A long time ago, the wonderful Alexandra Franzen had a blog post I loved about curing the muse blues. In this post, she mentioned an idea that really stuck with me…the One Big Thing.
Everyone has one, and everyone is putting it off. You probably know yours without even thinking about it. What’s that One Big Thing you’ve always secretly wanted, the thing that basically haunts you? Maybe it’s moving to a certain place, or going back to school, or starting a big new creative project. The thing you’re always thinking about, but just not doing. We’ve all got one, right?
I’ve been thinking a lot about my One Big Thing. I don’t really talk about it on here because I don’t like to talk about things as I’m doing them. I have a pretty low tolerance for talk-without-action. It’s not a quality I enjoy in other people (do it or don’t, but don’t say you’re going to do it and then peace out), and it’s really not a quality I enjoy in myself. I like to keep my big changes and projects secret until they happen. You know, like, guess what, I’m moving! Hey, I got a new job! PS, I started a blog! Oh, and I’m writing a for a new website!
It’s only in the past couple of years that I’ve become a doer, not a talker, and I like it. I like doing things and having done them. It’s a lot better and more satisfying than talking about doing things or thinking about doing things.
And yes, the weather is quite nice up here on this high horse. Thanks for asking.
The point of this post wasn’t for me to talk about how awesome I am. Far from it. The point of this post is for me to talk about the biggest way I’m failing myself, and probably the way you’re failing yourself, too. Because I know what my One Big Thing is, and I’m not working on it. In fact, I’m constantly avoiding it. What gives?
My One Big Thing is writing a book. It’s probably no surprise if you know me. It’s been my biggest dream and biggest goal since literally before I knew how to write. It’s what I fantasize about when I fall asleep at night and what I picture when I see my dream life. It’s the biggest single thing I want, and it’s the one thing that will make me feel like a huge failure if I don’t accomplish it. There isn’t anything I want more (not even pizza, you guys, and you know how much I love pizza). So…why haven’t I written a book?
Because it’s hard. Because it’s scary. Because if I fail at it, then I’ve failed at the thing I want most. That’s big. That’s bigger than big! It’s so easy to keep putting things off, to come up with excuse after excuse, to tell ourselves we’ll do the work later. But come on. We all know that’s bullshit, right? Why do we do this to ourselves?
I’d started to think that maybe I didn’t actually want to write a book anymore. After all, I’ve got a great job and a ton of awesome freelance writing gigs. Both of those things make me happy and, more importantly, satisfied. Sure, the book would be the cherry on top, but a sundae’s still pretty good without the cherry. I mean, I wouldn’t kick it out of bed.
But recently I realized I do still want to write that book. Or, rather, books. Of course I do! I’ve wanted to all along, but I’ve gotten very good at pushing down that little voice and telling it to shut up. It’s easy to ignore that voice for awhile, but you can’t ignore it forever.
This is my promise to myself that I’m going to work on my One Big Thing. Well, I’ve been working on it, but now I’m going to work on it consistently. And I’m not going to quit when it gets hard, or get mad because it isn’t perfect, or get scared that I’m messing it all up. Because, like my #1 philosopher and life coach Drake says, you only live once. I know he uses that as an excuse to have sex with people and get drunk, but I’m using it as an excuse to write a book. I don’t think Drake would necessarily understand, but I think he’d be proud of me (Drake joke, I’m sorry).
There will always be blocks and there will always be fear, but what I’m learning is that the successful people still hit those blocks and feel those fears. The only difference is that they keep going. They don’t let anything stop them.
So that’s my One Big Thing. Out of all the uncomfortable, weird, feeling-y things I’ve shared on Welcome to Ladyville, this was by far the squirmiest. I do not like talking or writing about my goals in public, but I want Welcome to Ladyville to be a safe space for all of us. A space where we can talk about our goals and hopes as ladies, a space where we can find and give support, a place where we can find and give inspiration. Now it’s your turn. What’s your One Big Thing? What are you going to do to make it happen? Or are you already making it happen? If so, INTERNET HIGH FIVES all around! Let me know in the comments, or, as always, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk about writing, goals, inspiration, or anything at all.
Image via U-Create