I've said it before and I'll say it again, You Are A Badass was a GREAT book and I highly recommend giving it a try. I know many of you will read that and roll your eyes, "Ugh, self-help books are lame" is what you are probably thinking and normally I would agree. It's the one and only self-help book I have ever pick-up and the only one I have ever read, and it will likely be the only one I ever read.
About a year ago I started this blog hoping it would be a catalyst to writing more fluently and frequently which would in turn hopefully open a door to the career I have always wanted as a writer, but alas a year later and I find myself desk bound for eight hours a day. A cubicle drone, a robot in the ant farm of corporate America. Don't get me wrong, I do not despise my job. In fact, I enjoy my co-workers (for the most part) and I enjoy letting my creative juices flow by creating marketing pieces, but it certainly is not my ideal situation and marketing is most definitely not where my heart lies.
Since the cover of You Are A Badass floated across my Instagram feed, I have noticed specific quotes and phrases from the book float into my mind when I find myself thinking negatively or having icky thoughts about myself or a situation. You have to weather the storm to get to the sunshine and sometimes its a long, rainy, windy, snowy, brutal storm and being a Debbie Downer isn't going to make the sunshine break through the clouds any faster, in fact, it's likely to make the sky just a shade or two darker. Instead, put the rain-boots on, zip up your rain jacket, break out that rainbow umbrella and go splash through the puddles.
"When we arrive here we are perfect little bundles of joy and then set about the task of learning to un-love ourselves! How unbelievably ridiculous is that!"
The above quote is from You Are A Badass and it really resonated with me. Seriously. When we are born, until we are old enough to start understanding the thoughts and communicative patterns of others, we love ourselves. Sloppy pigtails, yogurt stain on our pants and chocolate smeared all over our face, but we were happy and giggling despite it all. We didn't care what the boy in the Osh B'Gosh overalls thought about our stained pants or the fact that it looked like there was smeared poop all over our face. The world was great and everything in it was wonderful. I can't tell you the exact day or time that I started finding faults within myself, but I can tell you from that moment on it became a game of second guessing every wardrobe choice, every interest I was potentially thinking about perusing and wondering what others really thought or what they said about me behind my back. What would the kids at school think? Would my parents be proud? Does this shirt make me look fat? Does this haircut make my face look even chubbier? Face it, we've all done it...do it, on a daily basis, but why?!
Also from "You Are A Badass"
"DO NOT WASTE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME GIVING ONE SINGLE CRAP ABOUT WHAT ANYBODY ELSE THINKS OF YOU."
"What other people think of you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them."
"You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not other people freak out about it."
I've always been a bit of an "ugly duckling." Not in the literal sense but rather socially. I tend to follow the flock, but from a distance and I'm not afraid to fly off in a completely different direction if I think the flock has lost it's marbles or been blown off course. I wasn't popular in High School, in fact, I was more of a recluse. It use to bother me, but the older I've gotten the more I've embraced my social qualms and the more comfortable I have gotten in my own skin. To say I don't care about what others think of me is silly, we all crave companionship and friendship, but the way we think about our interactions with others needs to change. You Are A Badass opened my eyes to the fact that I'm not in High School anymore. No one really cares what clothes I wear or that I rather read a book on a Friday night than go to a bar and get "shitfaced." More importantly, I really don't care what others think of me when I post pictures of my fur kids and rarely a picture of my human friends. I do what makes me happy and the things that make me happy generally make others around me happy because I'm an overall better person to be around.
The point of this rambling is to shine light on the idea that doing what makes us happiest my not be the most popular idea, but that doesn't matter. I've always wanted to be a writer. To live in the country, surrounded by land and tranquility. To barricade myself in my "writing den" and raise an income doing what I love. Messy bun, glasses on, tea in hand, an over-sized, finger knit quilt draped around my shoulders and the taping sound of the keyboard bleeding a beautiful story onto paper. *Sigh* Some may think the idea of being in the country is horrifying or the idea of writing a book for enjoyment is just silly and preposterous, but that's them and this is me.
My husband frequently jokes that we'll never retire if I don't get on that wagon and start writing. We've jokingly talked about what my pen name would be or if I'd have a "ghost name" so my potential popularity wouldn't affect our everyday life. Then we chuckle because who would know a famous author if they bumped into them on the streets (unless your J.K Rowling). The point is he's right. Well, kinda (don't let him know I said he's right...about anything, I'll never live it down). He's has taken to constantly teasing me, "you're reading again. Reading isn't writing and you're not any closer to a finished book than you were yesterday. Can you hurry up, I want to retire." So, yesterday I took a small step, but I think an important one, and bought the two books pictured in the image above; 300 Writing Prompts and Complete The Story. My goal is write a little bit each day and by writing each day maybe a fire will spark in the attic that is my writing brain and a best seller will sprout out my fingertips.
I'll never know if I could be a published author if I don't try. I'll never know if that house in the country is a possibility if I don't try. I intend to try. Regardless of how my writing will be received, I own it to myself to try and I think everyone owes it to themselves to pursue whatever passion makes their heart flutter just a little faster and makes their smile just that much brighter.