Tag Archives: coffee with patrick

Wildly Vacillating

In one moment I feel powerful. An overwhelming sense of confidence fills me up with the knowledge that I can and will drive right to where I mean to be. I fly high in that bold moment; I look down upon my fellow man and wonder why we aren’t all flying. Come on, friends. It’s so easy. You just flip that switch in your mind – it’s better than stealing a sip of Fizzy Lifting Drink, and without penalty! Just do it.

But always, always, I come down. The next moment comes, and I am filled with self-doubt and a sense of impossibility. Fizzy Lifting Drinks aren’t real, but is there a way to make that confidence real, to bottle it, to preserve it and drink from it as needed?

Yesterday was a good day. The day before that was terrible in the morning but extremely successful as evening pressed upon us. Last night was alright, but really, I fell asleep consumed with worry over…. gasp…. money. Honestly, that one little word just feels so heavy. What I want seems so possible when I really think about it, and I believe in my heart and head that it can actually happen, but that is without factoring in the green devil. When my rational mind turns to the necessity of the paper notes that hold symbol of my value (this is sick, right?), my stomach churns and little sparks begin setting off in my brain. This worry snatches my breath away, it makes me dizzy, it makes me tired. I just want to lie down and stop thinking.

For a moment, I feel a flash of jealousy toward my friends who have loads of cash and don’t need to worry as I do. But then I remember that they worry, too. They just worry about other things. In a way, their worries are even greater than mine because so many things in life come easy for me. Relationships. Love. A sense of direction. Knowing what I want. These are things that cannot be bought, and they are things I’ve rarely had to give much thought. I don’t claim to know what my friends really worry about, but of course they worry. We all do.

I’d very much like to not worry, but I suspect that there will always be something.

Okay, all of that aside, or maybe to go along with this line of thought: it was officially proven to me this weekend that I have a terrible time focusing on one task at a time. Even right now I am answering emails, replying to texts, thinking about changing the laundry, and eating a snack – all whilst writing this blog post. This creates a problem in that I am not able to complete anything of value in a timely fashion. I am spread thin, and perhaps this is a large part of why I feel overwhelmed so often. There is so much to do, and I always, always, feel as though there is so little time in which to do it. Everything is of equal priority, but that is impossible. I set myself up to feel as though I have failed, even as I am succeeding. It’s such a strange pattern I have chosen to weave. Perhaps I should dispose of this one, burn it to the ground (the Phoenix, always it comes back to the Phoenix) so that I may start fresh.

A scary thought. But one that always works.

Matches. I need matches!

Or to just focus on one thing. To shift this pattern ever so slightly. Yes, that’s a much better plan.

The Pressure

There is so much going on inside my head right now, inside my heart. All I really want to do is run away to the ocean and sit and think. No, strike that, I want to sit and NOT think. It has been four days since I worked on the novel. I am frustrated beyond frustrated with all of these other things that I have to attend to, take care of, address, fix, make work, do. I am distraught that I cannot allow my time to be filled with what makes my heart happy. Heck, I can’t even find a half hour to do what makes me happy. Well. I could find it, but I cannot allow myself to do it because I feel so God-awful GUILTY. Ew, what a hideous word. And completely self-inflicted, this guilt. No one makes me feel this way. I make me feel this way.

I cannot write because I have too much else to do that should take priority, yet I am barely able to pick away at what I’m supposed to be doing because all I can think abut is what I want to be doing. This inability to focus is prolonging each task, stretching it out, stealing my minutes. What a bloody effing copout.

This morning we talked about the pressure I put upon myself. I am the biggest obstacle in my life. I literally cannot get out of my own way – I am tripping over myself, I am standing in front of what I want to do, I am counting squirrels instead of focusing on what I need to do because I cannot do what I want to do because “guilt.” Is this human nature? To be this pissed off all the time over something that is completely within your own control if only you could get your shit together and control it?

Today’s suggestion, today’s word of advice: A systematic approach. Be systematic.

Okay, we’ll try that.

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Coffee Talk

It’s good to have someone to talk to. It can change your perception, simply having the ability to get something out of your head and into the light of day. I don’t know about anyone else, but what goes on inside my brain can be far darker than anything I project into the universe. It’s as though I feel an obligation to shine, and frankly, that’s kind of a shitty way to go through life. You aren’t obligated to smile at the world. But you darn sure better know that you’re responsible for your own happiness.

Part of the darkness that lives inside my brain is an untidy collection of what I have deemed monstrous failures. They aren’t filed neatly in little cabinets along a wall with the accomplishments that I tend to keep out of sight. No, these “failures” are piled on a corner of the desk in a terrifying, towering stack of pure yuckiness. That stack is intimidating. It’s quite tall. And it talks. It drawls creepily, “You won’t succeed. You will not accomplish your goals. Here is the proof.” Then it laughs like this “MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

So this morning during #CoffeeWithPatrick, my perception was shifted. That stack isn’t a pile of failures. Good Lord, NO! It is a manual. It’s proof of the lessons that I’ve learned. It shows I have tried, tried again, and carved a new path with each effort until I have found one that works. I am comfortable with admitting that I have been moderately successful in most everything I have attempted – I haven’t actually FAILED at anything, if I am honest with myself. Sometimes I have said things I wish I hadn’t. Sometimes I have done things I would really like to take back. Sometimes I fall, and then I get back up. If I didn’t, well, maybe that would be something I could accurately label “failure.”

Oh, and that scary voice belonging to the stack? Yeah, I’m the one who gave it that voice. I’m in control over what that pile of memories actually is – a tower of terrifying failures or a collection of things I’ve learned along the path of life. Grab hold of this: I am responsible for my own happiness, and THAT obligation means gathering these things that are hiding in the dark and bringing them out into the light so that I can see that they really aren’t all that scary.

Go have coffee with a friend. Confess what’s lurking in the dark. Look at it from a different angle. And then you can really shine.

Do not dwell on the perceived failures