There’s something that’s been playing around the corners of my subconscious for the last few weeks, trying to creep it’s way into the part of my brain that actually makes sense of my randomness. (Believe me, it can happen! :))
It’s the idea that somehow, I’m supposed to be some kind of inspiration, because I published a book; not my words at all, but many have said that. And whilst I gratefully accept the commendations, and the support is beyond anything I could have hoped for, there is a huge part of me that wants to say very loudly, ‘No, I’m not.”
It’s not a self conscious thing; like I don’t think I’m worthy of it.
Or a fake humility, where I secretly hope you will continue to lavish your kind words upon me.
It’s just a realistic thing; it’s the way I’m looking at it, from where I stand.
You see, the way I see the world, is framed through a Christian world view, where God made all of us, and because of that we all worth and purpose. What that purpose is, is anyone’s guess, but the way you begin to discover it, is by working out what you are passionate about. What do you love, and what can you not stand? What burns inside of you?
For me, writing is simply who I am. It’s effortless and easy, and I am compelled to do it. When I wrote my manuscript, it wasn’t hard. It just came from within; all the things I needed to say were simply written down.
The editing was hard. Believing it was worth being written was laughable. And the part I’m at now, of selling myself to bookstores and would be readers, that feels impossible.
But the writing, that was the easy bit. So simple.
Now why do I say this? Not to blow my own horn or to give myself another plug (certainly not my intent), but because in a conversation with a friend the other day, we both came to the same conclusion. When you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing, it doesn’t feel like your doing something great; it feels normal.
It should feel normal.
Of course, there will be moments of stretching yourself, and pushing the comfort zone, but that’s life. That’s what the adventure is all about; easy, all the time, would be boring.
So when people say to me, ‘you’re such an inspiration,’ I disagree. I’m not. I am a person who has found what they love, and just gone with it. There’s nothing amazing about that; that’s what we should all be doing.
On Sunday at Church, our pastor was talking about his wedding speech, in which he said to his bride, ‘let’s live full, and die empty.’ The idea being that we should never be left wondering who we could have been, or what we could have done. When they bury our bodies in the ground, there should be no thought that the life gone was a life of potential wasted; it should be that those who we leave behind know that we gave everything, and did everything to be the best that we could be.
I love watching kids have a temper tantrum; I know that’s weird, but there is something about the passion of that moment that is inspiring. Have you ever seen a small child, desperate for their mother, but unable to reach her? I had to look after a fifteen month old the other day, and saw her desperation at not being near her mum. In a room we stood, with the door closed, me trying to hush her desperate tears, whilst she would not be consoled. Instead she stood at that door and threw her tiny fists against it, screaming for all the world to hear.
It was such a beautiful thing.
I looked at that little girl, who I love almost as much as my own kiddies, and thought, ‘don’t you ever lose this fight. Don’t you ever let anyone stop you from reaching your goal. When the door shuts on you, pound on it until it is opened again, and you walk through. Don’t you dare give up.’
That same determination, is what should drive us too. That fight to gain hold of what is ours, whatever that may be. To pursue our dream regardless of who or what is standing in the way. I chose to self publish, because I didn’t have the self belief that I would get picked up by a publisher, but that doubt didn’t stop me. It’s ok to have fear; it’s not ok to let it paralyse you.
I suppose, what I’m trying to say, is that I am just Jess. The same person I have always been, which perhaps luckily for me, is a stubborn determined little tantrum thrower at heart. I’m not worthy of admiring, because I haven’t done anything that great. I’ve just been who I’m meant to be, which is something that each and everyone of us can do.
Live full. Die empty.
The choice is yours.
Are you living full?