The entire reason I decided to go for it; to quit my job, pack my life into a backpack and hit the rolling hills of New Zealand is because I felt like I had my story. I knew the book I wanted to write. After literal years – near decades – of imaging I would one day step away from everything and write a novel – I did it. Becasue after all this time I finally had my book.
The premise was Letters to Grandma – an awkward & endearing living-life-&-finding-yourself story centralized through writing letters to grandma. Beause when she was alive, that’s what I did. We wrote each other letters. And naturally, I found myself. She was my grounding force. And everyone has that – be it a person or a song or a place or simply the moment when they first wake up in the morning. Something in their life that reminds them how fucking simple & fine it really all is. And that’s what this was all about. It wasn’t about Grandma. It was simply about jiving with life however you knew how.
I was in. My flights were booked. And I was spending the one week prior to leaving on a beach vacay with the fam because we figured why not & this was likely the last chance we’d have for a long while to spend time together.
So there I was, sitting on my beach chair watching the sun set and sipping a glass of red. On paper it was paradise. But in reality, my mind was racing and I. was. panicking. I was leaving Toronto in one week because I had the great idea to write a book.
What the fuck was I thinking.
I can’t write a book. Do you have any idea how hard it is to write a fucking book?
I don’t, but I’m assuming it isn’t easy.
So I’m sitting there anxiously typing whatever comes to mind on my laptop. I’m not noticing the sunset. I am noticing the red wine which I’d already managed to spill on my badass beach cover up.
I’m typing and re-typing my book premise and it simply is not working. Something is not fitting. It’s forced and it’s awkward and it doesn’t sound like something I’d even want to read let alone dedicate my every day to writing.
So in between sips of red and internal panicking, it suddenly dawned on me.
I could change my book premise.
I could flat out change the book premise.
This literally had not occurred to me before. I mean, I quit my job on the premise of, well, this premise! I can’t back out on it now.
But fuck. What if I do? What if that was simply a tease to force me to quit life and buy a ticket to New Zealand? What if that was the story life pretended I wanted in order to make me commit? And now that I’ve commited, who’s to say it can’t change along the way?
So then I started panicking even more because what the hell was I going to do? Here I am prancing around life, jobless and homeless because I’m going to find myself and write a stupid book and I don’t even have a solid idea. How can you write a book when you don’t even know what it’s about?
Sidenote: I was no longer sipping my wine. I was flat out gulping it.
Normally in this situation, I’d cry. I’d legit get in the bathtub and cry and wail and stare at my mascara-stained face reflecting in the faucet which is all over the top, I know, but that’s what they do in the movies and why shouldn’t life be that dramatic sometimes. My entire life plan just crumbled on the beaches of Peurto Plata.
BUT. I mean, What choice did I have. In one week I was set to be on a plane to Vancouver to write chapter 1. So instead of crying, I’ll figure it out. I’ll write something. I’ll write the best fucking thing I’ve ever written. And instead of panicking at the idea of option, I’ll embrace the fact that there are options. I am not stuck. I can write the book I want to write. And that’s okay! And that was the biggest thing for me to realize. It was okay for me to change my mind. Because as soon as I had this idea of changing the premise I immediately felt the need to reach out to everyone I knew to tell them and get their blessing on the fact that things could change. To hear that was fine and for them to reassure me that this is probably how it should happen. Of course things would change along the way. But that was the whole point I needed to understand. This was my thing and I was the one who had to do it and I could do it however worked for me. And it wasn’t necessary for anyone to tell me that was cool. I just needed to decide it was.
And I think this is something I’ve struggled with a lot in life in general. Needing people to reaffirm all of my decisions even when I already know what I want. I don’t have a problem making up my mind. I have a problem accepting that I’ve made a decision. And I think that’s a common and weird setback we all face, because we all have this need to please everyone else and look like we have our shit together.
In that moment, I did not have my shit together. But I’d get it, and I knew that, and that should have been enough.
SO. To sum up. I changed my mind and I don’t give a shit what you think about that because I FEEL GREAT.
Just kidding. I still care. But I’m working on it.
Stay tuned 🙂