I have written this post about 7 times. Each time, I falter. I bump into someone I know who reads the blog and I come home and delete the sentiments. I re-read what I wrote and decide that actually, yes, I am the most irritating person on the planet and then push delete. I write a bit, then get interrupted, then decide that I am just silly. But here goes...
I am 33 and 3/4 years old. I have 3 children. I am married to my teenage sweetheart. I live in a house I love in an unremarkable town in central Scotland. I have a nose ring and hair that is now mostly brown, but it used to be auburn when I lived in a place where the sun shined more than it didn't. Most days, I am not quite sure how I will pay the bills or get through the laundry or survive 9 hours on my own with 3 small children, but that is no different than most everyone else I know.
In my 33 and 3/4 years, I have lived many lives. I was a camp counsellour and passionate advocate for people with disabilities. I travelled the world. I worked with rough sleepers and in public health and I raised money and I was going to be a midwife (many times). But, in each of those versions, life was incredibly hard. Every single morning was a chore - to get out of bed, to work, to live.
There have been many, many hard times. I drank too much and I cried even more. But I got through. I was always employable. Each new job was a new hope - "Maybe this will be my path" - I would think on every first day...and a few months later I would be back in the same place. Unmotivated. Despondent.
9 months ago, after being made redunant from one such job, our money ran out. I looked around my life and picked up the tools in front of me as a way of supporting my family. My yarn. My hook. My camera.
Never once did I think anything would come out of it. I hoped it would, but I didnt really believe it.
In those 9 months, I have worked just about every free moment I have. I have squeezed a more-than-full-time job into the cracks and crevices I can find around taking care of my children. I have started one business and then another.
Working hard is not new to me. I have worked hard and long many other times in my life. However, never once did I have to do give anything to work other than my time. I did my work and went home.
The last few days have been incredibly difficult. There is a deadline looming on the 14th. I wake up every morning, counting down mentally, knowing that the liklihood of meeting the deadline is slipping through my fingers. And even beyond any specific item on my list, I have started the period of transition, where the mere thought of all of the things that need doing sends me into a panic-attack and I am plagued with self-doubt. I have convinced myself 10 times over that I was stupid to even consider writing a book. That I can not photograph it as well. That I can not write a blog or a course or even cook dinner (that is how self-doubt works...you can't just be bad at one thing - its all or nothing).
Though the details are different, the sentiments are the same as they have been in the past. Back then, I would have quit my job and jumped to another because I had nothing to lose.
Now, it is very different. Now my work means giving fully of myself, of everything that I have...and with so much invested, I have everything to lose if I walk away. But even more than that, in working harder than I have ever worked, in doing things I didn't know I was capable of, even in the incredibly down times, I am comforted by the simple truth that this work is far easier than anything I have ever done before because it is truely mine.
No matter how hard this path is, no matter how much work I have to do in the next week, let alone in the next month, wether this deadline is met or not, I know deep down it will all be ok. Because this is the song I was born to sing. This is the path I was meant to walk.
And, in the end, its a great one.
Print from here.