It’s easy to think of each year as a chapter in our lives. Personally, each New Year’s Eve I feel like I’m closing a book rather than a chapter. But something far more beautiful than a book is evolving over each period of our lives, and it’s longer than a year.
A lot of people can’t stand positive people. Especially when they’re in a slump. I know that when I’m feeling sad or distraught or upset, the last thing I want to hear someone say is “Oh, buck up. Think of the positive!” Sometimes I can be one of those people, and even I want to punch myself sometimes.
Below is a guest post by Melissa Field, on building a toolbox for your anxiety. I love this idea, because anxiety affects so many people, and it’s wonderful to have a go-to toolbox full of tools for when you feel anxiety coming on!
I recently began digging into why I have a deeply rooted fear of success. After a lot of journal writing, I discovered it came down to one thing: I equated success with being overwhelmed.
This blog photo made lovingly with PicMonkey
It’s hot in Southern California tonight. I don’t 100% mean because it’s been in the 90s this week, I mean because the Kings are at Game 7 in the playoffs, and I’ve been reading a lot about the sun.
Do you guys watch that Cosmos show on Fox? It comes on Sunday nights at 9pm, and I am hooked. I am already quietly obsessed with the universe, but that show encompasses exactly how I feel on a day to day basis.
Maybe it’s my kickboxing high, but when you think about the life spans of all the souls on earth, from a spaceship’s perspective, their beginning, middle, and end might as well be as quick as a picture flash. Or like fast clips in movie trailers.
Whatever you prefer.
My life, would also be a picture flash, that one second on the screen when the car blows up in a blockbuster movie trailer, that shooting star you thought you just saw. Its entire story will be swallowed up one day, along with the entirety of literature, a million umbrellas, and every single Jack in the Box. Next would come the neighbor’s harmonica, the bottomless ocean.
(Photo credit: NASA. Thank you NASA, for showing me galaxies).
I wasn’t feeling good when I woke up this morning. It was because I didn’t have any plans. I could talk about this topic forever (how not having plans gives me anxiety), but instead, I want to for a second write about how I got myself out of this slump.
Don’t worry, I know it’s Saturday, this is a really short post.
Remember when I said I won a book a few weeks back? This was it! I won it because the author, Erika Napoletano, said via her Facebook page that anyone who creatively sends her a message through her new Contact form would receive a signed copy of her book, The Power of the Unpopular. So I emailed her, tried to be as creative as possible, and I won!
A little back story: I’ve been following Erika Napoletano forever. She has her own business and she cusses a lot. She helps businesses get unstuck essentially. And she has fiery red hair. And she writes for Entrepreneur Magazine occasionally! I think I found her blog Red Head Writing about a year or so ago, and then I sort of forgot about finding it, and then I ‘liked’ her Facebook page and remembered again.
Basically, she’s awesome. She’s so kick ass, and she gives a shit load of useful information on doing what you love. And she’s mean about it because she’s serious about it! In the nicest way possible. I subscribe to her blog and every time her posts land in my inbox I’m always excited to get smacked around into waking the hell up. She is the voice in my head that tells me that I have two choices: either ‘freak the fuck out’ or ‘just launch the fucker’. And that’s essentially how this whole blog thing started out a year and a half ago and look at me now! I’m a bonafied blogger and happier and learning, and I love this blog more and more as the days pass. I even got blogger business cards ferkrissakes! And you have no idea how hard it was to talk myself into that one. There was a fair amount of inner voice stifling.
Life is mysterious.
In other news, tonight I am realizing that I’m far too hard on myself when I take too long to finish a project, and I shouldn’t be. I’ve been thinking somewhat negatively about my direction lately, but I need to remember that I have a choice in the way I approach situations, and that I need to be more loving and forgiving towards myself. I read some quote by Lucille Ball today that made me realize this. She said, “You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” And I realized how right she was. How can you move forward with the confidence and strength of your vision if you’re worried about the things you find faulty with yourself? It’s distracting as all hell, and it takes you away from what’s important.
As for other random bits of inspiration that floated in my periphery today, I read another quote, this time it was actually a tweet by a woman named Ekaterina Walter, who recently penned the novel Think Like Zuck, a book based on how Facebook and other popular companies made their mark in the world. She said on Twitter today that in 9 years Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook) “has built something amazing and never took his eye off the ball,” which so reminded me of something my dad used to tell me in softball when I was little.
I realized how incredibly applicable that advice is today, as I’m out in the world trying to pursue my ‘something great’. It struck me that whatever that ‘something great’ turns out to be, it will have been something I kept in my direct line of vision, without ever losing sight of it for however long. In fact, even though that ‘something great’ may turn out to be one of 5 projects I’m juggling, it’s always in the back of my mind: in the car, in line at the coffee shop, and when I’m waiting for slow people to get out of the way at Trader Joes so I can safely pass to grab the last box of chicken tikka masala in the frozen foods section.
Lastly, I love this song below. It’s called You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie (Tonetiger Remix) by The Submarines. I had it on repeat today, and for me it symbolizes just how much we often take for granted, how easy it is to fall apart, and how every day we should “choose love, choose light.”
I know exactly why seeing the scrawl inside of this book makes me want to cry. Because I was crying when I wrote it. Hell, I’m crying now. I pulled out this book tonight because I’m going to mention it in the e-book I’m writing about applying to business school, and I wanted to refresh my memory. I was completely taken aback however, to find what I had written on the first page.
3/29/2011 was ten days after my dad passed away. His death was so sudden, all I could do with the time off work was read, drink a lot of coffee, and cry, cry, cry. I had been reading this book, Trust Agents, well before my father passed, but finished it shortly after. It’s written by Julien Smith and Chris Brogan, and the front cover definition of the book says it’s about “using the web to build influence, improve reputation, and earn trust.” But really, it’s about so much more than that.
I remember buying it because I was a big fan of Chris Brogan, and wanted to learn a little something about building a reputation on the web. This was around the time I’d just started loving the internet and had been thinking about starting my own business doing something cool.
Essentially, this book took me from thinking about wanting to do something cool on the web, to actually doing it. It taught me “how to use the internet”, it taught me to play nicely with others (on the web), and how to ask for something without asking for it. It taught me patience. It taught me to “let them want to come to you” in terms of building an audience. It literally gave me the confidence I absolutely did not have to start this blog, to tell people “I want to start my own business!”, and to take advantage of all the opportunities the web had to offer. This book is the reason I went from partying and a 9-to-5 job to partying, a 9-to-5 job, and a bazillion side projects. It provided light in the darkest time of my life, and I think I realized that after finishing the book. What else would have driven me to write such a thing on the very first page? I do admit however, I was not in my right mind at the time, but that’s neither here nor there.
Every day we live, we are changed. Certain things happen to us, people influence us, yell at us, and misfortune says hello. All of it reshapes the way we think about things, no matter how subtly. Every once in a great while though, one huge event, one great circumstance, rocks the center of our being and shakes the ground we stand on, and in the heat of the moment, we usually don’t have a pen or a pencil to write it down with.
Finishing this book was my heat of the moment, and I wrote that shit down because it shook me.
Pray tell, has there ever been a book that shook you?