Aside from sounding like a most excellent band name, these two subjects are hard to admit as occurring inward, while even harder to broach in writing once you’ve confessed to yourself.
In fact, I had a lot of trouble starting this entry. I knew what I wanted to talk about in a vague sense, and there were a couple of specifics I’d be mentioning, but I still required a detailed framework to get there. I was plagued by some kind of block, so I grabbed some gelato and settled in with The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho. I picked up where I left off in the story the night before.
Less than a page later, I put down my gelato and my eyes widened as I read and then re-read a passage about what I was struggling with, both in life and in this blog entry:
“The first lesson, and perhaps the most difficult, was: ‘Patience!’ … Why is patience so important? ‘Because it makes us pay attention.'”
And just like that, I found myself able to process the burdensome emotions I have been feeling lately. Coelho broke a dam that had been building inside me simply by reminding me that patience truly is the most difficult lesson to bear. And for me, learning to grit and bear the course of patience is always made more complicated because patience is often accompanied by its best friend, the green jewel of all emotions: envy.
I guess I should back up. As of late, I’ve been feeling incredibly impatient. This often happens when things are on the brink of changing, or when I WISH things were on the brink of changing. Right now, I’ve got a little of both going on.
You see, I have all these positive changes in progress, and I could not be more excited for them, but it’s tough to wait for them to pan out. That being said, at least I know they will. At least there’s an end date. At least there will soon be giant Sharpie lines through these achievements on my list. What I’m really struggling with, then, is this. Here. My blog. My writing. My business and brand. My entrepreneurship and my ideas. My hard work. My life’s passions all put into one space here, for you and for others who have yet to discover it.
And sometimes I feel like all of the years I have poured my heart and soul into this place – the brainstorming, the designing, the rebranding, the writing, the interaction on here + SM – have all been for naught.
That is not to say I am not thankful for the many, many of you who read every day and who have been there since the early days years ago. That is not to say I don’t cherish every interaction and adore every reveal of a new feature or design. That is not to say I don’t enjoy the work itself, even when I’m staring at a blank screen for the third day in a row. That is not to say that I wouldn’t be doing this even if I had NO readers, NO support, and NO prospects of turning this into my day job. I would. I absolutely would.
But as my friends blogs grow or their freelance assignments pour in more frequently or their jobs give them more articles to write or their stores start to blow up or they get book deals (GO, L!), I feel that heartbreaking pull of impatience as I wonder why, after over three years, I have not even a smidgen of that same success. That’s when the twinge of envy comes in, but it’s not fair to them. They are all deserving of their success. They are all amazing. They are all hardworking queens who will rule the world very, very soon.
But am I not deserving? Am I not amazing? Do I not work as hard?
And maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m an ordinary asshole who is way too lazy to gain those things. But for arguments sake, let’s say those nights I have stayed up until it was light out again DO count. Let’s say the tutorials I’ve read ’til my eyes bled have made some kind of impact in the universe. Let’s say the minutiae of running a blog day in and day out has meant something. Let’s say I’m at least interesting and pretty damn daring for being myself 100% on my blog, even if that self says “fuck” a lot. Let’s say I’m pretty alright, maaan.
This is when the envy just goes to bed. It just sits back down and doesn’t come back. The impatience, however, festers behind my eyes like a brain-eating fungus. “When will that happen to me? When will my network support me in the way those ladies’ circles have? When will my niche, a niche I know exists, find me in the deluge of the blogosphere? When?”
I can’t get the impatience to go away. Sometimes I can get it to retire for a night or 30, but it always comes back in the wake of news that I have been bypassed by fate or whatever the hell it is all over again. Sometimes I feel like if I could just get impatience to go away altogether that success would act as love does: it’ll come when I stop looking.
But no, that’s not how this works. I have to keep working. I have to stop the envy. I have to keep dreaming. I have to keep networking, designing, doing and redoing, asking questions, making moves, and writing. I have to believe that one day, and maybe one day not so far away, it will be my turn. I have to learn how to be patient.
I need to remember that you all are my best support system. I need to remember that I have to ask for help to get it. So, here goes nothing:
Please spread the word about my blog. Please let me know what kinds of entries you’d like to see. Please tell me what kind of features on the site you’d love to have. Please ask me questions. Please follow me on social media. Please email me. Let’s make this place the best it can me, and not just for me, but for all of us.
Because the one thing that has kept me going every single time the impatience and the envy have rolled in like a poisonous fog is the thought of all of you. And the one thing that will get me through the rest of the impatient nights? You.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Without you, I’d be mad.