I have written about being busy and my addiction to my business but a friend made the comment to me the other day that she wonders if she is addicted to her busy life. She thrives on the drama and the chaos; it keeps her from being quiet with her thoughts. She talked about how each time she creates space to think that she feels more overwhelmed and has no idea where to start. Being so busy actually keeps her from having to accomplish some of the things that she says are important. I told her my story about my dream of being a writer.
When I was twelve years old, my seventh grade English teacher handed me back a paper I had written and told me that she thought my writing had real promise. I remember being so thrilled, no one (other than my parents) had ever told me that I had promise; no one had seen something in me that was unique before. It was in that moment that I decided I wanted to be a writer.
Fast-forward to adulthood and life took over, I worked a job, got married, and started a business; but in the back of my mind, I continued to think that I wanted to write. When I am honest with myself, I have avoided it for years. My fear; this is the dream I have had for longer than any other dream, if I am not good at this or cannot become “successful” what will I dream of, what will I do next? It is then easier to stay busy with other things rather than commit to my dreams, to have the courage to stare at a blank screen and create something from nothing.
Because she is a friend, I felt comfortable in challenging her to find a few minutes here and there to be quiet. I told her:
- Don’t put any pressure about what this time is supposed to be
- Get comfortable with nothing, even if only for five minutes
I talk frequently about “baby steps” and whether working to fulfill my dream of writing or guiding her to slow down, it is about small, incremental moments of clarity that build confidence. It is this confidence that pushes you to take more time and value the work.