Self doubt

This post is a bit of a departure for me. It’s not intended to make you laugh (although it might), and it’s more about me than about things that have happened to me.

We all have tapes. They keep cycling through your being,…reminding you of your limitations and fears…the sameness of them feeling somehow right. Even when you know they’re not true, they carry a weight and form that is seductive in its safety and stability. They’re just…there. You don’t even realize it until you figure out that you need to get rid of them…that’s when the fun starts.

I learned about my tapes when I was 37. I was trying to figure out what to do about a marriage that had run its course, and I found a therapist who might (I hoped) be able to help me find my own way. What I didn’t bargain on was everything else that would come along with therapy. I showed up, provided some money, and in exchange was (over time) called out and made to look at all the lies and fabrications I’d been feeding myself for a lifetime. That woman SAW me. (Hell, she ‘saw’ me for eight years…we used to joke that I had personally paid for her hot tub.) Honestly, it was a pretty good trade-off.

That was a long time ago. Since then I’ve gone through two divorces, and I eventually figured out that I’m doing pretty damn well all on my own. I established a decent career, bought a home, and traveled around the world. I stopped caring quite so much about what other people thought of me, and I finally learned to love (and believe in) myself. I was still, however, afraid to create. Most of my other tapes had faded away…well, they were at least at a much lower volume, and I had a few new ones in the rotation that were actually positive. Unfortunately, the ones pertaining to my being a creative soul were stronger than any of the others, and they resisted my efforts to dislodge them like a cat avoiding a bath.

It’s odd, but I’ve known for most of my life that I could write. Not that I would actually let myself do it…”Oh no, I’m not good enough!” In spite of having grown up in so many ways, I continued to rely on that excuse for many, many years…I obviously wasn’t worth reading, so why bother?

Until the day when, almost five months ago, I just started typing…and it miraculously turned into writing. I still don’t know what it was that prompted me to do it–to just stop believing that line of bull I’d been feeding myself for at least 30 years. All the words I’d been running through my brain for a lifetime (I have no imagination…I’m not interesting…Who would want to read what I have to say?) just stopped. It was eerily quiet and I could hear the thoughts that had been drowned out for so long.

Then a really crazy thing happened…people liked what I had written! They even encouraged me to write more. I was excited but scared…afraid to disappoint anyone, but desperately needing to do what it was my heart told me was important to me.

I am a writer. In spite of the doubts I sometimes still have, I know that I am supposed to be creating, and words are my medium. The amount of joy I feel when someone tells me that they love my blog is amazing, and it just reminds me that tapes can be erased.

IWSG

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2 responses to “Self doubt

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