Today is not my Day
This morning I listed potential work for the new year. The title, "Potential Jobs" was written in fancy cursive with the jobs bulleted below in capitalized print. The choice of lined paper added the right amount of professionalism. This list is visually appealing, as is my preference. I began brainstorming how to boost the amount of bullet points, how to fill more lines. The uneasy emptiness in the pit of my stomach, the feeling which is trailed by tears, stopped me. I cried in a brown, suede chair next to a Douglas fir with twinkle lights which would rival the Kira Kira app. Opal tilt her head, made her way to me, and licked the damp salt on my cheeks. I wasn't upset by the number of jobs. The quality of the potential work made up for the amount. I was humiliated they all were written in pencil.
My friend, Cara, and I are working on a podcast set to launch in February. We had one of those creative, productive sessions yesterday while sipping on a cup of coffee (or two) at Big Dog Coffee. This was a meeting we left feeling animated and confident. We both felt "right" about the direction of the podcast. Having this positive gut feeling is what we, as creatives, are forever hunting. The word "doubt" became a central podcast topic. I am not describing what our podcast is about today, but doubt, in all forms, comes into play. I didn't think I would be dealing with it so quickly after our meeting.
Potential in pencil, permanent in ink - this is a rule when writing my agenda, calendar, lists and so forth. It's a tidy way of organizing. When the potential is no longer viable, it is easily erased, as if never existing. I dare not write a potential project in ink for fear of having to scribble it out. Crossing out is gratifying in most lists, but in a list of "potentials" written in ink, crossing out is ugly; a recording of rejection. The list no longer appears clean and promising, but disjointed and tainted.
The problem is not in the pencil. Pencil speaks to my type-A soul. I am not throwing away the pencil and its use of organizing the potentials in my life. Doubt is my challenge. I am doubting my talent today. I am not confident today. Today I am sitting in my house looking ahead to the finish line (next year), and I have already eliminated myself from the podium (all potential work). I am imposing insecurity on the pencil. It is being viewed as something it is not. Instead of seeing the beauty in something taking shape and the possibility of achievement, I am viewing my "potential work" in pencil as "work lost" in ink.
There is no revelation here today. There are no tips offered to overcome doubt when it inevitably strikes. This dissection has provided relief and loosened the grips of anxiety, but has not completely changed the course of my day. When it comes to feeling confident and sticking it to doubt, today is not my day. I hope for you, it is - you have landed a project, crushed a presentation, got your kids dressed and to school on time for the first time after the holiday or maybe you are feeling good in an outfit - whatever it may be, I hope it's your day. I do not want company in my lack of faith today, I want counterbalance.
Above photo is by the beautiful Alyssa Florentine of For Rue Photography.