time. As I think about my hard work over the last few years to get into student services, finish my master’s degree, and get a grown-up job, I have to take at least some satisfaction in knowing that I have accomplished something. However, as fate would have it, what I thought I wanted wasn’t really what I wanted.

I can feel the lack of congruence between what I do and what I want to do. Or what I know would be best for me. And then I think about all the things that other people want me to do. Makes my head spin.

Further, I am observing a trend among successful people – doing stuff. They don’t just sit around and plan everything that they’re going to do. They go out and do things and look back to say – wow, that worked out well. Or that they’d do it differently next time.  Now, I know that’s not always the case, but it doesn’t necessarily even matter for me because I am the type of person who needs routine. And a plan. I need to have a defined, well-thought-out set of goals that I’m working toward. Otherwise, I can’t get moving. I just get depressed and overwhelmed, and then don’t do anything.

Of late, I’ve had some improving success with getting a short list of goals established in my mind before I get out of bed. That helps me feel propelled forward into my day. I want to incorporate this more. Here’s where the problem comes in, though.

I always have more goals than I can possibly accomplish in one day and I am always forced to choose between being responsible and following my heart.

Here’s a snippet of the usual internal dialogue:

Head:  Keep working at your dumb job even though you hate it. You need the money. And besides, it isn’t like you’re going to be stuck there forever…. Apply for other jobs if you want. You just need to pay off the credit cards and get working on your student loans.

Heart:  But I hate my job. It seriously makes me sick. Literally. Writing is what I want to do. Why would I waste another minute doing something else? It is not going to get any easier to get away from that dumb job.

Head:  *rolls eyes* You know that you could do both. You’re just being lazy.

Heart:  *hands on hips* You know it takes me like 3 days to recuperate from one day at my miserable job.

Head:  Yeah, we have to figure out a way to deal with that.

Heart:  I think we need to start going to yoga at least a few times per week.

Head:  Do you know how expensive that is? How are we going to get done paying off the stupid credit cards and student loans if you’re wasting 80 bucks a month on yoga when you could do it at home.

Heart:  But, there’s something about the energy of yoga class that makes it more effective. I don’t know how to explain it. But wouldn’t it be better if I could find a balance so that I could deal with my horrible job for another year?

Head:  You can’t find balance in the living room for free?

Heart:  You are impossible.

So it goes. At any rate, I need to find a way to balance my priorities. Or maybe even find a way for them to co-exist. That would be great.

Anybody have any advice?

 

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TEDTalk – Andrew Stanton

I LOVE this TEDTalk!

Here’s my favorite quote from Andrew Stanton’s speech:  “The best stories infuse wonder.”

I want my stories to invoke wonder. It is important to me that I can romance readers out of their everyday routine to a faraway land where the unexpected can happen. I love to be entertained. I love to be challenged to imagine. I want to make the world a better place with stories.

What stands out most to you from this talk?

With Love,

LJ

Ted Talk – David Kelley: How to Build Your Creativity

I hope I can look back at my life someday and identify a breakthrough moment. Although, as I read today,

“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” — Madeleine L’Engle

Life is life

I just started reading this great book called It’s a Wonderful Lie (edited by Emily Franklin). It is a wonderful (as you might guess from the title) collection of essays written by women who are presumably close to my age. They all talk about real life as a twenty-something. I love it! I feel so inspired and so relieved to know that I am not the only one who feels like I am floundering around like a big dope with no idea how to get from where I am to where I would like to be.
The women in this book are all writers so far, too. I love that even more because it is further confirmation that I speak the same language that they do. They make mention of the other jobs they’ve had and how they never felt the fit like they do when it comes to writing. I totally get that. I feel so energized when I write something that captures a feeling I’m trying to describe. I also love the concept of working in my pajamas.

But it made me think of how I feel like I have two personalities almost. One is my professional “real world job” personality. It is the one that considers the options available in education that would build on my degree and be relevant to the field I’m already in. There’s another, more secret part of me who knows that the whole education thing is just a stop-gap. As soon as I can, I’m jumping that ship and settling in with my lappy on a more permanent basis.

Anyway, I have just been thinking about it all day. I love knowing that it is okay that I still haven’t finished a book. At least I am working on it, right? Someday, I’ll get there. In the meantime though, I just need to keep pressing on.

As Belva Davis said,

Do not be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.”

Boy, can I dream it.

My future self…

Good friends are hard to come by. You know the ones I mean. Friends who will tell you when you’re being a dumbass. I had a great conversation with a friend the other day about lots of philosophical stuff. He said something kind of mind-blowing.
I was whining about how I’m too wishy-washy to get a tattoo. He raised an eyebrow and said, “You’ve spent the last few years regretting not getting a tattoo. Why don’t you just get one?”

“Blah blah, hand-wringing,” was my response. I’ve paraphrased, of course.

He shook his head and said, “You’re doing it again.”

“Doing what?”

“Pretending that your future self is real.”

What? My future self? Oh, you mean that dazzlingly pretty, put-together, tattooed, successful writer who lives in Tuscany? She’s not real?

Nope. Not real. Not going to be real until you actually take the steps to become her.
Whoa.

I feel like I had really started getting on track to become her when I was reading a lot, writing a lot, and reflecting on things. It’s time to stop making excuses and to stop tricking myself into thinking that I will suddenly become the future self I’ve imagined. It’s time to actually start being her!

Well, maybe that misses the point. Maybe I should be happy to be the self I am right now. Frankly, she’s a little bit of a slacker though.

Anyway, enough navel-gazing. Time to write.

Let go

Taking deep breaths
Filling up the ocean
Can feel the slide
Into insanity

Wreckless abandon
Just want to let go
Can’t break the thread
I hang on

From the fingertip
To the nail
Pain in the grasp
Fear to fail

Let go
Breathe
Live

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