Do you know who you are, what you were meant to do? I wish I was that kid that knew he wanted to be whatever be it a fire fighter, astronaut or the President (or in a Canuck’s case Prime Minister). Most of that is case a drift as they grow up but there are those few whose focus turns their idea into a reality.
Here’s where I stand. For the last few years I’ve been living and falling in Toronto. It isn’t because of a lack of ability, but focus. When I came to Toronto I struggled to find work so I went back to school, started writing but didn’t laser in. I meandered.
I went back to school, going to Centennial College for advertising account management but I entered the job market at the tail end of 2009 when the bodies were piling up. So I started writing here or there and it was going well until it wasn’t. I was not a trained writer so at that time I wasn’t that confident in my abilities. I continued to be underemployed getting the odd freelance writing gig, not getting by but surviving.
I wouldn’t call it living because it isn’t. You would think having been in Toronto for the last few I would have friends but the reality is that in the depths I have yet to shake the feeling of emptiness. Its more like a f*&ken black hole but maybe its time to sling shot my way out of there and see what is outside this bubble. I’ve had the pause button pressed for way too long and its my fault.
We all fear failure and when you’ve been ground under the thumb sometimes the spark dims. That is the place I called home, now it is time to pack my bags and take a different way. See if there is a way forward, to redefine how I see the paths, the roads, the journey. I’ve seen a lot of people go though hell and find a way back and I know that I am about to do the same.
I’ve been lucky to have met some amazing people, volunteered for some great causes, helped friends out and have met some amazing folks. I have always hated asking for help but the truth is if I don’t then I’m an idiot, and that is one person I don’t want to see in the mirror ever again. So thanks to those who have offered me a few moments of their time in the past and to those that will from this point out.
It requires a choice and that is my personal poison pill, I’m a classic Libra who’s analyzes too much and never committed fully to something. I think we all do that because we fear failure. Society shuns failure when the reality is that those are the building blocks that lead to success if you are willing to learn not avoid and I’ve gotten very good at avoid.
So today is change, I used to say that I was trying to be a writer even when I didn’t see myself as one. I’ve been paid to write and have had multiple articles published so I am going to call myself a writer, and nothing but. Right now I have a half done script I am trying to get to completion but the shiny syndrome keeps me from focusing.
So a case of red bull and music for me until I get it to the end of the story. That is my step 1. I probably need to get out and write somewhere else, be in a more dynamic place where I can see and hear people instead of climbing the walls in my little hole in the wall and hiding from the world.
To get out of this funk it means changing everything from top to bottom which is no easy task. I will ask for help, take criticism, be open to the possibilities and act like I can do it, if I can make someone else believe then that is halfway there already and a great place to start.
So goodbye sideways years, goodbye to who I am as of now and welcome a time to run to whatever comes, the good the bad and the glorious, with the latter being my aim, the middle being what I guard against, and the start standing as the beacon to the goal. So let’s begin, again. Write, travel and find the best me which is all any of us can reach for.
To know your mission, to make a difference, to help others, to make someone laugh, to comfort a friend. That is what I’ll work for.
Trapped in a prison of my making
Made broken by failure, eroded by emptiness only to be lost in the fog of war
A war with shame I wear like a noose round my neck
Waiting for the fall to break the fragments that are left
I brace myself for the wave by pretending the imaginary is real
So that no one shall see the cracks under heel
I must evict the cant out of my mind
Stop playing their game and instead, I must play mine
Being comfortable in the suit of a cynic, it withers my soul within
I must make that into armour that keeps only the hope in
Joy can be nurtured if there is a belief
But it can’t thrive alone or it shall not keep the peace
It is about rediscovering the fire that has been devoured by the black
Bringing fuel to make sure it can shine back
This kindling takes many forms, be it hanging out with friends,
doing something new, a willingness to shake things up to get unglued
This is where I am, how I used to see the world
As if I had no choice as my life unfurled
Destiny is too strong a power for me to sway
But I can control my actions in response to each day
That is my beginning, now that we are in this new year
To reach for the dream, even though that is what I most fear
Mine is a choice between the search for stability for today
A risk of experience to change my life for what may
Can no longer be frozen, must strike out past this space
No matter the outcome I shall no longer waste
Take all my being to work for a goal
I must choice the one that evolves my soul
That choice is ever-changing, it is never static or in wait
Grab hold when you see the chance but know that there’s always more waiting in stance
It’s a reflection of ourself that we must remake
So that we can rebuild what we have had braked
Today shall I choose between the stable, the adventure or the dream
Each remakes my life through the unseen
None of these choices are static within each, is a new realm, a new dynamic
So each has challenges and maybe I can go 2 for 1 but time to stop looking over and I just have had to begun
When you have very little it is hard to say no to anything because you didn’t have a lot to begin with but there is a power in the ability to say no that I am only now starting to recognize. No one is able to give there all to everything, we only have so much time and energy to give to any one thing and that is a limit that I must understand so I can win the long war, even if that means I have to lose that one battle. Loosing that battle is the NO that we must all face at some point.
I have fought the fight to see the vision of who I am today, tomorrow, and years down the line and I will have to make no a bigger part of my repertoire. I have to figure out how to take what I want to do and do something with it. I want to write but how to do that in a way that people want has remained elusive. I am only starting to find options that excite me and they are part of a totally different form of warfare that I am just now starting to even comprehend.
I know the first project to close the door on, it is one that I did last month but that I am just not passionate about, in part because I don’t really fit into it. I did some of my work but not all because I felt like I didn’t have a say and that isn’t a fault on anyone but just a nature of getting a group together for a weekend and taking that forward beyond it.
So focus it shall be, I set a deadline to find a full-time gig by November 1st or I will set my mission to travel the globe for a year or so. If I don’t do this now then I never will because it just gets that much harder from here. Today I finish the articles I need to get done. My problem isn’t I can’t do the work but I need to build process for myself to do it well and efficiently. Without that I will just spin my wheels and that just can’t continue and I am happy to know and understand that now than waste any more of my time or energy.
So welcome my first “no,” I am going to get together with the group and call it an end. The hardest part of saying the no is the loss of those possibilities, that if you leave and it is a success the regret for not being involved. The problem is that there is always more opportunities if you open yourself up to them and if it wasn’t right for you then what makes you think it would be successful if you were involved. The challenge is in letting go for your sake and the sake of the project itself.
What saying NO means is that you want focus, that you are putting a priority on what you are working on not just the volume of work. I need to be professional without losing myself and be passionate about what I do or there is no point and that serves no one well. I believe by closing one door, others are opened and the way is cleared. Rather than saying yes to everything which makes you loose focus and yourself among the noise.
I knew that intellectually but it is another thing to put that into practice. So I am going to start that now. I am going to say good-bye to one project, but that doesn’t mean completely disengaging from it. I still want to give feedback and my perspective if they go on. I rather that be my role that do too much, not get anything done, and spin my wheels. The days of wheel spinning are over and time to cut that fat and get to the muscle that will get me up the mountain. Let’s start that climb.
I made a stupid mistake on a tweet from my iPhone on the worst possible tweet where I took the chance to say I was looking for work as a strategist, community manager and or writer and one of the hashtags I used I spelled wrong it was marketing and I spelled it “makreting” or something close to that. Man that was a bad one and a total fail on my part but it got me thinking about what it means to be a writer? I’ve never really considered myself a writer writer because I have not been trained as one and did it because I fell into it. My grammar isn’t bad but it definitely needs work and I find that Office has made me slack off in spellchecking over the years. It kills me when writing long articles or reports because mistakes get lost in the sea of words.
So what does it mean to be a writer to me? It means that words in all their form have meaning. It means that my strength is also a weakness and that I am but a student to it’s whims. I have a hard time correcting my own work because I see what I write how I saw it in my head which makes it that much harder to spot the mistakes that would be obvious to anyone else. It is not that I can’t do it but only that it can be a struggle to get through which is why in order to do it better I break things down that make it easier to digest and recognize the errors. I forget sometimes but I am trying to take that approach more and more.
I am not a writer with a capital “W” and it is not what I ever emphasize. I consider myself an amateur writer who does it because I enjoy it because it is a chance to get something down. On twitter I make loads of mistakes because the touch typing is my villain. It stocks me Charlie Sheen looking for his next TV appearance. It is waiting when it knows that I need this one out of all others to be right to strike and kick my ass back a few notches.
I can’t fight the mistakes because they will always be there but I can break my sentences down to mitigate them from happening. I can always get that second pair of eyes to see what is hidden from my sight behind the veil. I hope that by owning up to my faults and looking to get better and climb the mountain is worth the fall from time to time because that is a risk worth taking, a risk that is a gap that asks to be crossed and while I have fallen more times that I wish to know in the search the goal will have a taste of ambrosia because I had to earn it inch by inch.
That is what my faults, failures and mistakes mean to me. They can be something as simple as spelling marketing wrong on a tweet or the mistakes in this post but they are mine, I need them because they show me how far I have to go to earn the way through the race we all run every day.
So I guess I am a writer with a small “m” who is learning the ways of the writing world who is trying to get a little better each day when I start typing or put pen to paper. If I can do that then the mistakes are worth the effort to turn it from something that most would see as a minus to something that is a plus because I used it to inch up ever closer to the goal I have yet to define. (There are probably loads of mistakes in this but because of what I am writing I choose to leave them in because I think it just makes sense for this in context.)
Where do people get there information today? I think that I get more information via the twitter and facebook feeds than ever before. How many people like me have blogs that have meander and that are still trying to find a meaning for being. I have to admit I am guilty of that myself. I should be blogging daily but in a world of noise it is so easy to put off and I didn’t have a goal when I started doing it but maybe I will use it as a place to just put out what I find interesting or cool. I am not sure yet but I will try to write regularly if not daily. We will see if I can do it but this is the start.
As one month ends and another is soon to begin might as well get it started.