When I was little, adults really liked to tell me that I was so smart and talented. I lived for those compliments. It didn’t take long before I did things for affirmation and adulation.
In high school, the only thing I did for me was write. I didn’t share my stories with anyone and my poetry was private. As soon as I exposed my writing to someone else’s eyes, it wasn’t for me anymore. It was for attention.
I have this chronic inability to stick to things. I come up with lots of ideas and very little follow through. The usual reason for jumping ship is lack of recognition. This happened with teaching yoga, working on my first book, drawing, starting a business and so many other endeavors.
I told Matt the other day that making music just isn’t the same for me anymore. In a world that is so rooted in identity and branding, I couldn’t keep up. I don’t like promoting myself, selling myself. I did that so much as a kid and now I don’t really know what I want out of life.
I take that last sentence back.
The problem is this: I got so stuck in the idea that I had to be identified by something that I did. You know, the question everyone asks you right after you’re introduced: “What do you do?” So many people have asked that during my pregnancy and initially I struggled with the answer, but now I’m like, “I’m making a human being.”
I want to add “dumb ass” after that, but I’m trying to make friends.
This year, there’s only one thing that I’ve really committed to and that’s the short stories I’ve been writing for One for One Thousand. I couldn’t have gotten this far without the three other writers who make up our editorial team.
So is that the secret? Is perseverance partially having a group of people who are as committed to your craft as you? People to hold you accountable and critique your worst work? People who don’t fizzle and fade?
I don’t know…
I just know that I’m not good at sticking to things when I feel alone.
And I’m trying to get to a point where being a mother and a wife isn’t, “Oh, I’m just a stay at home wife and mom.” Why is my instinct to demean these two very wonderful and beautiful roles?