Most of you who know me personally will scoff on reading this. But it’s true. I’m not a confident person. I’m just blessed with a confident countenance and that helps me get by. I used to stammer as a teen and even today sometimes I do. I feel nervous if I have to address a group of people. All eyes turning on me and waiting for me to spew pearls of wisdom when I have none.. dear God, why can’t I just sit and write. That’s my easy zone.
Easy zone…yes I can tell you a lot about it. I’ve stayed cocooned in it, enjoyed its cosy comforts and I’ve eyed successful women with envy. Wow! She earns the big bucks. She travels the biz class on company account. Attends seminar, globe trots…wow…wow, wow…and how stupid and worthless are you K.
Many of my class mates from school and college are today working with reputed banks, MNCs; earning the big bucks, accolades and all. I’ve felt worthless and told myself the same all the time. I hated myself. I envied them, often hated them but when opportunity came knocking (and they did come) I snuck back into my easy zone.
Truth is we make choices. Our own choices. Nothing has ever been thrust unto me. My life has been my choice. And with age I’ve regretted the choices I made. I wished I hadn’t married so young. I wished I had studied harder and made a career. And focused on it. I wish I had taken up full time work and not chosen the easy freelance route. Even as a freelance writer, in two decades of it I should have done a lot more. I didn’t. I should’ve been a columnist, a blogger with a big following…I should’ve done this, that and…
The list of should have and must have is never-ending. But QED : KB you pulled the short straw. Willingly. How stupid!
This continued. My self loathing, feeling lesser than others, repenting and regretting. Then my book happened. In a strange way it changed many things in me. It changed me. I began to see myself in a different light. I didn’t hate myself so much. I felt happy, most importantly I felt proud of myself. Writing a book is a huge commitment. Sticking to a schedule for days, weeks, months; getting the story out, reworking on the draft, pitching it to publishers and then finally signing the deal is a long haul journey fraught with tension, rejection,, endless waiting. It’s the toughest thing I have done. But once done, it’s an awesome heady feeling. For me it is the most important thing I’ve done for myself. The woman who always took the easy path, shied away from challenges, led a life of comfort and envying others from the sidelines; I plunged headlong into the whirlpool. And most importantly I didn’t quit.
Our dreams, passions… When in the throes of it they burn us to ashes. Almost take the life out of us but when accomplished the peace is almost serendipitous. After 43 years I fell in love, again. With myself. I discovered myself in my journey with the book.
Recently an old friend called. She’s known me for almost a decade. Part of our conversation went something like me:
She: K, you aren’t earning anything?
Me: yes. I’ve given up all money making projects.
She: But…why? Money used to be so important to you. How can u be without work for almost 2 years now…u will get back to it right..
Me: It’s not important anymore. I don’t think I want to go back to that.
She was flummoxed. I was amused.
Chasing your dream can never be about money. It never is. It’s like staring at the rainbow and trying to catch it.
In pursuit of my dream, I laid to rest the screaming demons that howled in my head for years. I don’t care anymore if I make loads of money like my friends. I don’t care if I get to fly business class on company account (lol!!). I don’t care about anything anymore. I’m home. Nirvana is far away but I’m more at peace with myself than I ever was.
Like most authors I too will dedicate my first book to my parents but actually this one is for me. It’s my gift to myself.
Find your dream, your passion and make it come true. It could be anything. This isn’t taking one thing out of the bucket list. This has to be THE THING. The one thing that breaks you to pieces and in breaking you down puts it all together. It defines you in a way nothing ever has and nothing else ever will. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. It isn’t for anyone else. It’s for you. My husband would have been happier if instead of writing a book, I’d conceived of a business plan and worked on it. He came up with many brilliant ideas but none struck home with me. My heart dances to a tune of its own. Every heart does. Find yours.
It could be going back to work. Running the marathon. Going on a solo trip. Losing weight. Starting a home business. Anything.
There’s nothing more amazing than self-discovery. You’ll meet yourself for the first time. Unravel facets you never thought you had. You’ll hurt, bleed, doubt yourself, fight with everyone around you and you’ll want to quit. But just keep at it.
Find your dream and then protect it like a flickering candle. Hold it close. Nurture it. Watch yourself change, begin anew.
It’s worth it. You’re worth it.
Oh! Yes, you are.