Yesterday evening over dinner my kid said, “What a shitty summer we had.”
Yes, it was a shitty summer for all three of us. And staying positive is one of the biggest challenges I face right now. It has become a real struggle for me. God knows I try. Nothing works for me better than writing. Even if what I write doesn’t make sense sometimes. Just the process, the real act of writing, moving my hand on the page is enough to get me going.
But after a while I stop. Self-doubt kicks in and I ask myself what’s the point? I ask myself if I will ever get published someday. That’s when I stop feeling happy. What once seemed so promising now seems like folly at best, madness at worst.
What has happened? Have I allowed the struggle to overpower the hope and positive energy I began with? Shall I abandon the whole process then? But the mere thought of abandoning my writing takes me to a new level of depression. I remember Edmund Burke’s words:
“Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.”
Then I think of all the successful people who have struggled long and hard and endured multiple failures before achieving their success. I ask myself what better way is there to live knowing that writing provides me with endless discipline and demands for excellence.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote:
“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”
Since the only time that I am my best self is when I write. Maybe I should congratulate myself for having the courage to write rather than berate myself because I haven’t already succeeded? After all I am succeeding at being my best self. I can’t fail at being me. That’s something I alone can achieve.
So why am I upset about things I can’t control? Right now the thing I can control is the work that I can do in the next hour, or later today.
Henry David Thoreau writes:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”