|Image by Tannematica via Creative Commons|
In the wildly popular erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, author E.L. James uses the phrases “my inner goddess” and “my subconscious” about a gajillion times to describe the first person narrator’s sexual, adventurous side and pragmatic, mature side, respectively. Lately, I feel like my inner goddess has been popping so many anti-depressants that she’s gone numb and my subconscious has become an ornery alcoholic – and, no, not because I wasted five days of my life reading Fifty Shades of Grey. In simpler terms, something inside me is just not right.
I suppose I am in the midst of what some would call a quarter-life crisis, but considering I’m 31 I’m a bit late to the pity party. (I’ve always been a late adopter. I still don’t have an iPhone.)
Recently, I came across the following quote:
Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. And you can change your life anytime if you aren’t enjoying the dream. (Ruiz)
After reading this my inner goddess actually perked up a bit. Then my subconscious threw an empty vodka bottle at her head and yelled, “But you don’t even know what kind of life you want!” I realized the drunk bitch was right.
When I was 15 the vision was clear. After college I was going to head to New York, work my way to the top at my favorite magazine, then after serving as editor-in-chief for a few years, take the leap and start a magazine of my own. Now, 16 years later, I teach English in Birmingham, Alabama. Clearly, things did not go as planned.
Nevertheless, I love my job, most days. However, still I feel unfulfilled and I can’t figure out why.
“What do you want to do?” – that’s the question I need to answer. It’s probably a question you need to answer too. Even super successful folks like my girl crush Erika Napoletano of RedHead Writing are asking themselves this question these days.
In her blog post on the subject Napoletano admitted that her answer to the question “What do you want to do?” was a resounding “I. Don’t. Know.” But then she began to search for her answer by making note of what she did know.
So what do you know you love to do? I know I love writing more than anything, but I also love teaching and I love connecting with people, especially with other creative women, online and IRL (in real life).
Well, if I take a look around I’m doing all these things. I’m freelancing and blogging. I teach a great group of teens at one of the best public schools in the region. And I’m connecting with other creative women through See Jane Write, a networking group for Birmingham-area women writers that I founded last year. So what’s my damage?! (Word to Heathers.)
I think I just want more. I want to see my byline in more places. I want my blog to reach more readers. I want my students to leave my classroom feeling more inspired. I want See Jane Write to offer more programs to more women. (And I want an iPhone.)
Chances are you’re battling similar feelings (though you probably already have an iPhone). You want to do more with your writing, but you’re wondering if you can or if you should. Well, here’s your answer: YES!
What you’re doing now with your blog or your fiction or your journalism or your poetry is just the beginning. You are only scratching the surface. It is time to do more!
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s great but how the hell am I supposed to do that.” Well, if I knew that my inner goddess wouldn’t be on Zoloft and my subconscious wouldn’t be taking shots of Tequila right now. But I’m determined to figure this out, and figure it out soon. And I hope you’ll come along with me for the ride. Who’s in?