It’s Time to Stop Feeling Bad About What I’m Not Doing and Start Feeling Good About What I am Doing
Hi there, lovelies!
I know what you’re thinking. “Those titles are awfully vague, H.” Yeah, I know. They are pretty broad and, besides, what the heck do those two sentiments have to do with each other?
Those two statements do have one thing in common: They are how I’m feeling about my work and my life right now. Structure… Purpose… Money… Loneliness… Confidence… Writer’s Block… Doubt… Boredom… Do any of these words speak to you at all? Then read on, my friend…
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you already have a pretty general idea of what I’m all about. I’m a 20-something who very recently decided to exit the work force and begin writing from home, starting a blog for funsies while working on my series of young adult novels. It sounds great, right? Well it is. It really is, and I am sick unto death of thinking or saying that it isn’t.
Before I go too much farther into it, I want to put a warning here that this is going to be a completely personal post. You won’t find any fun vegan recipes or pretty makeup looks here.
Structure… Purpose… Money… Loneliness… Confidence… Writer’s Block… Doubt… Boredom… Do any of these words speak to you at all?
No, it won’t be long. In fact, it’s almost halfway finished already (I did promise you guys I’d never make my personal posts that long and I’m keeping my promise). I don’t mind at all if you skim through this, or if you simply back out of this and avoid my personal posts like the plague. After all, one day I hope to retire into obscurity and fall off the grid, meaning this blog and all of its contents, including all of my social media, are gonna go bye-bye one day. When is that day? Years from now, I’m sure. My point is, don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like reading this, or any of my personal posts. Trust me, I don’t give a shit.
Don’t get me wrong though, if you’re still here, then welcome aboard, and thanks for your interest 🙂
I have spent the last few months clacking away on my keyboard, writing my books and building up my blog. I will say that it is the least stressful, most fun, and easiest job I’ve ever had. It’s also the least paying (at least for now, but I don’t really mind so much). As long as I keep the house in general order and cook my delicious food fairly often, my darling bf doesn’t mind covering the bills. We live a simple, comfortable life… It isn’t easy but we make do. I’m actually okay with where we are financially speaking but more money is always good.
It really isn’t about the money for me. Yes, I hope to make enough off of my books to retire, but the blog is mostly for fun (but hey, I’ll do work for cash, if you’re interested check out the Work with Helene page for info). For me, it’s all about a sense of purpose.
Honestly, all I’ve ever wanted to do was write. I was always good at it, from a young age, and I’ve loved books for even longer. I think the idea to have a blog fluttered in and out of my mind a few times over the course of my life, but I didn’t really decide that I wanted to do it until, well, until I sat down and did it. I’m glad I jumped into blogging without thinking about it too much. I never would’ve done it had I given it more thought, but this was a great decision. I love blogging, and I think at this point in my life, blogging is a great outlet that helps me, but is also still productive. I need that kind of structure at this point in my life, and thank you all for helping me along the way (yes, you… all of you, everyone reading this… except for the haters and spam bots–just kidding!).
There are lots of little (well, big) issues that I struggle with on the daily. A couple are pretty easy to deal with: Boredom and Loneliness. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh boo-hoo you’re bored and lonely sometimes”. Yes, I know. There are worse things. It’s weird, sitting here all day with just my cats and my snake to keep me company until the bf gets home. It makes me really look forward to going shopping or to the gym, but most days I rarely go farther than the backyard! Being alone with yourself for extended periods of time, for the first time in a long time… It’s kinda crazy. Try it sometime.
I used to think I never had enough time in the day, and I still think that some days, but a lot of days there’s just too much time! Like, I can only write so much any given day, yeah? Unless of course I get writer’s block. Writer’s block is the bane of my existence. It’s enough to make me go from, “Hey, this is pretty good” to “Oh wow, I’m actually out of words. I can’t think of… I can’t… UGH! I give up!” and then I’m done for the day, in about 5 seconds flat. This happens a lot, more often than I care to admit.
One thing that helps with my writer’s block is to read some of the stuff I’ve written in the past. I have over 100 pages of crisp, clean, edited, absolutely perfect book that I’ve written and is technically ready for printing (I know there’s more to it than that, but that’s how done those portions are) and I’ll read through some of them to help me get back into a writing mindset. Feel free to steal that trick if ever you’re suffering from the Block.
Being alone with yourself for extended periods of time, for the first time in a long time… It’s kinda crazy. Try it sometime
I’ll tell you, this is my first time not having any kind of structure at all in about 3 years. I wake up when I want, go to bed when I want, work when I want, eat lunch when I want… There’s no one telling me what to do, where to do it, or when I should have it done by. This lack of structure is frightening at first, more than a little jarring, and definitely takes some getting used to. Although I do usually go to bed at around the same time (and wake up around 6:30 or so in the morning no matter what, without an alarm, I might add), it feels great to know that all of this is within my control.
It’s almost unlike me, but I decided to forgo having any sort of schedule. It can be hard to manage writing, photography, blogging, working out, cooking, cleaning, and everything else I have to do, and yeah, a lot of days, some stuff doesn’t get done. But knowing that I have the whole day stretched out ahead of me to do it, it definitely helps.
The whole entire point of this post is that I finally realized something, something that I think will help with the feelings of doubt, the sense of dread, the lack of self-esteem, my waning confidence… I need to stop feeling guilty for lacking structure.
There’s no one telling me what to do, where to do it, or when I should have it done by. This lack of structure is frightening at first, more than a little jarring, and definitely takes some getting used to.
Structure isn’t the best thing to have in life, it’s really not. Especially not when you have drive, passion, freedom, and purpose. Structure isn’t needed, just the thought is quite freeing. I sit here and feel like, because I’m not clocking in every day and taking a paycheck every two weeks, I’m not working? Because I’m not listening to a boss or taking flack from a customer, I’m not important? Because I’m not dreading Monday and anticipating Friday, I’m doing something wrong?
No. Not at all. Mainstream society, as much as I love and hate it sometimes, has led me to that path of thinking, and, in doing so, has failed me. How dare I feel guilty for pursuing something I’ve wanted since I was literally 10 years old? How dare a lack of structure make me doubt my purpose? No more, I say.
I’m not really religious, but I do consider myself to be a rather “spiritual” person, as in I believe in the idea of spirits and believe that nurturing them is vital to keeping ourselves whole. So when I say that I have many blessings in life, I mean in a wholesome and fulfilling way.
How many people would kill to be in my shoes? Young, unmarried, no children, healthy, able… Just free in so many ways. I don’t dread Monday, I don’t get the Sunday scaries, I don’t have any work stresses putting a blight on my life, I don’t have to set an alarm… I’m doing what I want, and I’m doing it as often as I like! How many people can say that? I should be grateful, and I should not feel like I have a gaping hole in my chest.
I finally realized something, something that I think will help with the feelings of doubt, the sense of dread, the lack of self-esteem, my waning confidence… I need to stop feeling guilty for lacking structure.
So I’m saying it: enough is enough. I’m kissing structure goodbye, and I’m embracing my work. I, as well as my work, have value. What I do makes me happy, and I feel like I’m not only finally doing something that I’m good at (for once), but I also like to think that one day, I’ll be helping people in some way, too.
There’s plenty of time to get knocked out of that illusion, but for now, I choose to embrace it.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this, and I’d love to hear in the comment section below if any of you have ever struggled with any of these feelings. I know that was kind of a lot (more than I said it would be) and is probably equal parts redundant and all over the place, but hey, I just shot this off without really thinking too much about it.
Lack of structure, remember?