I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve said “I’m going to …” followed immediately by any one of these:
Write a book
Start a blog
Make the cat sleep outside
Go to Cuba / Costa Rica / Chile
Start travel writing
Clean out my shoe cupboard
… and a thousand other statements along the same lines. Here in Australia, that makes me a member of the gunna club. As in, I’m gunna do that, yeah, and I’m gunna do that too! Only I never do, I just say I’m gunna do it. And I say it a lot. Write a book. Get fit. Clear out my shoes. Ha.
Some of those things I have made attempts at, some seem out of reach, some are just way too hard. That cat can find her way into a locked and barred house in five minutes flat. Cat burgler, indeed.
I once opened a cake shop.
(Can’t deal with a fluffy, fur-shedding, headless-mouse-gifting , safe-cracking feline, but let’s open a real, bricks and mortar, money-gulping shop…) A dream, right? Bake and decorate cakes all day, serve cupcakes and muffins to customers, host kids’ parties in the garden area – it’s every cake-nerd’s dream. And I loved it. Didn’t love the 82 hour weeks and Friday all-nighters, finishing up orders for the weekend. Also wasn’t fond of the competitor who took to giving out free cupcakes to every business IN THE STREET and moaning about me on social media. And my family definitely didn’t appreciate me sleeping for half of Sunday, and missing watching them play sport or just be around on the weekend. And finally, the business side of things was just not my forte – so you can guess how that panned out.
Still, I don’t look at the closing of the cake shop little over a year later as a failure, as some people kindly chose to tell me. I had a crack at it, and if I did it again tomorrow, I’d have some pretty good experience to call on to make sure I got it right. I’m still a cake nerd, so why not?
Because, in a dodgy paraphrase of the words of the dragon in that old BBC series, Merlin, it wasn’t my destiny.
If I have a destiny to do ANYTHING, it’s to write.
That’s what feels natural, comes easy, and often amuses people. Triple threat, right there. So why haven’t I ever followed that through? Who knows! Lack of confidence, fear, procrastination, lack of support / time / focus – or maybe I’m just bit of slacker. The past couple of years have thrown up a few hurdles and challenges and that’s caused me to really think about life in a “what the hell?” kind of way. In that big, what-does-it-all-mean, what-is-happiness-anyway, why-does-this-cat-shed-so-much-fur way.
After a massive work year, strained personal relationships and whirlwind overseas trip with the family, I returned home and promptly enrolled in a six-day residential community leadership program. Which is strange, since I’m not in a leadership role, and I’m not likely to pursue one. I kind of impostered (*1) my way in, felt completely out of place for the first couple of days, had a personal crisis in the middle, and got through the final three day session unscathed, heading home with sparks in my brain and my belly.
There were a couple of big take-homes for me from this program. First up, I wasn’t living my best life, my values barely got a look in. I was living for other people and even there things were a bit sketchy. Next, I was probably not, as suspected, a leader. BUT I had learned that I could control, or at least influence, my own corner of the world in a positive way. And that was the motivation to make changes. I may have to hand in my Gunna Club badge.
I’m going to write a book.
This was one of those ideas I left the program with and I’ve made a start. Read the Everyday Magic post to see what that’s all about.
Stick around if you enjoy reading about travel, writing and life issues. If you relate to or enjoy the content, or have a question, pop it in the comment box and I’ll get back to you. And I will, because I said I will! 😉
(*1) Yes, I know it’s not a real word but I felt I could use it without too much criticism because you got the gist. Didn’t you!