How do you manifest change in your life? It's hard enough to define change, because you know, it's one of the only constants of life. Because of that, I often only feel the chapter headings forming in my brain book when I feel saddened remembering some period from the past. Usually I see some landmark, be it a restaurant, or simply an intersection that I associate with some other time, and then my heart and mind leap. It feels a sort of loss, instantly that period is looked upon longingly. As well manicured patch of grass, amongst the otherwise overgrown scraggly mess of my mind, the dark and dangerous forest. As I've aged I've been able to identify that this worrisome wood is manufactured by the little devil in my brain. Lets call him Despair Daniel.
The way DD frames change existentially, it misses quite a lot. In fact it's only really about the past, and how you have strayed from the good life towards the drain. But there is also your regular old change. New pants, new book, new hobby, new friend(!), new apartment, new pen, NEW YEAR NEW ME. It can often feel like only the uncomfortable changes are measured. And that's just taking census of the things that seem to happen to you. It's a passive look at life, with a clipboard. So how do you go about the change of re-invention, redemption, and growth?
I'll let you know right now, the answer to a question like that is above my paygrade (what paygrade!?!? Lol). But I can always share with you my thinkies and feelies! My main focus right now is not a fun one. The word I've been standing on lately is kind of an sticky one. Discipline. The word to me connotes draconian parenting and nuns slapping children on the wrists with rulers. The sort of "put them in their place" attitude that has conservatively done at least as much harm as good. Without being able to fully shake those associations I am attempting to focus on the monk's version of the word. The noun form. I am working on my discipline.
I have so many goals for myself this year. Mostly, to become financially stable, to grow my business, to meet new people (both friends and more than friends), and to create and collaborate more (not just in my business but in dinner parties, home improvement projects, and day trip adventuring). And I suppose a good question for humanity and an argument for the rise of the life coach is a very small but very heavy one. How? Which comes with sub questions A through 200. How do you manifest change? When will you know? How can you tell if you are doing it or if it is just happening to you? Is there a difference? How much are we in control? What is fate? Is it more than just a concept? How can you adjust your attitude? And ON AND ON. I can scat these babies out for a whole jazz album if you want. I don't think anyone wants.
I've hung my banner on two champions that I hope will turn the tide for me, Sir Perseverance and Squire Bravery. I know that the way that I will make connections for my business is by going out into the world and shaking people's hands and doing awkward painful things that make me feel squirmy. Ditto for dating. You have to put yourself out there, and for me, and a growing number of (soft) homebodies, that aint easy. So I am resolved to be Brave this year. What does it mean? For me, the only measure of bravery is the number of scary tasks I complete. To go to small business meetups and go to parties and try and meet other artists and ask questions. To self promote without being so self conscious and basically giving a pitch like I don't even like what I do because I don't want to come off as needy. I love what I do, I just don't want to trap someone into a conversation about ME. But this is what I need to do, one of the things that scares me. Learning to sell myself. I really want to find a creative community, and I can only do that by going out into the creative corners of the world. Being more visible. And wearing the cloak of VISIBILITY. See what I did there?
So wheres the discipline come in? Well for me, my brain very strongly resists these acts. And it is only thinking about how, when I look back on the year and I think about what I wanted and what I did to get it, that I'll be disappointed. It is discipline which makes me check off a box for no other reason than because I made the box to be checked. I wanted to do it enough to put it on my list. So all the many reasons not to go, are just fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of how I will be seen, fear of feeling less than, fear of people (who can be genuinely scary). I'm so familiar with all the faces of my old friend fear. And I see them clearly.
Back when I wore my writer hat out instead of my artist sweat pants, I was very interested in learning the creative process of famous writers. Luckily its a topic they love to discuss. Some talk about inspiration and observation. Some about the organization of thoughts collected from the world at large, for piecing together later. But many many more talk about ritual. About the hours they sit every day. Some of them have a schedule. 9a-1p every day. And some just sort of lock themselves in and tether themselves to the desk. Many days they will write pages that they don't think are particularly good. But they will write the pages nevertheless. When I read this it really destroyed my romantic notions of writing. But for the better. Writing wasn't this thing that poured out of you, a tap opened by the muses. It is discipline. The making is not always magical. In fact, it is quite simply work. A job. Neither good nor bad.
I have understood this about Shipwreck for quite some time now (the work of making has never scared me. YOU HEAR THAT MAKING?), but as I move from maker with a dream to business owner and operator and my skill tree grows and grows into areas that make me deeply uncomfortable, I must learn it (discipline) all over again. I have found myself in a position where certain things are becoming more comfortable. Shipwreck Circle has been a huge and momentous occasion and I feel after 3 months I have gotten pretty comfortable with it. I have also been doing wholesale outreach for 3 months at this point and I am also starting to feel pretty comfortable with that (even though it still makes me pretty squirmy). I am growing my skills, I am learning and striving, but truly, I feel so very alone. Sitting and doing the work is no longer an obstacle, the sitting to do the work. It is my friend and lover, my therapist and guidepost. But when I sit with at the desk, no matter the multitudes contained in me, I sit alone. I sit with Despair Daniel, and many other demons I've yet to name. Who are quite content to have me where I am. And so, I must go. Here's to first steps. Over and over.
A place for product updates, inspiration, behind the scenes stuff, and in general a place for mind meandering.