Don't tell me I can't do it, that's what I have myself for, thank you very much... oh, okay tell me I can't do it.
I was wrong
My intention with this post was to say something like, 'I don't need you to tell me I can't do something because there's a little voice in my head telling me I can't already.
And I was wrong. That's not what this post is about at all.
Mules are fun
When I was sixteen upon discussing college my first foster mother said, "You ought to lower your expectations."
"Well, I'm going to college," I shouted.
And that's what I did. I went to college and, after three just universities in three states, I graduated. (Two of them were false starts, okay.)
Now, I don't know about you, but when someone says, "You can't," my first thought is "watch me." This is a somewhat mulish trait and, on occasion, resulted in some broken limbs. (Not mine silly. The limbs of the tree I climbed onto.)
But these days I really need someone to say "you can't." Specifically, I want some to say "you can't be a writer," because that would light a fire under my tail to prove them wrong.
The people who tell you can't will really &*^% you off. But people who tell you can't are way better than a voice in your head saying those words. (Look, it's easy to be motivated to prove someone else wrong. It's hard to get motivated to prove yourself wrong. True fact. Also, another true fact is that Subway is the largest restaurant chain, not McDonald's.)
Naysayers are under appreciated
So my point is, the "you can't" people are as essential to success as the " you can" people. Perhaps this entire post is simply about taking life's lemons and turning them in to lemonade. Perhaps it's about appreciating life's ying and yang.
But if you must take something away, then it's this:
You can't be the only voice saying that you can't.
Thank you naysayers, thank you.
1. distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune: He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.
2. earnest but tense desire; eagerness: He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.
3. Psychiatry. a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.
Synonyms Douglas anxiety.
Micheal J. Douglas
Escalator anxiety I'm going to get you.
I suffered from this. (Hey, they're dangerous.)
Anxiety: See, I was right.
The also are infested with sharks.
Now I have empty wallet anxiety.
Yell at your anxiety Kicking anxiety in the ass.
Anxiety is a voice in your head. It sends us a message that things are not right. But if you're like me, it never shuts up.
Me: "Shut up!"
Roommate: "Who are you yelling at."
Me: "Myself. Why?"
Roommate: "I don't know.... Because it's weird that's why."
Me: "You wanna know what's weird?"
Roommate: "Please, no."
Me: "Yelling works."
Anxiety is sneaky Never say never
If you're like me, you spend an enormous amount of effort convincing the voice of impending doom that nothing is going to happen and then a guy walks up to you and says:
"Hi, I'm you're stalker."
And it was creepy enough when he did it outside your house. But, when you reaching into your closet and he hands you your favorite dress, anxiety takes over.
Is this really what I want to wear? What necklace should I wear with it? Also, what's my stalker doing in my closet?
ps. This never happened.
And that's anxiety
How about you? What's anxiety to you?
My friend Kaitlin and I were talking in the pool last night and we came up for an idea for some raunchy underwear.
She and her family celebrate raunchy Christmas-- they give each other gag gifts and over the years it as gone to the gutter-- to which I'm invited. (And fully intend to win.)
We were talking about my Dr. Bob project and one thing led to another and suddenly we had the idea for panties that hiss. Not joking. This idea is right up there with the personalized straight jackets I sewed and sold in college. Also, not joking.
This has lead me to wonder when will I ever grow up?
I sincerely hope never.
Where for art though crystal ball?
I have a crush. I didn't see it coming until it slapped me upside the head.
And now that I've developed a crush on someone the Worry Wort Clan (Just like The Ma Barker Gang if they were afraid of guns, breaking the law and driving fast ) is predicting doom, doom, DOOM.
This your doubt on steroids.
I don't know what will happen with the crush. Probably nothing.
For one thing, I don't think he knows I'm alive. Okay, he probably knows that. Probably.
And I just find it all so embarrassing. (That's why writing about it here makes complete sense. No, wait. It doesn't.*)
* I'm neurotic. Get over it.
I don't know why liking a person who might not like me back equates to the END OF THE WORLD but it does.
This has gotten me thinking about fear. What we fear. Why we fear it. Perhaps the fear of rejection is the greatest of them all.
Me as a writer: Well, as a writer I've got tons of rejections under my belt.
Me as me: That doesn't help.
Words of wisdom: Walls are hard.
What has helped is simple: out of heartache and fear blooms wisdom. Things like crushes are a states of grace because they are hard. Anything that is hard is also rife with potential for self growth.
What's hard in your life today? How can you use it to grow and be better?
One last thought on the subject of personal change
Change is feels like this.
But to the people around you, your changes look like this.
So don't be surprised if you feel very different but nobody notices. People never notice small personal growths. They notice the accumulative effect.
Personal change is a lot like wrinkles. Nobody notices when you get a few.... until you point the wrinkles out. However, eventually the become obvious.
Who do you want to be? What qualities to want foster that you don't currently have.
" It's never too late to become the person you wish you were."
I stumbled across this quote. and it has stuck to me like glue. Or perhaps a parasite from Mars. (This is more apt consider the things I write.) Never mind that I've heard this same idea phrased differently a thousand times. It's the substitution of "wish you were" instead of "want to be."
verb (used with object)
1. to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one's dinner; always wanting something new.
2. to wish, need, crave, demand, or desire (often followed by an infinitive): I want to see you. She wants to be notified.
3. to be without or be deficient in: to want judgment; to want knowledge.
4. to fall short by (a specified amount): The sum collected wants but a few dollars of the desired amount.
5. to require or need: The house wants painting.
verb (used without object)
6. to feel inclined; wish; like (often followed by to ): We can stay home if you want.
7. to be deficient by the absence of some part or thing, or to feel or have a need (sometimes followed by for ): He did not want for abilities.
8. to have need (usually followed by for ): If you want for anything, let him know.
9. to be in a state of destitution, need, or poverty: She would never allow her parents to want.
10. to be lacking or absent, as a part or thing necessary to completeness: All that wants is his signature.
verb (used with object)
1. to want; desire; long for (usually followed by an infinitive or a clause): I wish to travel. I wish that it were morning.
2. to desire (a person or thing) to be (as specified): to wish the problem settled.
3. to entertain wishes, favorably or otherwise, for: to wish someone well; to wish someone ill.
4. to bid, as in greeting or leave-taking: to wish someone a good morning.
5. to request or charge: I wish him to come.
verb (used without object)
6. to desire; long; yearn (often followed by for ): Mother says I may go if I wish. I wished for a book.
7. to make a wish: She wished more than she worked.
I thought the definitions would clarify the difference between these two words.
Oh well (insert shrug.)
These words are different. Well to me at least. Want feels solid. As in "I want a hamburger." (I do. No, really. The photo explains why I can't have one.)
Wish is less concrete. As in "I wish I could turn into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.."
This does not necessarily mean I want to turn into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, only that I think it would be cool if I could. Unless I got stuck that way and something horrible happened like getting eaten or I sprouting mold. That would be really uncool.
Love yourself toughly
Me 3.0 would be more social, less of a worry wort, less "mehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!", make better choices and most of all eat healthier and exercise. If I got thinner, great. If not it doesn't matter because those last two things will impact how I approach the world. When I'm good to myself I feel better, my thoughts are clearer (exercise has that funky side affect, who knew?) and I worry less (about stuff other than drowning. I've been swimming a lot.)
I heard someone once say something about loving yourself enough to eat well. This also struck a never though I didn't understand why until I sat down to write this.
Suddenly I see it's a lot like tough love... you know like when you kick the kids out of the house so they can grow up. (To be clear I don't have any kids.) Tough love for yourself is having the strength to turn down wants so that wishes can come true.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).