It’s hard to look at the news these days and not feel the cold of a shadow overtaking your heart.
These are bleak times.
But they are not end times.
Not unless we allow them to be them.
What do we do.
We move forward.
The thing is that sometimes that means doing your job from home, sometimes that means doing work around the house, sometimes that means reading a book, or listening to music, or podcasts, or sometimes it’s just veging out as you watch TV or a movie.
More than anything we need to take care of ourselves and those we love because we have to keep that fire alive, that flame of hope.
Part of that, for me, is being creative.
I need to tune the world out, for sure, but I also need to express myself.
By writing blogs, by writing stories, by podcasting, and by making movies.
That’s what I have been doing.
I am slowly working on stories for a book I intend to put out in 2020 and that’s kept me occupied. With that I made two weirdo micro-short films that I set up, shot, created music for, and cut together in a a couple of hours. I podcast to keep creating. I blog so I don’t feel voiceless.
For me, I am always thinking, always creating, and it’s what keeps me sane.
To feel like I am still moving forward.
I have been writing since I was a kid.
I have sworn off publishing my books a dozen times at least but I give it some time, get over myself and keep moving forward.
Because I am worth it.
You are worth it.
That’s what creation is, an investment in yourself, in your passion, your work, your practice, and your talent.
Now, there is an amount of ego that’s involved here because you have to feel as if your voice deserves to be heard, your visions seen, and your music danced to.
You have to believe in yourself.
And ya know what, that’s fine.
If we can’t believe in ourselves then who the heck will bother to believe in us?
I am never one for the ‘fake it to make it’ brand of self help but in this case, you do have to fake it sometimes, fake your own funk and keep moving forward because it’s a long path.
A long road.
You can’t let yourself give up before you even get anywhere.
And sure, maybe you don’t get where you wanted to be but you’ll get somewhere you never expected.
I guarantee it.
Giving up on yourself gets you nowhere.
That is a guarantee.
But back here in the pandemic world of today there’s a lot of pressure to DO SOMETHING to CREATE SOMETHING to LEARN SOMETHING. There’s pressure to exit this pandemic as if it were a sort of cocoon. Things don’t work that way though. We all need to move forward at our own pace, in our own way, and with our own goals in mind.
The thing is to HAVE a goal.
To move forward.
Even if it’s as simple as – I want to get through this day.
Or as complex as – I want to become ________________.
Whatever it is, you should move towards it.
No, maybe you don’t get there, but you get somewhere and every step forward is away from where you were and towards something else. It’s up to you to make that destination mean something.
I will say though, this is a time where our stories matter. Where our voices matter. Where our views matter. We need to survive, yes, but we need to speak, to sing, to scream into the darkness around us and stoke the fires within ourselves and others.
We have to do that, in whatever way we can because we owe that much to ourselves and to those ahead of us, further down the road. The thing is that we don’t need to make demands on ourselves so much as we need to move forward, in baby steps, in leaps, and in bounds.
My hope is that, if this time away from the world does anything it lets us take the light of others off of ourselves and allows us to take chances, and to invest in ourselves. It’s my hope that if we have things we wanted to do we trust ourselves to try them and fail because no one is watching.
There’s nothing to lose.
And even in failure that investment in ourselves matters.
You don’t owe anyone anything during this time, other than yourself and your loved ones. Beyond that, it’s all about you.
Invest in yourself, beyond survival.
Take a small step forward and see where it leads you.
Don’t worry about where you are going but just that you are moving forward and as you keep truckin’ along you’ll find the goals and hopes form themselves.
We need to survive, yes, but we also need to make sure we don’t languish and build a cage around ourselves.
Things are hard enough as it is.
Create something, my friend, even if it’s just the steam to keep pushing on.