I want to finish my manuscript sooner rather than later, so I work on it every morning. I spend an hour a day writing and revising it before I put my eight hours in at the office.
I didn’t always have this go-getter attitude, though. For a year before I started doing this, it was never a priority.
I went through several transitions during this time – I stopped teaching, I was in search of a new job, I was getting married (I know – YAY), and I was super focused on being in shape for the wedding (yes I was that person, and I took it to another level).
It was all so overwhelming, the last thing I wanted to do was add “Write a book!” to this list.
So my manuscript collected cyber dust for these few months. Didn’t even think about it while I was wedding planning and when I started my new job. Everything was too draining, trying to adapt to a new work environment. Trying to figure out if I wanted orchids or carnations, white or ivory, blush or vintage blush. And when would I hang out with family and friends? Cook dinner? Give the dogs a bath because, when did we do that last?
You get the point – life was hella crazy.
Then the wedding and honeymoon were over, I settled into my job, my dogs were getting regular baths, and I too started to mellow out from the whirlwind of events.
But almost two months went by, and I still wasn’t writing my book.
Instead, I made excuses that I was still busy with work, the dogs, my new husband, never-ending laundry.
I was coasting through post-wedding life pretty lazily.
I had actually stopped going to the gym so often, not because I didn’t see the point of it anymore now that I was married (LOL), but because I lost my drive – I was tired. So tired from all the stress. From the new things and activities I took on.
I started neglecting myself and my dreams, because honestly…it was easier this way. It was easier and required much less energy to just get up, go to work, watch TV, and repeat.
I was at a book signing this summer when this all changed – when I realized that yes, it is easier to be this way.
But it’s also a lot less fulfilling.
During this book signing, Book Bonanza 2018, I made the realization that I’d let myself get off track. For almost a year after grad school, I refused to commit to chasing my dream. This was the year I’d vowed to dedicate more time to writing my book now that I didn’t have to worry about classes and homework. The reason I even went to grad school was to work on my craft so that I could write a book.
And I did write immediately after grad school. I even submitted my manuscript to several publishers, the rejections from which I’ll save for another blog post!
But I had so many dreams that I stopped chasing because life got too hectic and just plain difficult.
At the book signing last summer, Rachel Hollis (yes, THE Rachel Hollis) gave the keynote speech, her words speaking to me as though they were coming directly from God.
She was motivating and inspiring with her speech and the way she was unapologetic about her success and her journey all the same. She talked about the cruelties of comparison, of standing idly on the sidelines as your life passes you by, of letting others keep you from chasing after your dreams, of getting in our own way by breaking promises to ourselves.
I left that keynote speech and the event feeling refreshed and excited about jumping face first into my manuscript like it was a pool on a hot day.
I was ready.
I was determined.
I was PUMPED UP y’all, like I hadn’t been in a long time.
So much of my drive came back, and I couldn’t wait to get back home to get to work.
I made a plan and worked on finding my consistency, as y’all know, but once I found my stride, there’s been no stopping me.
And it feels good.
It feels good to chase after my dream, to have a renewed sense of purpose, to feel alive again.
Sure there are still life changes and fun things I want to do outside my writing goal. I assumed new responsibilities at work that often leave me exhausted. A niece’s birthday to attend, a UFC fight to watch with my husband, a gym to get to – that barbell isn’t going to row itself.
None of this has changed. The only thing different is my attitude.
The truth is, there will always be distractions and obligations and fun things – I’ll always be busy. There will always be laundry (unfortunately) and family dinners and things that happen that are out of my control. There will always be something to keep me from my goal…
If I let them.
Life will hold up big orange signs for a detour, but it’s just that – a detour. Taking it will still get us to our desired destination…unless we continue taking unnecessary detours.
There will always be reasons not to go after our dream – we just have to have the will to not to let them stop us completely. Take a break if you need to. Breathe. Enjoy the process.
But get back after it – chase after your goals until you reach them, and then make new ones. Don’t stop chasing dreams no matter what life throws at you.
Stay restless in your pursuit of self-fulfillment and happiness.