Blank Pages Cannot be Edited
There is a monster lurking under the bed. I just know it’s there somewhere. Well maybe it’s not under the bed but in the closet, waiting to jump out and grab me when I least expect it. I can’t see it but I can hear it. It sounds like a chattering monkey voice and grows louder and louder the harder I try to remain positive and focused to keep my intentions on track. It sneaks out and follows me but when I turn around it retreats to a dark corner, unseen but lurking nearby. Can you hear it too, The Why Not monster? It has a friend named What If. Those two monsters like to play with my mind.
Wait, that negative monkey voice is not coming from under the bed or in the closet. It is not coming from outside my house. It is inside my head. My mind is pushing aside the positive affirmations and letting WHY NOT and WHAT IF take control of the journey towards my intentions for the year.
The Why Not Be Successful monster of perfectionism takes on the form of procrastination, and fear is the monster What If. Those plaguing “what if” questions which cause the procrastination to happen and magnify the fear of not being good enough. What if I am not a good enough storyteller to call myself one? What if I cannot write well enough to have someone want to read it or have it published? What if no one takes me seriously as a professional speaker when I do not have the slender figure, posh home or enough credentials behind my name? What if I pour my time, energy and money into moving ahead on this journey and I fail to live up to my perfectionist expectations?
But the monster must be tamed and the negative monkey voice quieted. Striving for perfection gets in the way of excellence which is attainable. It stalls the process so I cannot even achieve good enough. It leaves me stuck in a place I would rather not be. I do have intentions and want to keep them on track. I cannot let the challenges and changes derail the vision of telling the stories and preserving the memories.
Blank pages cannot be edited. So I need to write and tell the stories. I need to work on editing them later. My husband reminds me to have fun with them. I remember his words and know that I am telling the stories first for my family, to preserve them for the next generation. It will give them a glimpse into who I am and the journey I have been on. Some of them will go beyond family and be shared with others. But no one can enjoy the stories if they are not shared. If I allow that monsters What If or Why Not to fill my mind with fear and negativity, I will hide behind procrastination and not good enough. Then I will miss out on amazing possibilities, new connections, strengthening existing friendships and memory making moments. Stories can’t encourage, teach or be preserved if they aren’t recorded, told and shared.
I know that I will face challenges and changes might need to be made along the way to fulfilling this year’s intentions but just like when the train I rode in was shunted to a siding, it only meant a short delay not a change in destinations or never reaching my intended place to go. While we sat and waited for the green light to move forward, I had a choice. I could get frustrated and let negativity take over or I could visit with someone, watch the scenery or rest.
This can help remind me that on the train trip of life, I have set out to use my abilities and gifts to tell stories in whatever form they might take. The sidings give me a chance to reflect, to prepare, or to rest so I can be ready to move forward at just the right time. I am on the right track. I have received many positive affirmations from unexpected places and people which I can focus on to drown out those nasty monsters of What If and Why Not.
Those monsters under the bed or hiding in the closet can become the stuff of stories, their negative monkey voices quietened by remembering why I do what I do. I love to tell the stories to entertain, to educate and to preserve the family memories. Mentoring others of all ages and abilities is a highlight for me, especially as they find their voice and reach for their fullest potential.
The Why Not and What if monsters may try and sneak out of hiding from time to time. That is their sneaky way. But I’ll send them packing when I quit procrastinating the editing of longer pieces and share my stories with others. I will hang on to opportunities instead of fear.
Most of all I must remember I am uniquely me. I am a storyteller, a speaker and a published author.