Monday, August 8, 2011

Quitter Challenge: Chapter 3 - Tia

I was unaware that I knew Jon Acuff personally. But apparently I do, because he wrote an entire chapter about me, my fears, my procrastination issues, my money problems but changed the name to his own to protect the guilty innocent.  I joke, mostly, but as I read chapter 3, I honestly felt like it was written for and about me.

Chapter 3 opens with the way we view the risk associated with a dream. We magnify it, losing all site of the benefits the dream will offer due to the risk. We view it through the kaleidoscope, allowing fear and worry to be jumbled and multiplied until we lose sight of what the dream really is and what it presents before us. Or we view it through the telescope, acknowledging that the risks are there but that they are far off and haven't happened yet. With the telescope view we acknowledging that though there are risks associated with our dreams, a lot can happen between the risk becoming reality.

While I tend to be kaleidoscope leaning (not by choice, it just happens) I very much like the idea of putting some distance between what I long to do and the fears/risks associated with doing so. As I read, I realized that I have to CHOOSE to believe that worst might not happen. That train of thought is significantly less stressful. And less stress is good, because pursing a dream has enough stress built in.

Death to the Discussion
I don't feel like writing this right now. I am tired and sore. And had an ill-timed bout of food poisoning on a plane last night (Thank you Subway in Houston Hobby airport...seriously....don't eat there) that was so cringe inducing that all I want to do is crawl into bed and try to erase the memory of me puking in front of a plane full of people. I have every reason in the world not to blog right now. But I had to make a decision. Just like I had to decide to make a conscious decision to lose weight, get out of debt, and serve people more, I have to make a DECISION to put in the effort for BGLU.

...we know how to talk ourselves out of or into things better than anyone on the planet. - Pg 66

I could have easily come up with a list of reasons why going to bed at 7:15 would not only be prudent and beneficial but also, in light of recent events, duly earned. But as contrived as the slogan may be now, I just have to do it. To pursue the dream of being a full-time blogger and writer I have to eliminate the discussion. I have to suck it up, know that it's not always going to be perfect, and just do it. Write the blog, eat the vegetables, climb the stairs to nowhere on the Stairmaster, pay the big payments on the credit cards...but whatever it is that I need to do there can be no discussion. It just has to be done.

The three things that I fixate on the most when I think of becoming a full-time blogger/writer/music critic, rounded out the end of the chapter. (I told you that he wrote this part about me.) I am afraid to leave my job because I have too much debt. I'm afraid to fully pursue my dreams because, I'm still a bit hazy on exactly what they are. (I mean, yes I want to write and blog but should there be more? Is that it? Plus, sometimes I really want to be a Script Supervisor...I'm rambling) So what if I pursue my dreams but I'm doing the wrong thing? And at times I'm afraid to chase my dreams because I'm too old to be a dreamer. I should be doing "the dream" by now. I need to be working on other things like trying to get married and having babies, right? (My apologies if that last sentence dripped sarcasm on your monitor.)

The money part is a legitimate obstacle. But as Jon puts it, it doesn't have to be.

Get control of your finances if you really want the freedom to pursue your dream well. - Pg 76

I'm taking calculated steps to pay off my credit card debt. I just made a payment on one of my credit cards that made me a bit nauseated after I hit send. But I'm now 4 payments away from having it paid off and will have paid off 2 credit cards, leaving only 2 left to pay off before I'm completely out of debt. And I know that the weight of having that financial burden off of my shoulders will give me the freedom to take a job that may be more in line with what I want to do rather than want I have to do.

Now the "by now" part of my fears is a little bit tougher.

The problem is that "by now" is a phrase we say to ourselves when we're trying to believe the lie that it's too late to start pursuing our dream - Pg 76

I sat with that statement for quite some time. I finally had to come to the conclusion that there is no expiration date on dreams and creativity. As long as I can still dream it, I can still do it, right? I mean, within reason. I can not pass as a high school student any more. But then again, that's not my dream so it's moot. But as long as I am still able-bodied, can read and have an internet connection, my dream is completely in reach, regardless of the date on my driver's license.

The perfectionist part of my personality struggles with the idea that I'm doing the wrong thing. On an almost weekly basis, I think I made the wrong choice by moving back to Nashville, taking another job in research and not pursuing my dating options fully when I lived in other cities like New York and LA. I often lie in bed at night wondering about the "what ifs." But what's done is done. In the wise words of Coolio, "I wish I could go back. But wishin' is for suckas."

While I know that some of the choices that I've made haven't been the best, I have to believe that none of them have been life-altering, permanent course changing, dream destroying, destiny devastating choices.

...nothing you do will be wasted. Every decision you make, every path you take, has the ability to contribute something you need to succeed at your dream - Pg 81

Although I may not be able to see it now, I know the day will come when it all makes sense. The job, the location, everything will tie together and I'll have that "Oooohhh" moment. Besides, I have enough on my plate to NOT worry about things in the past that I can't change. What was it they said in that movie "Meet The Robinsons"....Keep moving forward.

Plus, John Mayer wrote me a theme song:

This moment in time is where I need to be. So I continue to chip away at the obstacles and pursue the dream. It's not easy. Some days it's not fun. But it is my dream. And I will either pursue it until I can't anymore or I won't and regret it always. Actually, I think I'll just skip the regrets if you don't mind.


Danielle C said...

While reading this article, I was sipping on coffee at work and thinking wow! This is the motivation I need to get the day going. Great post. Your writing is inspiring. Please don't stop and keep the post coming.

Danielle C.
Atlanta, GA

lindalicious said...

=) =) =)