The irony that I am sitting in the kitchen of my childhood home writing what is the last blog in a series of 52 (one every week for a whole year) is not lost on me. I have returned to my literal beginning to finish off a ‘year in my life’.
And rather predictably, this is the hardest blog to write.
My procrastination levels are nudging dangerous, I have nothing to say and every time I do write something, I immediately delete it because of the self-imposed pressure I have put on this last blog to be nothing short of excellent. Which it won’t be, just FYI.
It’s not like I’m never going to write again. In fact one of the reasons I started this series was to prepare myself to write a book (which is indeed coming) and without doubt I will continue to write blogs when the inspiration hits me.
But right now, it feels like something is coming to an end and so naturally, I sit here and reflect (some might call ‘reflection’ procrastination but for me, reflection is key to moving forward. Without it I am destined to be lost to the patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving which generate my past and current results. If I want my results to change, I must first know what needs to change.)
So, for a long time, this page has been blank. What do I want this last blog to convey? Should I write a blog as if this wasn’t the end and make no reference to it at all? Should I make a huge deal of it and write a million words? Is it time to pull out my imaginary Oscar acceptance speech? Should I thank my Dad? Should I cop out and just write the words “thank you for your attention” and go and hang out with my niece and nephew? So many options.
Instead, I’ll just ignore the message from my VA asking where the fuck this blog is, and type without thinking or editing or trying too hard. It might not flow. It might not be excellent. But it will be my truth. And that is all I can ever hope to be. True.
Here are things I wish I’d been brave enough to write about.
I wish I’d been brave enough to write about grief and how living life without my Mum sucks more than I could have ever imagined.
I wish I’d been brave enough to write about falling in love and the overwhelming shit it triggers, the fears it exposes and the levelling up it demands.
I wish I’d been brave enough to write about the days when being in business for myself feels harder than it should, and how the confusion and overwhelm is at times, palpable.
I wish I’d been brave enough to write more from the heart and to speak openly about how joyous life often feels to me, how lucky I am and how abundant I feel. I wish I hadn’t worried so much about what you, the reader would think of me.
I wish I wasn’t writing a list of things that started with “I wish”.
Because here’s the thing. I did.
I wrote the way I wrote. I experimented and tried and took some risks and played it safe at times too. And what I learned along the way will only make me a better writer, a braver author and a truer creator.
So, no more “I wish”. Instead I will embrace what I learnt.
I learnt that I am rather astonishingly good at procrastinating and that I need deadlines to get anything done.
I learnt that sometimes the blogs which I pull out the bag at 4 minutes to midnight are the ones which get the most traction, because they aren’t over-thought, over-edited or over-wanky.
I learnt that I can trust myself to rock up every week and keep a promise to myself, even though it’s hard, even though it’s inconvenient, even though at times I felt like I had nothing to say.
I learnt that I often put pressure on myself to ‘get it right’ when no one else gives a flying fuck.
I learnt that when I try too hard, I am hiding my true self.
I learnt that I hate writing.
I learnt that I love writing.
I learnt that I control my narrative – what I choose to see; what I choose to keep hold of; what I choose to delete, distort and generalise and ultimately, what stories I choose to tell. We all do this. Choose your stories bravely.
I learnt that memory is fallible and yet, we build our very identities on what has happened. How freeing this realisation has become for me.
I learnt that I can, in fact, show up for myself.
I learnt that I have loved and loathed in equal measure, this year long exercise.
I have loved the structure it’s put around my week, relentlessly demanding that I show up for myself and my audience.
I have loved writing late into the night, alone in the silence with only my laptop and the road sweep outside my window for company.
I have loved the feedback.
I have loved the demands on my energy and creativity and discipline.
I have loved the hours spent trying to organise my thoughts and convey my truth.
I have loathed the structure it’s put around my week, relentlessly demanding that I show up for myself and my audience.
I have loathed writing late into the night, alone in the silence with only my laptop and the road sweep outside my window for company.
I have loathed the feedback.
I have loathed the demands on my energy and creativity and discipline.
I have loathed the hours spent trying to organise my thoughts and convey my truth.
Life is a funny paradox. And I dearly hope I have captured some essence of that this past year. More to come, I have no doubt.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this; my ultimate learning.
Don’t give up.
Thank you very much for reading. It has been an honour. Em x