It’s all about how you see yourself.
When you were younger, how did you picture yourself now? What was the vision you had of the person you’d be now?
If you stop & think about it, are you kind of already that person?
Maybe you wanted to be a writer, and now, you write at a small desk in the corner of your bedroom every morning and it’s not perfect, it’s not some glamorous study with floor to ceiling bookshelves & a ladder to climb them, but you WRITE EVERY MORNING…and that means, YOU’RE A WRITER. And if you keep writing every day, eventually you’re going to have something to show for it. Maybe one day you’re going to look back on that humble little desk in the corner of your bedroom & think, “Wow, that’s where it all began!”
So, considering that could be your future, why not see yourself as that person now? See yourself as the talented, accomplished person who had humble beginnings. See the work you are doing to build your dreams as the most valuable gift you could give to humanity.
For a long time, I had this vision of going to a writing conference in San Francisco. It sounded like the most glamorous writing thing I could ever do. I envisioned myself sitting in a hotel room, luxuriously typing away at my computer, far away from my four kids, engrossed and inspired. I’d take long walks on the beach between writing sessions, I’d eat in the best restaurants, I’d stand among my literary fellows and feel I’d arrived.
Earlier this year, I decided three years of wishing for that dream was enough, and it was time to make it happen. I took one of the hugest leaps of faith of my life and booked the conference.
The second I committed, everything that could go wrong did. I got a terrible flu that lasted for three weeks. Two days before the conference, I was in the hospital getting IV fluids. I felt like I was going to have seizures every day. I’d lost ten pounds on my already skinny frame.
But, I had that vision in my mind, and I held tight to it – I was going to make it happen. Against all odds, I got on the plane, and I went.
Now, just in case you’re not aware, writing conferences are anything but luxurious and there’s little time to feel “engrossed and inspired.” Writing conferences, as I soon found out, are actually more like horse races – and they’re off! And they’re off again! Run here, ok now it’s time to run there, quick, put your whole heart on the line, do the scariest thing you’ve ever done pitching agents and editors and now run, in ten minutes you have to be on the other side of the building to pitch that one! My days began at 5 a.m. and ended at midnight. The time I did have in my room to write was frantic, manic writing, rushed to produce, rework, rewrite before the next session, the next keynote speaker, the next consultation.
I caught myself one morning amid the frenzy, standing in my room getting ready, feeling stressed and harried. I gazed out the window of my historic San Francisco hotel on Nob Hill. In the distance, I could see the bay peeking at me between buildings, a smooth line below the horizon. Even the billboards below my room seemed opulent. My room was 418 square feet, but it had a lovely mahogany desk and room service I ordered every morning and evening because it was the only way I had time to eat and write.
I stopped and looked around, and suddenly I remembered that vision I had held of this moment for three long years. All I’d wanted for three years was to be right here. I remembered how dazzling and lavish I had thought it would all be and laughed. This was hard work, not indulgence. But, it was luxury, too. To be able to be here. To be able to afford the conference, the room service at night. To be walking among my fellow writers all day every day for four days and sitting in front of agents and editors most writers would kill to have face time with.
I pulled out my camera phone, sat down at the large desk in my hotel bathrobe with a towel wrapped around my head, and snapped a selfie. I made the moment happen that I had pictured in my mind, of sitting at that desk, feeling luxuriously engrossed and inspired in the writer’s life. I chose to see that moment as everything I’d hoped it would be. That conference was the most incredible thing I’d ever done, just in a different way than I had expected. Instead of affording me inspiration and relaxation, it had pushed me to my furthest limits and shown me I could go a little further, once more. It had given me a chance to be validated by my peers and the literary community, hearing the overwhelming response to my story. It had gifted me friendships I would treasure for years to come. It showed me that I can have health issues and seizures and anxiety and fears and doubts and worries, and STILL SHOW UP and win the day.
I went to the conference intending to feel like the proud, confident, accomplished writer I could be. I ended up becoming exactly that. I was proud of what I had accomplished. I was confident, even if only for brief moments in front of those agents, after hours of solitude working myself up into it, and I did accomplish so much in going.
Sometimes, I still see myself as a struggling writer who’s squished into a small office with no door (I really need a door!), exasperated at the long, daunting tasks of writerhood.
But, then I remember, it’s all about how you see yourself, and I’ve come a long way from the days I was writing on a tiny desk in the corner of my bedroom (that was me!). I choose, instead, to see myself as someone who perseveres. A writer who sits tall at her computer and remembers the power she has, to create visions with words. Now, I remember that seeing myself as my best self gave me four of the most transformational days of my life in San Francisco. What was birthed in me there led me home to bravely forge ahead, buy a new house and end up in this gorgeous glass writing office. I keep dreaming of moments and putting myself in them. When I see myself as who I can be, I realize, I already possess everything within me, to be that woman.
Take a moment right now and envision your life five years from now – the best version of yourself you could imagine. How would you act? How would you feel? Feel how it would be to be that person, as if it is happening now. Then, do this again tomorrow, and tonight before bedtime, and watch how your life can change.
No matter where you are on your journey, lying in bed sick and stuck, reeling from a break-up or disappointment, a loss or tragedy, you can always see yourself as it could be, until it is.
And you can always…rise again. WE can rise again…together. ❤
My love to you as always, until next time,