Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Note to Myself

Dear Self,

You know that thing you read this afternoon? That thing that made your skin itch because you wanted to be in that situation too? It wasn't even in the spirit of envy, but simply in the way it encapsulated the rewards of what you want to achieve. So you say 'one day', but what does that even mean? Why put it off and then give yourself reasons why you'll fail?

Stop giving yourself excuses not to try.

You are not too old. You are not too inexperienced. You are not too anything. You're simply afraid of disappointment. While that's a very real fear, it's not a reason to hold back or, worse, never even give yourself a fair shot at it.

You know what you want. You're afraid to admit it really, but you know, deep down. And that's what happened today, and it's that tingling you get when you read things. That's your motivation. Hold onto it. Hold onto the aggression you experienced reading that article, the one made you want to berate yourself for sitting on your ass all day rather than working towards what you wanted. Because you know what? For the first time, you actually believed you could have it, if you just tried hard enough.

You actually believed in yourself. Who would have thought?

And why shouldn't you? You're not a child any more. You have three degrees. You have been endorsed by people who didn't have to say nice things about you. You have been published in over 30 magazines, and yes okay, it's not going to win you a Pulitzer, but it's still something. And next year this time you'll actually be a published author contributing to an academic field. Really, it's not shabby for a 24 year old. You should embrace that.

Go out there and get on with it. You know what you want, so go for it. All the writers you admire, all those artists, none of them waited. Not for experience, not for training, not for the mythical right moment. They had something they wanted to express, and they just went out and did it. They doubted themselves, other people doubted them and I'm sure many people told them they were doing it wrong. The didn't let that stop them, and they certainly didn't let the thought of it stop them from even starting.

This is one of those things you can't wait to perfect. Don't get bogged down in the semantics and technicalities. You've learned the rules, it doesn't mean you have to live by them. There is no right or wrong way to do things here, you can't fail as long as you're true to yourself. You are the only thing that's holding you back. Stop being so scared of yourself.

It's time you got this shit done because it's now or never. Wasn't that sort of the point of coming halfway across the world? It won't happen if you keep giving yourself out clauses. Remember this feeling the next time you feel like giving up, the next time you're too tired or the next time it's all just too hard. Remember the anger and the frustration and the terrifying depth of wanting. Don't waste the potential.

Now stop wasting time. Honestly.


Music: The Ship Song - Amanda Palmer (cover)

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