So…I sometimes have a problem with showing up. They say “showing up is half the battle” but really…I’m not interested in battles…I’m interested in feeling fulfilled and happy and passionate about the things I’m doing. Lately, if I don’t feel those things, I’d rather just skip it.
I’ve been struggling professionally. I’m not where I need to be. Instead of showing up, doing my best work, and knowing full well that the next phenomenal opportunity WILL NOT APPEAR until I’m doing great work where I am, I’m simply limping by. I feel like I’m driving Fred Flinstone’s car and trying to break with my feet every step of the way. Each day I wake up and I hate what I have to crawl out of bed to do. I’m not inspired, or enthusiastic, or entirely bought-in to what I’m supposed to be doing. Those around me are in the same boat. We all drag our a-ses there in the morning, mumble hellos, and then wait out the clock until we can bust out the door shouting “see you tomorrow” over our shoulders as we sprint to our cars and our real lives.
Somehow when the reality of the situation hit me several months ago it didn’t inspire me to work hard and spearhead change. Coupled with a summer of family health challenges, my own pain, and financial stress, I’ve allowed myself to be distracted and disengaged. I suddenly find myself doing merely what needs to be done to get by. And that, my friends, is not my style. Nor is it how I want to be seen by others.
This past weekend my husband and I had a very long conversation about what I want to be doing. We examined what I like to the most (writing!) all the way down to what the ideal work day would look like. We started talking about some of the things that will be necessary to make that a reality and I’m feeling inspired, and excited, and enthusiastic to get started. I’m feeling all of those things about my writing. Not about my other gig. You know…the real one?
I’ve spent a lot of time throughout my short life thinking about the things I feel like I should be doing. Whether it’s school, or learning to cook properly, or being an active member of our school’s PTO. I have a great track record of enthusiastically trying all of these things and much much more, only to realize, they aren’t really what I want to be DOING at all. And guess what? As soon as I figure that out I stop showing up. My initial enthusiasm wanes and I’m stuck with a calendar filled with things about which I’m not passionate and that don’t bring me joy or fulfillment.
Here’s the thing. Identifying what I want to be, what I want to do, and what I want my ideal days to look like does not give me free rein to just sit and wait for that to happen while I twiddle my thumbs at work, or in my life. It doesn’t mean I get to just opt out of everything and sit looking around waiting for someone to hand me my ideal life and career. In fact, I believe, it means quite the opposite.
After our conversation I made a commitment to myself to start showing up. For real. No more skipping out. Thus far my work week, while exhausting, has been enormously successful and productive (and it’s only Wednesday!). I’ve felt worthy of wanting more for the first time in a long time…funny how guilty you can feel when you DON’T show up for your own life. I’ve felt worthy of better opportunities. But I’ve also felt worthy of the things I’m doing NOW.
In addition, I’ve made a commitment to myself to STOP going after things I think I SHOULD be doing, and start doing the things I love more often. That means working hard to read as much as possible, writing every moment I’m able, and finding ways to improve my writing. It means submitting articles, writing outside of this blog, and possibly making the changes to this blog that I’ve been thinking about for months. But…it means actually DOING these things and not just talking about them. It means showing up as a writer.
I’m pretty excited about what might happen if I start showing up for my life and letting go of the things that don’t even actually matter to me.
TODAY: What if the really good things won’t show themselves until I’m being the best I can be in my current role? What if showing up really IS half the battle…or better put…showing up is the first step towards the life I WANT to be leading?