On March 29, I wrote a Facebook (FB) post exploring the qualities of being exceptional and meh. It created quite a stir. My outstanding FB community offered encouragement and I received an outpouring of virtual hugs. I was overwhelmed by the support.
I wanted to take a moment and reassure everyone and offer some insight into the inner workings of my mind. Here then is:
In defense of meh…
Deep introspective thinking can be a curse, but I find it’s also the greatest path to transformation. We need to figure out where we are right now in order to change it. Being meh isn’t a bad thing. Most people tend to shy away from questions like: “What am I supposed to do with my life?” or “What’s the point of it all?” These may seem like melancholy sentiments, and sometimes they can be, brought about by low points in our lives, but even then, they are catalysts for change. I’m not at a low point, but I am a bit rudderless in my travels at the moment. I’m searching for just what it is that I need to feel that spark of passion and creativity again. Life has a way of bogging us down in minutia and sometimes we fall off the track.
This time around, I’ve fallen and landed in a place of inertia. I’m trying lots of different things, but it’s as if I’m treading water and not really going anywhere. When I’m writing books, this inertia phase is called writer’s block. For me, writer’s block occurs when I’ve taken the story or my characters in a direction they were never meant to go, a direction that doesn’t resonate with my vision for the story. Unfortunately, when you’re knee-deep in the mire of the ‘murky middle’ as it’s wanting to be called, it’s damn near impossible to figure out what’s wrong. You know something needs to be fixed, which is why you can’t write a single word more, but you have no idea what the problem is. In this state of impasse, all you can do is reflect on where your characters have been and where they’re currently at before enough time passes and you get an ‘aha’ moment and the words start flowing again because you found where the train jumped the track and you can pull it back in the direction it wants to go, rather than forcing it to bend to your will.
That’s where I’ve been this year… off track, forcing myself to move in directions I’m not sure I’m meant to go. And this imbalance had been multifaceted, spanning several areas of my life, which has created a ripple effect, driving a strong desire for change and growth. Sometimes you need enough distance to gain a little perspective. And often, there’s plenty of damn forests to try to see through to the trees. But eventually, if you keep asking the tough questions, the clouds will clear, and you’ll find some answers.
Someone asked me if I wanted to be exceptional, and while it may seem vain or politically incorrect, the answer is yes, of course I do. But how do we define exceptional? And in the same breath, how do we define success?
Every one of us will answer those questions differently. I’m exceptional when I’m following my passions, spending time with my friends and family and engaging in life. In other words, I’m exceptional when I’m happy. Happiness creates a glow—a bubbly, warm light of energy that surrounds us and embraces everyone and everything we touch. Success comes by following my passions and engaging in something that makes me happy. But success is also practical. In order for me to achieve it, I need to do all that and contribute financially to the well-being and stability of my family. So, while I’d love to create for the sake of creating, bills still have to get paid and food needs to find its way to the table.
When I ask the tough questions, I get closer to being exceptional and successful. I’m not content with anything less. Which means, I have to hunker down and find out why I’ve hit writer’s block in my own life. Fortunately, I’ve found some answers. Not all of them, mind you, but a couple gems of insight to move me slowly toward that next great thing that will set my soul on fire and ignite a passionate adventure…adding one word after another, until I build a sentence, then a paragraph, then a chapter. I’m building toward a new chapter in my life, and I’m excited as hell to see where it takes me. Thanks for coming along for the ride. 🙂 <3