The other night I couldn’t sleep. While this isn’t an uncommon occurrence, it was bothersome: something big was on my mind, something amorphous and seductive. Call it meta-curiosity, but I got out of bed, threw on some clothes, unpacked my laptop, and sat waiting.
I’d read Seth Godin‘s compilation of What Matters Now (if you haven’t downloaded this free inspirational ebook, go and do so, then come back) earlier in the afternoon, picking it out of the mess of my Twitter feed. I went through at a high-level, looking through the eighty-something pages of ideas for 2010. And on first read, I thought to myself “Self, why aren’t you putting something like this together? This is what you do best – what’s different about you? Why haven’t you done this? Why haven’t you written your manifesto? GET TO IT!”
I put it aside for a few hours, roiling with discontent – and unfortunately taking it out on the sweet boyfriend. He went to sleep and I laid there, listening to him breathe, asking myself what I needed. What did I need to make it all happen, to calm that ambitious voice in my head? Am I screwing around, or is what I’m doing the right path toward what I want to do? What do I want? How do I get that? I know I’m not happy right now, but is it a necessary unhappiness to realize something later? Why put off this happiness any longer?
Then I realized I’m in the echo chamber, caught in a crowd of voices parroting the same thing over and over, louder and louder, bouncing against nonporous walls. And oh to countervail the crowd, even if faceless, nameless, and comprised of an unknown number. I slipped out of bed, tiptoed into my office, and sat at my desk with my head in my hands. What to do now. What to do now. What to do now to stop the voices all around me crowing of instant success while I languish in apathy.
Weeks passed before I found a true answer.
Simply to take it a day at a time and make one small step forward each day toward the motley grouping of goals.
I’ll keep you posted on progress.